By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist
I had a free night a few weeks ago, and I was planning on hanging out with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Until I got a text out of nowhere. “Sorry, something with a friend came up. I’m going to have to cancel on tonight.” I wrote back, “I understand. Things happen. We’ll make it up some other time.”
She replies, “You’re not mad, are you?” Again, I write back, “No, I’m OK. Things happen.”
She writes back, “You sure you’re not mad?” I wrote again, “Don’t worry, I’m good.”
Five minutes later, she called. “Hey, I just wanted to call to say sorry, because I got the sense that you are mad.”
The conversation could have gone two different ways. I could have snapped, which I think I would have been within my right to do. Instead, I chose the calm approach.
“No, I’m not mad,” I said. “But what might upset me is having to repeatedly answer the same question. Three times you’ve asked me if I’m upset, and three times I’ve answered no.”
If only Lou Dobbs would text me. The former CNN host just can’t understand why people are mad at him. He’s repeatedly said there are questions about where President Obama was born. He thinks a long form certificate is needed to prove Obama’s birth in Hawaii. It’s not enough that a certificate of live birth has been presented (that’s all I have, and I’ve never had any problems). And it’s not enough that a pair of newspapers have his birth recorded.
“I ask a question,” Dobbs recently told Esquire magazine, “and I am attacked from the extreme Left as a quote-unquote birther. I mean, what the hell is that? When you can create a controversy by asking what seems to me still a perfectly commonsense question? It has been used in the extreme Left to create a toxicity that is just unbelievable.”
It’s still a perfect commonsense question to Dobbs because in this area, he has no common sense. I guess in Dobbs’ world, common sense is that nearly a half-century ago, some dastardly Kenyans unleashed a two-phase plan. First, they pay people in a Hawaii hospital to forge records. Second, they move this baby to the United States, send him to Harvard, get him elected to the U.S. Senate and then get him elected to the presidency. Maybe Dobbs will tell Esquire what Phase Three is in a follow-up interview.
Policy disagreements are fine, and they’re part of what makes democracy work. It’s asking a question, getting it answered, then repeating the sequence in the face of logic and proof that riles up people that looked at the evidence, and concluded Barack Obama was born in the United States, his birth was never an issue in the Senate and it was never an issue when he ran for president.
And as much as you want it to, calling people extreme doesn’t make them so, and it doesn’t change the logic or proof you’re ignoring.
But Dobbs is partially right on one thing. The toxicity is unbelievable. Too bad Dobbs doesn’t realize he’s the source.