Meadows, Patterson Provide Helpful Information


Tilting at Windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies.

They both publicly stated their belief that the United Nations is leading a conspiracy to steal your property rights and freedom, and that’s not the only ludicrous belief they’re pushing out on the campaign trail. AC-T:

With the microphone in front of him during a public forum, Mark Meadows didn’t hesitate.

“Yes,” the Republican candidate told the questioner, he would call for an investigation into whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.
Meadows told the Blue Ridge Tea Party on June 12 that if Republicans are successful in the fall, “we will send him (Obama) back home to Kenya or wherever it is.”
Patterson told the same group that “there is something there that’s not right” about Obama’s birth certificate and that “I don’t know where he is from.”

I understand that they’re in a runoff and that it will be a very small number of the most engaged/enraged Republican voters who will decide the victor. The candidates’ willingness to advocate conspiratorial, fringe beliefs is helpful information for the rest of the electorate as folks look toward the November general election. Without the primary we might never have known that the two Republican candidates were men who espouse such farcical views. When confronted by rational people in the press? The story changes fast:

“Meadows and Patterson, in interviews with the Citizen-Times days later, said they believe Obama was born in the United States.”
“It doesn’t matter where he is from, and that was my point,” Meadows said. “What we have to do is go on the issues and turn out the vote based on the issues.”

Well that’s not what you said, Mr. Meadows and Mr. Patterson. And now we’ve all got to wonder whether you’re tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists or just two more GOP politicians who’ll say anything to get elected. Either way, it’s helpful information for voters.

I would think that people who want to be part of our U.S. Congress would be willing to rise above these cheap conspiracy theories that inflame fearful passions without generating any solutions to the real challenges western North Carolina faces.


  1. Gordon Smith says:

    One more fun blockquote:

    Emmet Carney, the chairman of the Buncombe County Democratic Party, said the birther issue is a “national embarrassment, and it’s only being applied to a black man.”

    He noted that Romney’s father was born in Mexico and McCain was born in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.

    He also said the talk of Agenda 21 was laughable.

    “I don’t believe the U.N. could run a fever let alone care about Maggie Valley’s steep slope laws,” he said.

    Henry Mitchell, the chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party, said the birther issue comes up at GOP gatherings.

    Trump talked about it at the state convention in Greensboro this month and got applause, he said.

    I think all of the GOP candidates including Tim Moffitt, Nathan Ramsey, J.B. Howard, David King, Joe Belcher, Mike Fryar, and Christina Kelley G. Merrill ought to let us know whether they, too, believe that Agenda 21 is a conspiracy to take away our freedom and whether they believe the President of the United States is an American citizen. Michael, could you share that kind of helpful information with us?

  2. The Birther business allows people to spend a lot of time researching the history of citizenship law.

    (1st comment – you can skip the paid Ron Paul ad)


  3. Roger E. Hartley says:

    These guys really have a great chance of winning. As a person who strongly believes in public service the level of absolute gunk like this in the process of getting there dulls my senses. I know Rodgers has to be careful in such a conservative district, but if this isn’t reason enough to support a reasonable candidate like him, I’m not sure what is.

  4. RHS says:

    They say that the mark of a good leader is how uncomfortable he (or she) is willing to make his/her base. Meadows and Patterson are doing nothing in this runoff but telling their base what it wants to hear. The fact that they are telling the base something they themselves don’t even believe — as evidenced by their comments in interviews that they believe President Obama was indeed born in the United States is pandering of the worst order and a clear sign of a serious character defect.

  5. Keith Thomson says:

    “Tim Moffitt, Nathan Ramsey, J.B. Howard, David King, Joe Belcher, Mike Fryar, and Christina Kelley G. Merrill ought to let us know whether they, too, believe that Agenda 21 is a conspiracy to take away our freedom and whether they believe the President of the United States is an American citizen. Michael [Muller], could you share that kind of helpful information with us?”

    Inquiring minds really do want to know.

    Pandering to people you know are this confused is not a quality character trait, but, on the other hand, sincerely believing in wild theories is not a sign of good judgement. Which side of this great divide are these candidates on?

  6. mcates says:

    Like Elizabeth Warren and her native American status, it appears Obama played fast and loose with the truth and created this issue himself.

    After all, it was his literary agent that claimed he was “BORN IN KENYA AND RAISED IN INDONESIA AND HAWAII” in 1991 and allowed that error to persist through multiple revisions.

    “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.”

  7. shadmarsh says:

    The silence itself is rather telling…

  8. shadmarsh says:

    Oh look, Cates is a birther (maybe)!

  9. RHS says:

    “The silence itself is rather telling…”

    Yeah, but not nearly as much as the idiocy

  10. mcates says:

    It’s my opinion that Obama was born in Hawaii and like Elizabeth Warren mislead people for personal gain.

