The Birther Suplot: A Waste of Time

At my own blog I’ve already shared my annoyance with the Birthers.  For those of you not up to speed, “birthers” are those that doubt, to one degree or another, that President Obama was actually born in Hawaii, and who suggest, therefore, that he is constitutionally ineligible for the presidency.  To me it’s a silly conspiracy theory that doesn’t crack even a “1” on the credibly believable scale (and I am referring to the conspiracy being believable, not Obama’s family history).

Then there is what one might term the birther subplot.  There are those who don’t really doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, but who nonetheless insist that he release his long-form birth certificate.  Donald Trump has harped on this issue quite a lot as he embarks on a futile attempt to draw more attention to himself on a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency.  Long story short, Trump and others sense that Obama is hiding something.  The most common rumor is that the long-form certificate would (for some reason) indicate that he was a Muslim.  Commenter “The Man From K Street” offers a couple of other plausible theories on the blog “Est Quod Est”:

First (and to my mind the likeliest) — it will reveal what most people already have figured out: Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham were never actually married, let alone licitly (even a presumptive wedding would have been invalid as bigamous).

Second — there has been some speculation that BO Sr. might not have been the actual father. One alternative candidate in particular has been discussed in various parts of the net, but even if we saw the long form, this will probably stay graffiti on the bathroom wall of history forever.

Possibly.  And then there’s the conspiracy of the non-conspiracy, and Don alluded to it in the comments of my post.  Essentially Obama is dragging this thing out because he knows that the birth certificate contains nothing all that embarrassing, but by playing the story out it allows some of his opponents to look like complete loons.  Frankly, this would be my bet, and that gets to the heart of my annoyance with people like Trump.  Even if there is something on the birth certificate that is potentially slightly embarrassing, why should we care?  Nothing is going to have any bearing on his qualifications to be president.  The only theory that would be even partially troubling if true is that his religion is listed as “Muslim.”  Sure, it would create some tension because hard core Islamists view apostasy as punishable by death.  Well, yes, but my guess is those very same people who would seek to kill Obama because of his apostasy want him dead anyway.  And again, that really shouldn’t matter in the slightest when evaluating his worthiness to be re-elected.

At the risk of going back on my New Year’s resolution not to discuss the 2012 presidential race until Labor Day, I am going to have to side with Mitt Romney on this (something I might not be saying too often after Labor Day):

Mitt Romney forcefully said Tuesday night that he believes President Barack Obama was born in America and that “the citizenship test has been passed.”

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office,” Romney told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the day after he formally announced that he’s exploring a run for the White House. “The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn’t the reason why.”

As Ed Morrissey adds:

The 2012 election should hinge on real issues and deep questions about Barack Obama’s ability to handle the office.  The freak show is a distraction that damages the serious nature of Obama’s opposition — and don’t think the media isn’t eating it up, either.

Indeed.

Update: As if to bolster my point, I would think that Obama being a demagogic manchild incapable of serious governance is enough reason to oppose him that we don’t need to manufacture stuff.

73 Responses to The Birther Suplot: A Waste of Time

  • Only a logical person would question why he sealed ALL his records including his birth cert. Look, this guy came out of nowhere and became the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Is there anyone here who believes that just anyone can become president? No, boys and girls, only those groomed for the job. Obama does not pass the smell test and could put many “thoughts” to rest by just presenting the asked for documentation.

    Frankly i am annoyed with the sheeppeople in this country…

  • As conspiracy theories go, this one is pretty lame. I still want to know who was actually on the grassy knoll in Dallas, where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, what happened to Amelia Earhart and Judge Crater, and whether “spontaneous human combustion” can ever been scientifically verified.
    : )

  • http://patdollard.com/2010/08/cnn-poll-only-42-of-americans-believe-obama-is-a-citizen-only-23-of-republicans/

    a cnn poll no doubt!

    only 42% of Americans believe BO is an American citizen….. if it was truly a honest poll and not one of the left wing it would probably be well over 50%…

    Thank God for logic ….

  • Angie said: “he sealed ALL his records including his birth cert. ”

    Obama did not seal any of his records. He published the official and only birth certificate of Hawaii, and the facts on it were confirmed by THREE Republican officials. As for school, college and graduate school transcripts, his parents’s marriage license, etc, Obama does not have to publish them. They are not sealed, they are simply private. No president has ever shown all these records, and none have shown school transcripts or college transcripts (a few were leaked by colleges, but the candidate or president did not show them).

    IF, however, in the next election the Republican candidate shows her or his college records, parents’ marriage license, etc., then Obama is likely to do so too.

  • He published the official and only birth certificate of Hawaii, and the facts on it were confirmed by THREE Republican officials.

    I’m not sure that is true. I think he released an unsigned “certificate of live birth”, not his actual, signed long-form birth certificate.

    I rather suspect that the “birther subplot” is where the actual facts lie: that is, Obama was born in Hawaii but is concealing his long form birth certificate – and all sorts of other personal information – because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. Of course that is just speculation though — my own gut feeling if you will.

    For a guy who wrote two autobiographies before he had accomplished much of note Obama is really, really cagey about actual, detailed personal data.

