Take our newly deployed ambassador out of Damascus and proclaim our total solidarity with the “democratic revolutionaries.” Be honest, the birthers don’t know a democratic revolutionary in Syria from a Los Angeles Dodger, just like they don’t know democratic rebels in Libya from Gaddafi’s former cabinet minister, who is now leading the rebels. So, let’s say Obama gratifies the birthers and says all power to the Syrian people. And let’s say the Syrian people think that means the United States will support them and flood in the streets with renewed courage. And let’s say President Assad’s nasties kill them in droves. What do the birthers say Washington should do then? They say nothing. They just criticize Obama for not bellowing his everlasting support for the Syrian people whoever they might turn out to be. Remember, too, that Syria’s neighbors like Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel are not calling for American democratic orations.

Birthers apparently believe that it is undemocratic to be pragmatic, and that it is un-American to look at the full range of U.S. interests in these terribly complicated Mideast countries. But while they’re pounding the drums about Syria and Libya, at the moment, you don’t hear them yelling for Saudi Arabia to democratize. Apparently, the birthers draw the humanitarian line at America’s huge oil suppliers. Good. By the way, the Saudis draw their line in Bahrain, where a Shiite majority is trying to overturn a Sunni autocracy. The birthers keep pushing for more rhetoric pressure by Obama to democratize Bahrain. But why don’t they just come right out and say, yes, we’d run the risk of further alienating Riyadh to get democracy in Bahrain? They don’t say that. They just say beat up on the Saudis about Bahrain and completely ignore joining the broader policy issue.