  11. Tom Sullivan says:

    We need a new bumper sticker: “Breitbart.com said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

  12. cityemployee says:

    All this is code for “we hate that n****r”. The sad reality is that these candidates know better but the fringes dominate primaries and runoff’s because the majority of voters are too lazy to participate so they have to appeal to these nuts. Instead of taking a stand Meadows and Patterson play along. This birther talk must really help the GOP do voter outreach and anyone who enteratins these people are stupid and racist themselves.
    I can’t wait to see their faces agin in November when “that n****r” beats them again.

    [EDIT: Don’t need to see that on the blog.] TS

  13. shadmarsh says:

    It’s my opinion that Obama was born in Hawaii and like Elizabeth Warren mislead people for personal gain.

    It’s your opinion? I think it is an established fact.

    Also, didn’t you kind of do the same thing when you ran for council? You know “the misleading of people” part? Or was that the fault of esteemed councilman Smith?

  14. Roger E. Hartley says:

    While I would not say it as strongly as CityEmployee, there is no doubt that this is a part of the cultural strategy. It is not just an appeal to those who might believe in the norther theory, but each time it is repeated and later backed away from…it screams “he isn’t one of us” and to some it is very much about racial politics and apeallong to those who don’t much like outsiders. It is a strategy for rural America I believe, which continues to vote in enormous numbers for GOP candidates. See Meadows shockingly uncivil remark of sending him back to Kenya or wherever he is from.

  15. cityemployee says:

    If you look at WNC counties such as Avery, Mitchell, Alexander and others you see that they are overwhelmingly white,have a higher number of people who did not complete high school than majority black counties, have higher poverty rates, high substance abuse, obesity,etc and very bleak prospects for the future. What business will come to your area if 30% of the adults could not even manage to finish high school. Many of these residents who fall for this rhetoric would be in worse shape if were not for the safety net. So the question is why do they vote republican? the answer is quite simple its about race. The minute these people wake up and realize that voting republican has done them no good the GOP will be in real danger and they know it.

  16. mcates says:


    “I think it is an established fact.”

    Do you think it or know it? Aren’t the word games a bit immature

    “Also, didn’t you kind of do the same thing when you ran for council? You know “the misleading of people” part? Or was that the fault of esteemed councilman Smith?”

    No, I did not. I am still working on all the issues I campaigned on, but in the private sector. However, it is true that Councilman Smith did spread false information.

  17. shadmarsh says:

    To think is an irregular verb that means to have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about someone or something. I responded with a statement, in the form of a question, to your statement “It’s my opinion that Obama was born in Hawaii.” Is English not your first language? I know the seemingly arbitrary rules of its grammar can be exasperating, but I think you could– with time and effort, master them.

  18. Michael Muller says:

    The craftiest thing your enemy can do is to make you believe he’s imaginary.

  19. Keith Thomson says:

    “The craftiest thing your enemy can do is to make you believe he’s imaginary.”

    Or make you look like you have lost your mind?

  20. Michael Muller says:

    Sometimes it’s the same thing, Keith 🙂

  21. TJ says:

    “Or make you look like you have lost your mind?”

    Then they have been successful, indeed. Actually, it is also a good countermeasure. In women’s self-defense classes, they have also suggested when a person is attacked, to scream and act crazy. The perp will possibly run away, thinking you are too crazy to control.

    Maybe the followers of these theories are beyond the “acting” crazy part.

    Michael, have you found yourself a hat, yet? If not, I’ve got a Tilley or two you can use ;-). And, it’s awesome, because if you ever lose it, they replace it for a $7 shipping charge.

  22. mcates says:


    You really know how to tackle the important issues.

    [To think is an irregular verb that means to have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about someone or something.]

    Sorry, did you just say to have an opinion? Silly season is truly upon us….

    However, you didn’t say “To think”, you said “I think” and you used it in transitive which means it could be interpreted as an opinion.

    The fact the verb is irregular is not relevant, but we would need Mat to confirm this extremely important issue.

  23. shadmarsh says:

    Oy vey, ayin kafin yan.

  24. RHS says:

    “So the question is why do they vote republican? the answer is quite simple its about race.”

    Not entirely. At least two of the counties you mentions, Avery and Mitchell, have been overwhelmingly Republican strongholds since the end of the Civil War. These were areas of mostly poor farmers that were staunchly pro-Union as they had no slaves and had no interest in leaving the Union their ancestors fought to form so that rich plantation owners could have slaves. These are counties in which ancestral loyalties run deep from generation to generation. Many vote Republican because their father did and his father did and his father did etc.

    Some WNC counties, such as Madison, eventually broke away from that pattern. Madison was pro-Union in the Civil War and voted Republican for generations afterwards (Madison never voted for FDR, for example) but it did eventually become a two party country thanks mostly to the efforts of the Ponder family.

