People of a certain blog-reading vintage will remember the good old days of Tom Maguire, proprietor of Just One Minute. He (along with folks like "libertarian" Glenn Reynolds) was promoted as a "reasonable" conservative with whom efforts should be made to reach out; this open letter from Crooked Timber is indicative of the efforts of which Maguire was thought worthy. I was never smitten with such love for him. The more wrong he is, the more snide he gets - it's like Protein Wisdom, but without the same desperate need to prove that his penis is the Nietzschean ubermensch. Over the years, this has led to a few interactions in which Maguire uses his acceptance as a "reasonable" conservative to attempt to halt criticism of himself. After all, if even such wild-eyed liberals as that one guy and someone else who writes for TNR think he's reasonable, you must Che Guevara!

Anyway, turns out the dickbag is a birther, and wholly mystified as to why people think birthers are racist, calling such claims "absurd and inflammatory".

As a paean to Maguire's reasonableness, I wholly agree. Just because birthers have spent nearly two years debating over which type of nasty brown person he is doesn't make them racist. An obsession with the wrong term being used to describe his father's race (the state of Hawaii would have only referred to Obama the Elder as "negroe", because of FACTS) doesn't make them racist. That the underlying purpose of this conspiracy theory is designed to prove that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim could in no way make them racist or bigoted. That birthers are wholeheartedly dedicated to the idea of Obama's secret militant black Muslim nationalism has nothing to do with race, because they said the same thing about Dan Quayle or, as he was known in college, Rizq Massoud al Islam.

It's not so much that the question "Does Obama have a valid birth certificate?" is racist, it's that it's a gateway to saying every fucking racist thing in the world about the man without apology. It was the same thing with the Pledge of Allegiance flap, the oath on the Qu'ran flap, the Jeremiah Wright flap, the "he's not really all black" line, the "he's actually Indonesian" line, and pretty much every conspiracy theory that's been wrapped up into this birther insanity.

By the way, does anyone know a black birther? Even the biggest black sellouts in the conservative movement haven't touched this with a ten foot pole.