I don’t blame Dave Weigel in the least for not wanting to report on Orly Taitz, ever again.
I first encountered Orly Taitz at a December 2008 press conference on efforts to oust President-elect Obama based on the conspiracy theories about his birth certificate. I’d been warned about her by Gary Kreep, a “birther” attorney who had filed lawsuits over the issue in California and been struck by the shoddy quality of legal argument and writing produced by Taitz. For the next 18 months, to my amazement, Taitz turned herself into something of a celebrity, getting booked on TV (including The Colbert Report) and profiled by the Post to talk about her ridiculous conspiracy lawsuits.
As far as I’m concerned, the Taitz trainwreck ended on Tuesday when she rode a wave of publicity to 26% in California’s GOP primary for Secretary of State. Only 21 people donated to her campaign, despite her ability to draw massive media attention for such a low-profile race. Today, she’s talking about voter fraud (of course) and mulling a challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.). Who cares? When she made the move from freaky celebrity to politics she got rock-solid proof of her irrelevance.
Yes, it’s slightly disturbing that even 26% of a party’s electorate would vote for Taitz. And it will continue to be news if elected Republicans jump on board with the birther quest, whether led by her or by someone else. It would have been news if 51% of Republicans made her their nominee — it will be news if Republicans nominate someone with these views in another state.
But Taitz herself is no longer a story. I see that she cited my posts about her — which were pretty much straightforward accounts of the fundraising and vote totals of her doomed campaign — as proof that the media still cares about her. Well, we don’t care about her. Let’s stop indulging what is obviously a pathetic campaign for attention and celebrity.
(Side note: A number of conservatives have mocked MSNBC and other outlets for speculating whether Taitz ever had a chance. I think it’s clear that unqualified candidates, like Texas’s Kesha Rogers or South Carolina’s Alvin Greene, can win primaries if voters aren’t paying much attention to their races. So the speculation was fine, but there wasn’t anything to worry about.)