    In short, I think Lawrence Auster’s take on the issue is about right: Obama is clearly hiding something or somethings, and while it is unreasonable to jump to conclusions – after all, the central point is what we don’t know because Obama has chosen to hide it – it is not at all unreasonable to ask, and persist in asking, just what he is hiding and why.

  • Re: “I’m not sure that is true. I think he released an unsigned “certificate of live birth”, not his actual, signed long-form birth certificate.”

    Answer: The unsigned short-form CerificaTION of Live Birth is the official birth certificate of Hawaii. Thousands of people use it every year to get their US passports. It is not supposed to be signed or to have the name of the hospital or the doctor because it is the short-form, which many if not most states have adopted.

    Re: :’Obama was born in Hawaii but is concealing his long form birth certificate – and all sorts of other personal information – because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. Of course that is just speculation though — my own gut feeling if you will.”

    Answer: There are two reasons why he does not release the long form. The first is that the short-form is the official birth certificate now, and hence is the RIGHT form to release. The second is that Hawaii does not release the long-form anymore, to ANYONE, and it hasn’t since 2001.

    http://archives.starbulletin.com/content/20090606

    Re your speculation: “because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. ”

    The way to find out if this is true or not is to search online for a copy of someone else’s long form Hawaii birth certificate, and check on it whether or not there are places on the form to enter anything that COULD be politically damaging, such as religion (No) or whether or not his parents were married (No). It does include spaces for the hospital name, name of the doctor, etc–but these are not likely to be politically damaging.

    So, birthers claim that there must be a difference between the words actually entered on the original and the ones on the published birth certificate. They claim, for example, that Obama’s real father was Frank Davis, or Malcolm X, or that his race is listed as “white” or “negro”–and the clerk changed the words to Obama and African. But that is not the way that it works. The clerk simply copies the data from the original. The name of the father is the same, and the race listing of “African” is what is on the original too. (Some people say that that is not a race, but the officials in Hawaii have repeatedly said that folks are allowed to describe their race anyway that they want.)

    Re: “For a guy who wrote two autobiographies before he had accomplished much of note Obama is really, really cagey about actual, detailed personal data.”

    So? Most politicians are. Clinton said that he didn’t inhale. Obama said that he did.

    Re: “Obama is clearly hiding something or somethings…”

    If you feel that Obama has hidden more of his background than the Republican candidate in the next election, vote for the Republican. Or, vice versa. Has Pawlenty shown a birth certificate? Romney? Were their parents married? Can they prove it? Did they inhale?

  • Obama wants the birther meme going 24/7.

    It’s distraction and misdirection from his 24/7 failures. Failures that even his imebecilic worshippers cannot cover up.

    Did anyone listen to todays deficit LIE-ARAMA?

    Let’s go to the video tape. In February 2009, your “demagogic manchild” told a crowd of useless dolts that he was going cut in half the federal deficit. He tripled the federal deficit in his first year. Math is not his (or any idiot liberal’s: I repeat myself again) strength. Probably a reason he won’t release his university transcripts.

    I know he was born. I don’t care about whatever embarrassing facts are in the real birth certificate.

    And I don’t want to see the embarrassing stuff in his university transcripts and his medical records that he has spent millions to keep under wraps.

    I want to see him vacate the White House in early 2013.

    Else, prepare ye for the zombie apocalypse.

  • The Birther rubbish is idiocy on steroids. Obama gets his American citizenship from his mother. It doesn’t matter where he was born. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and that did not make him a non-citizen. Knaves are making money on this non-issue by getting fools to contribute money to them on the basis of this complete folderol.

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 I’m not a lawyer but I think it makes it illegal to uncover Obama’s past!

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/obama/presidential.html

  • Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:

    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:

    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001401—-000-.html

    I do wish loons would leave the law to people who know something about it.

  • Granite:

    yes he did seal ALL his records…. note the above commit…

    we do not even know what classes he took or if he even passed all his classes … if you are going on his word then i have some beach front property in AZ i would love to sell you… ;)

  • Don, perhaps it’s a sideshow and irrelevant but it provides much entertainment in a political scene laden with dullness. Can anyone imagine anyone duller than Mitt Romney?

    And this “debate” over the budget and debt is tiresome. What matters how much money the U.S. owes? I’d say the creditors have a bigger problem than the debtors. There was a time when America was owed all the money and few paid back. Now we owe all the money and are worried about default?

    Let the Chinese sue if we skip a payment. Who cares? We can always print more money.

    We’re a long way before U.S. dollars become Weimar reichmarks.

    But if you want to balance the budget, here’s a way:
    1. Close half the U.S. military bases abroad. They’re not needed.
    2. End the wars, close Gitmo and cancel all military orders for new fighter jets, carriers and other weaponry, which are superfluous.
    3. Abolish the Dept. of Energy, Homeland Security, the Dept. of Education and dump 500,000 deadweight government employees from the payroll. Pension em out at one-quarter pay.
    4. Stop all Medicare fraud, end the food stamp program, funding for Planned Parenthood, NPR, National Endowment for the Arts and every other wasteful nanny state outlays that previously were none of the government’s business.
    5. Turn the unspent TARP money back into the U.S. Treasury.
    6. Dump the income tax totally. Make everyone pay 20 percent flat tax, and 1 percent national sales tax. Abolish the IRS and just deduct it from paychecks.

