The big news this morning is that President Obama has released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate, perhaps (we hope) finally settling the (ridiculous) question of whether he was really born in the US and is thus a “natural born citizen,” qualified to be president. From CNN:
President Obama released his original birth certificate Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding the issue had become a “sideshow.”
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do,” said Obama.
The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.
“Over the last two and half years, I have watched with amusement. I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going,” Obama told reporters Wednesday.
I’m not sure which is more cynical or self-serving: that last statement of Obama’s or Donald Trump’s crow of victory and vindication:
Donald Trump, who helped drive questions over President Obama’s birth certificate, said the release Wednesday was a victory for him because he made the president act.
“I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue,” he said, though he said more investigation has to be done. “Now we have to look at it, see is it real, is it proper.”
Oh, please. Let’s get one thing straight: the only reason Obama finally released the birth certificate was that Trump was gaining traction with his grandstanding charges and private investigators, and so withholding it no longer served Obama’s purpose.
Yes, you read that right. When a desperate Hillary Clinton campaign first made the allegations of foreign birth during the Democratic primaries, the Obama campaign realized they had a gold mine on their hands. By refusing to release it, they knew it was like waving a red flag in front of conspiracy-theorist bulls — they wouldn’t be able to resist. Obama, Axelrod, Emanuel, Plouffe, and the rest knew they could use the Right-wing equivalent of 9/11 Truthers to tar legitimate opponents with the brush of lunacy, and they did just that. As William Jacobson wrote back in 2009:
Who are the primary beneficiaries of the conspiracy theory? Not the people pushing it; they remain on the fringe. Not the Republican party.
No, the primary beneficiary of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory is Obama. He is running the country into the ground at break-neck speed, but the conspiracy theory has handed Democratic operatives like Media Matters, Think Progress, and all the left-wing blogs which jump when the whistle blows, a great way of distracting the public from the damage being done.
So stop looking for the birth certificate, and start reading the health-care-reduction bill, the cap-and-tax fiasco bill, the unemployment numbers, the national debt and deficit analyses, and the latest Obama speech apologizing for who we are. And contact your Congressman and Senator and demand they read legislation, and give the public opportunity for comment, before they vote on it.
Well, two years later we now have the long-form certificate. Happy? Can we now get back to the serious matters of policy Professor Jacobson listed? Can we deal with real analysis of what shaped Obama’s character and political beliefs? Can we deal with the issues facing the nation with the seriousness they deserve(1)?
Barack Obama is on a fast-track to going down as one of the worst presidents of the last hundred years, and maybe even since the immortal trio of Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. The birth-certificate controversy has been a sucker’s trap for the Right and the gift that keeps on giving for Obama. Now that he’s released the certificate, can we let it go and concentrate on the real work of getting rid of the man who wants to fundamentally transform America… into Greece?
Let’s hope so.
(1) Some will never give up, sure that the released long form is a fake — a fake I say!! After all…