A side-plot in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency involves a piece of decision-support software called Reason. Its function is decision-support in the fullest sense of that term: the user enters a desired decision, and the program computes a set of arguments to support it.
Which brings me to Birtherism.
So far as I can tell, not a single one of the Obama-haters who has been pounding one version or another of the “birther” drum has had the decency to say, “OK, there’s the ‘long form’ we asked for, and it says what the short form said it said. Sorry! Case closed.” And the truly sleazy, slimy Obama-haters who never went “birther” themselves but kept making snide remarks about the White House’s handling of the phony controversy are still making the same damned snide remarks.
Once you realize that these people’s brains, mouths, and keyboards are running Reason Mark II, and the decision the program has been told to support is “Hate Obama,” everything falls into a (admittely, somewhat twisted) pattern.