During MSNBC’s Thursday night coverage of the Democratic Convention, Melissa Harris-Perry and Chris Matthews decided to further indulge in their unhealthy obsession with birtherism. You may recall that Matthews hijacked Andrea Mitchell’s interview of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to ask a question about birtherism during the Republican Convention on August 29. On September 5, Matthews concluded his interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, an alleged rising Democratic star, why there are so many birthers in his state of Texas.
Perry’s birther interjection concerned Obama’s speech dealing with the theme of citizenship. In fact, she called it a “brilliant” moment. However, she made the patently false claim that mainstream Republicans are birther enthusiasts and “redefined” the term herself to convey an overt collectivist idea of citizenship. On the other hand, Matthews, who sat down with Rep. Joseph Crowley and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who declared that the "right wing" wants President Barack Obama's document because "he's black" and doesn't understand why people still don't "get it." Well, it's probably because conspiratorial drivel doesn't go mainstream all that often. (video after the jump)
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: I want to play on one thing also that Ed said just a moment ago about this notion of citizenship because I thought this was such a brilliant moment because he says we also have this thing called citizenship.
And of course that has been as you’ve point out this nasty ugly birtherism that has shown up both in the mainstream Republican as well as the far right
And so when he said we have thing called citizenship and then he redefines it as mutual obligation – obligation that exists both in the sort of public policies, as well as in our community organization, as well as how our business conduct profit sharing between the top and the bottom. It was really lovely because it was sort of saying of course, I’m an American, obviously I am, but citizenship is not about a birth certificate. Citizenship is an actual set of duties and responsibilities it was a really lovely– counterpunch to that birtherism.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think the legitimacy question hit me tonight. The president has to say I’m the president. The President of the United States has to show his documents because the right wing has demanded them and yet – George Romney ran for President having been born in Mexico and John McCain was born in Panama, not the canal zone, Panama and Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona territory and nobody ever said where’s your papers to prove you were born in the United States
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D-NY): And Debbie was born in Queens, NY – that’s another question for later
MATTHEWS: And I’ll tell you, the fact that he’s black is the reason they’re asking for his papers it’s so obvious doesn’t anyone else get it?