Perhaps it's a bigger surprise that he hadn't gone there yet, but right-wing rocker Ted Nugent added birtherism to his repertoire of anti-Obama criticism on Wednesday, attacking President Obama's "phony birth certificate" before suggesting the president was a Muslim in a column in WorldNetDaily.
Apparently infuriated by Obama's recent suggestion that his Republican opponents are obsessing over "phony scandals," Nugent unleashed a "phony" tirade, using the word more than 100 times to repeat nearly every anti-Obama attack in the book. Amid allusions to ACORN, Saul Alinsky, Operation Fast and Furious, a Fox News-hyped story about alleged voter intimidation by the Black Panthers, Obama's work as a community organizer, and more recent controversies over the administration's handling of the 2012 attack in Benghazi and Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, Nugent added disbelief about the president's birthplace to the mix:
"And let's all be honest here; more of us believe in the American hero Sheriff Joe Arpaio's thorough investigation into your phony birth certificate and phony history than the phony media's smoke and mirrors."
Nugent also implied that Obama is a Muslim, claiming that accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hassan is the president's "Allah Ahkbar [sic] buddy."
Arpaio, the self-described "nation's toughest sheriff" of Maricopa County, Ariz., emerged as one of the most prominent peddlers of birther theories in 2011, continuing to seek the limelight from that conspiracy thinking long after the White House had released Obama's long-form birth certificate, which showed that he was born in Hawaii. After an expensive investigation by his "Cold Case Posse," Arpaio announced that they had "probable cause" to believe that the president's birth certificate and other documents were computer-generated forgeries. The Hawaii attorney general's office rejected Arpaio's claim.
The alleged scandal has since died down, though WND, an Internet haven for anti-Obama conspiracies, has done its best to keep birtherism alive.