20 August 2010

Phil Brennan: Reporting from Fantasyland

Over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, one of my favorite blogs, Ed Darrell has spotted an online editorial so clueless I couldn’t help but take a few potshots at it as well. The author, Phil Brennan, worries about what would happen if the birthers were successful in their quest to have President Obama declared ineligible if “it turns out that Obama can’t come up with a legitimate birth certificate showing that he was indeed born on U.S. soil in what was then the territory of Hawaii” in 1961. According to the provisions of the Constitution, he claims, all bills signed by Obama and all appointments made under Obama would be nullified, “John McCain would be declared the legitimate President of the United States and Sarah Palin the Vice President starting with Inauguration Day, 2009,” and to top it all off “there would be blood in the streets as the labor union and the rest of the thuggery that supports him would erupt in violence”.

Now I don’t really expect any sense or sanity from a birther—and Brennan in earlier outbursts shows that he has drunk deep of that particular flavor of Kool-Aid™. In one he writes that the location of Obama’s birth “remains questionable. Proof of United States Citizenship hasn’t been provided”—this despite the fact there is an accessible public record of his Hawaiian birth. (Why do they think states place birth notices in local papers, anyway?) But this clueless clown thinks that Hawaii was a territory in 1961—this despite the fact that his own claims about his personal history show he must be old enough to remember Hawaii becoming a state, as I am. (Hell, I remember our school proudly unfurling its new forty-nine-star flags just after Hawaii became a state, rendering them obsolete before they could even be properly displayed.)

And Brennan worries about strange things. The Republicans, he thinks, may blow their chances this year by being too cooperative with the Democrats. (In what alternate universe does this Brennan live?) If Universal Health Care was already in effect, he writes, he, Brennan, would now be dead, thanks to its Death Panels, a necessity when health care will be rationed. (Does he really think health care isn’t rationed now?) He imagines that the “climate change threat” is “non-existent” and that any effort to prevent disaster will “drive millions of American jobs overseas and impose crippling costs upon the American people” (and yet the temperatures keep on rising). Brennan in fact is far more worried about the possible “eruption of the simmering mass of magma that is edging slowly upwards beneath the caldera at Yellowstone National Park” which will “devastate much of the U.S., spreading massive clouds of volcanic ash across a huge swath of the nation” thus causing a “new ice age” resembling “what we know as the Little Ice Age which occurred between the 16th and the 19th centuries”.

This self-described veteran reporter seems to have problems distinguishing probable from improbable, and fact from outright fantasy. Suppose, for instance, that Obama were to be determined (for whatever reason) to be ineligible to serve as president. In that case the Constitution does not specify in some strange Ruritanian fashion that the state must revert to a villain, no matter whom, but rather provides that the vice president (in this case Joe Biden) would assume the office. Nor would laws and appointments suddenly become null and void as in some bizarre Y2K scenario nor would chaos reign.

Get a grip, Phil. Take your medications. There are no bomb-throwing Bolsheviks waiting in the wings to execute the royal family. Oh, and by the way, the “Little Ice Age” has been greatly exaggerated. You could look it up, if that didn’t get in the way of your, uh, journalism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brennan brings cluelessness to a new acme. Nadir perhaps is better. Ah well-- madness takes many forms ... rfh

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