    In 1968, when George Wallace ran as a third party candidate for president, he finished second statewide in NC behind Richard Nixon and ahaed of Huber Humpfrey. But in many WNC counties — which tend to have small African American populations, he ran third.

    This is not to say that race plays no factor in rural whites in NC voting Republican, but I’d say there are many other factors involved.

  25. Mr. Cates, you need no assistance from me to look ridiculous.

    You are doing a fine job all by yourself.

  26. TJ says:

    “You are doing a fine job all by yourself.”

    I see the sharks are circling again…

    I mean, it’s not like the man has no good comments.

    And, even if no one agrees with that, he keeps the blog busy.

  27. I am a cranky and easily annoyed thing and I was poked.

  28. cityemployee says:

    I see the that the N word offends some people, oh well, like many of you have not used it yourselves before. The only difference is that I have every right to use it.

  29. TJ says:

    Actually, no, I have NEVER used such a word…just like I have never called anyone a fag. My father was a racist (hidden), and, I never heard it from him amazingly.

    I guess I have the same reaction when I heard the Mayor call herself a Bible-thumping, tongue-talking believer. It did nothing to help anyone have respect for her as a Christian. I suppose I would have the right to call myself that (although, I’m not that extreme), but, it does nothing to help demonstrate respect for any group of folks. I have nothing to say about what someone calls themselves, privately or publicly, but, I am VERY congnizant that such terms just fuel the flames of racism and lets others believe it is acceptable.

    If “outsiders” don’t have that right to make a reference, why set that example? If I model certain things to my kids, they have no idea it is not acceptable.

    I just find that all very strange, especially when there is a desire to have a more inclusive society…with or without the politically correct language.

  30. cityemployee says:

    The right for blacks to use the N is word is just that, most whites will never be able to grasp that concept but it is just a reality and not worth the arguing. If you want to deal with the real issues of race and racism, the N word ranks at the bottom of the issues that need to be addressed and anyone who thinks censoring that word will further anything is living a fantasy. With respect to your naivete and sensitivity I will only use it when dealing with people face to face and trust me you could not handle “N&^$%S” if God almighty gave you instructions.

  31. Davyne Dial says:

    @ Cityemployee…..you are not doing yourself any good here spewing forth your venom, hidden behind an anonymous screen name. In your opinion only black folks grasp oppression.

  32. cityemployee says:

    There seems to be a real double standard here, references are made about female genitalia,the f bomb is used frequently, religion is ridiculed and so forth but the word “n—-r” is just a bridge too far.I think it is because many people want to fantasize that somehow if we stop using certain words problems would disappear. That is a joke and as someone who understands that word from many different viewpoints I find the hypocrisy laughable.The only reason I even used the N word is because it the true meaning behind a lot of this birther crap. Birtherism is code for hatred a a black man plain and simple. But if I use the word it is considered venom and sowing seeds of divisiveness.

  33. TJ says:

    ” With respect to your {naivete and sensitivity} I will only use it when dealing with people face to face and trust me you could not handle “N&^$%S” [if God almighty gave you instructions”]

    Wow!! And, who the hell are you to tell me that I am naive (sensitive to ignorance and disrespect, yes-which you are doing so well here)? Before you expose your own naivete, you might want to determine who here is white and who is NOT. You know me so well that you can tell me what God can teach me?!

    1)Tell me what nationality I am
    2}Tell me what experiences I have had related to whatever nationality you assume I am.
    3)Tell me how I view the world according to my experiences
    4)Tell me what I think of the “birther crap”
    5}Tell me what I am naive about because I choose to carefully choose how I speak in front of others, and carry that into my personal “off” time, as well
    6)Tell me what nationality my children are and the circumstances of THEIR birth, and any prejudices THEY have faced
    7}Tell me what prejudices I have had or not, and how I have or have not struggled to overcome them so I don’t carry that further into the world through my children
    8)Tell me what experiences I have had which I go to therapy eternally to deal with, so I can be free of them, or, to at least not let them infect every day of my life or my children.

    If you can do those things, THEN you have the requisite information to make such comments which clearly demonstrate your own prejudice towards those YOU see as oppressive or ignorant.

    Maybe you can enlighten us as to how we can all become better human beings by following your lead.

    Congratulations! You have the distinct honor of being the first person this month to say something which pushed a button in me, and, to say the most ignorant thing to help further the divide you complain about experiencing. Surely, if you do this regularly, you can’t feel like a victim.

  34. TJ says:

    “In your opinion only black folks grasp oppression”

    Well, Davyne, don’t you know? Only black people have been slaves, been taken advantage of, put unfairly on death row, used for slave labor even in our “free” society, not seen as intelligent or worth enough to celebrate a college degree without some form of special assistance, sent into war to life-threatening situations rather than a desk job, and on and on, ad nauseum.

