Via Volokh Conspiracy, I came across this interesting article. It traces the Birther hoax’s actual origins not to right-wing conspiracy theorists, but rather to disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters. Admittedly, I’ve never followed the birthers closely, so I’m not sure if this is true or not. If it is, however, it strikes me as more than a little ironic. And amusing.
Though I consider the birthers’ prominence a lamentable example of the ignorance that frequently pervades our political system, it does have a couple of upsides. First, I suppose the birthers do provide some measure of ongoing entertainment value. Second, those seeking to debunk the birthers have produced a number of websites digitizing (inter alia) pre-Fourteenth Amendment discussions of birthright citizenship. I found these occasionally useful when researching an article I’m writing about that topic: Though good mostly for research leads (e.g., names & dates of court decisions to be hunted down elsewhere), they did also provide me with my first copy of Lynch v. Clarke (the leading antebellum case re. birthright citizenship for US-born children of aliens).