Timothy Noah wants to know if Rick Perry’s ludicrous new campaign ad is flirting with birtherism. I think that’s too simple by half and too complicated by half. If Timothy Noah is asking "does this video promote the absurd myth that Barack Obama is not entitled to American citizenship" then no, I don’t think it does. But if he’s asking "does this video appeal to the same socio-cultural nationalistic myths of America being a white, Christain nation and fear of chaos/the Other that fuel Birtherism" then yes. But the important connection is that Birtherism is essentially about rejecting the fundamental legitimacy of foreigners, non-whites, non-Christians, and leftist politics as being against the idea of America itself, and that’s the common strain between this video and Birtherism.

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