    Yeah, all those other folks working in sweat shops, or maids even here in America yet, and the numerous wounded warriors have no claim on oppression. And, don’t worry, all those who have been killed in many countries in many other holocausts beyond the Jews, well, that was just a little inconvenience.

    Jeesh, Davyne, educate yourself before you say such things. And, what do you mean venom? It’s all good. After all black folks can do whatever, and it’s all politically correct and has no effect on anyone else.

    Guess you better find another oppressed group to empathise with and to be the great savior to.

  35. cityemployee says:

    All I stating was that fact that the n word is insignificant in the grand scheme of things and I respect the fact some people don’t like the word but everyone has words they don’t particularly care for. My comments were not intended to be a black v. white thing because logical people of all races reject what the Republican fringe is doing. I found it strange that the n-word is a no-no when so many other “offensive” words are freely used but I was edited and if that’s the policy fine, but can we edit fuck, pussy,dick,etc. I repeat that I used the word to make the link between the birthers and their racial prejudices which are plain as day. I really could care less about you, your children, your therapy and the fact that you feel insulated because that was not the point of the post or my responses. The point I was making in the original post was fairly accurate because the questioning of the President’s birth is not based in fact it is based in racism,but you chose to make an issue about a word that you don’t like or use either by choice or social constraint, I will continue to use it but not here. You wanted your buttons pushed to have an excuse to demonstrate how open you are to all people but all people have their prejudices be it race, gender,religion,sexual orientation,education,class. This entire argument is a waste of both our time and efforts and there is is much more to life than arguing with people who we would probably never break bread with, worship with , acknowledge in public or have in each others home.

  36. TJ says:

    “I really could care less about you, your children, your therapy and the fact that you feel insulated because that was not the point of the post or my responses”

    It’s called the unintended consequences of our choices. I acccept your explanation, and, I am not offended at the word itself. I get your point, and it is good to challenge those who have the status quo responses. I think it’s important to face those challenges ourselves, as well. I am sorry you could “care less,” because it is in that very caring that conversations can happen (as off-beat as they may be) that change is possible and learning and openness can happen.

    I still find it interesting that you presume to tell me WHY my button was pushed. I have no hidden agendas. I pretty much say what I have to, off track or not. I learn along the way, and I learn from the responses of others. I find the human process fascinating, and that is why I chose to be a therapist. Engagement is more likely when there is a common ground, and, as long as you presume that you have the corner on whatever – well, you are shutting the door on some awesome opportunities to grow and learn from all of us…not, just us from you (which I would hope happens as well, in whatever form that takes).

    Am I open to all people? Not really, Honestly, I can talk with anyone, but I do not condone many racist or exploitive personalities and attitudes. I would not allow them around my children, nor, do I care to invest my time in someone who just wants to be hurtful.

    “than arguing with people who we would probably never break bread with, worship with , acknowledge in public or have in each others home”

    Why argue? We don’t have each others’ shoes (and, I’m not even into swapping hats, never mind shoes 😉 ). Every Wednesday, I break bread (literally) with an entirely diverse group of black, white, rich, poor, housed, unhoused, stable, mentally ill, young, old, etc. It is truly amazing and encouraging. I see what is possible.

    It sounds like you limit yourself.

    BTW, I’ve had many strangers through my doors. If you would like, let me know, and I will be happy to meet with you, have you over, share our space, meet my kids (although my teenage son may be more into the computer time, than socializing, as he is a bit introverted, although he is a highly intelligent guy), and share some food.

    Just know that my daughter and I have our blue belts in TKD, and my son is close behind us. So, no funny stuff ;-).

    Of course, perhaps YOU do not have an interest in really meeting, so you can continue to complain about how no one really understands (or, wants to).

    Mark Cates can tell you – I don’t bite. And, my hat’s a dead giveaway. Besides, many policemen and council members, city staff, etc., know me, so, you can always ask so you don’t think I’m from the “wrong side of the tracks,” so to speak…meaning, I won’t try to mug you.

    Your move.

  37. mcates says:

    I liked this comment:

    “Instead of getting so combative you should be encouraging people in your party to be more inclusive and do some real outreach to different types of voters. But that requires actual time, patience and a little hard work.”

    But do be careful… TJ bites. ; -)

  38. TJ says:

    “But do be careful… TJ bites. ; -)”


    Okay, so I have to ask: in what way are you using that word? As in: bite expressed as a way of saying “really don’t like it” (homework bites), or, in the literal way?

    Okay, but I had my rabies vaccine. 😉

  39. Gordon Smith says:

    Chris Mathews covers Meadows, Patterson – “dancing panderbears”.

  40. nick s says:

    Mark Cates may not be a birther, but he is what the teabag lexicon would call an afterbirther.