    There, I just balanced the budget.

    I’d run for President, but I wouldn’t want to live in the White House. I’d rather just be a king with a sharp axe. :: )

  • “What matters how much money the U.S. owes? I’d say the creditors have a bigger problem than the debtors” — Joe Green

    You’d be wrong then. See Argentina, Post-WWI & -WWII Germany, Russia, and Yugoslavia for starters. America will have a problem if we don’t pay off the debts we owe to foreign nations.

    On Topic, the Birther Conspiracy is a farce. Even if it were true that he wasn’t born in the US, his mother is American therefore he is American. My personal thought is that Birthers are just idiots who want to keep the complaining about Obama in the news so that people will vote him out.

  • I disagree on the issue of debtor vs creditor for..

    Tell China too bad and if they do not want to play, good! we do not need China or anyone else for that matter. The truth is we cannot pay this off and we are going to do some suffering for it sooner or latter so lets make it sooner and get it over with. We have the technology, materials and all the resources to make everything we need and then some. We have been borrowing money from China to buy their junk. Who has benefited, not the USA. Jobs have been bleeding from here for years thereby reducing the actual middle class.. actual yes for government has grown and secured wages that surpassed the private sectors for years buy guess what… to work government must be a fraction of the private sector… Now we are waking up and realizing our middle class is all but gone and that boys and girls is what defines an economic power…. if we continue on the road we are on the UDS will not be around in 4 years ….

  • There is a question on whether Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, renounced her citizenship. If that is true then there is a constructional issue on Obama being a legitimate president and whether anything he signed acting as president is valid. There is also then a question of who else knew about this and therefore crimes perpetrated against the Unites States of America. This could in fact be treason which is punishable by hanging.

    Now for the questions…..
    When Obama went to school in Indonesian he HAD to be a Indonesian citizen to attend school there.

    Soetoro is the name on Obama’s Birth Certificate (BC) because a new BC was issued when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, his step-father. His original BC, which assumed was issued for Barack Hussein Obama at birth, would have been sealed at the time of the adoption. At the time of adoption his mother would have renounced her citizenship.

    His mother was not found of this country and it is not far fetch to believe she renounce her citizenship. Barry Soetoro probably acquired Indonesian citizenship in approximately 1965-1966, and may still hold it.

    Also, Prior to 2007, Indonesian law did not permit dual citizenship. Thus, if Obama actively kept his Indonesian citizenship, his US citizenship could be challenged.

    Why the refusal to open his college transcripts…. Foreign aid….. they had a ball smack-talking about Bush and Pailn’s records and even Gore who was a flunk out in college made his public yet BO keeps his sealed…… why one runs for public office how much privacies does one expect… not much..

  • Complete rubbish. After his birth it matters not one whit if Obama’s mother renounced her citizenship.

    “F. RENUNCIATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN

    Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.”

    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html

  • Angie said: “EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 I’m not a lawyer but I think it makes it illegal to uncover Obama’s past!”

    You are wrong. It actually makes it harder than a similar executive order issued by Bush for presidents and former presidents to seal their records. And, it does not apply to state records or college records or private records or corporate records, or any records except to the federal presidential records of presidents and former presidents.

  • Angie said:

    “When Obama went to school in Indonesian he HAD to be a Indonesian citizen to attend school there.

    Soetoro is the name on Obama’s Birth Certificate (BC) because a new BC was issued when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, his step-father…”

    None of this is true. The allegation that you had to be an Indonesian citizen to attend school there comes only from a birther site. You can check on whether or not it is true by calling the Indonesian Embassy. It’s not true, and while you are there you can ask whether Obama was adopted while in Indonesia (he wasn’t) had his name officially changed to Soetoro (no, but he did use the name, but that is not illegal) or whether he became a citizen of Indonesia (he didn’t) or had an Indonesian passport (no on that too).

  • Angie said: “we do not even know what classes he took or if he even passed all his classes …”

    Answer: There is no law that says that a president or a presidential candidate must show his school or college records. Unless and until there is such a law, they have the same privacy rights as everyone else. However, it is your right not to vote for someone who has not show sufficient background information. The result of this will be that IF in the next election the Republican candidate shows school and college classes and the grades, etc–then Obama is likely to do so too.

  • The birther subplot does not alter the fact that Obama is the worst president in the history of the United States of America.

  • “When” and “if” his mother her citizenship is important and the question of Obama renouncing his citizenship is also important. Those of you here accepting these lairs at their word are beyond ignorant. To not even question all the inconsistency shows that you are easy marks. Does anyone here even care about the US Constitution or the fact that this county is so divided? No wonder you do not get much traffic here. Mark my words the sh__ is going to hit the fan soon… first Spain will pull down Europe and then the US will fall…. but you will have your minions of ostriches … good luck to you …..

  • Angie, with you we see the “birther” mindset in all its ignorant glory. You know nothing about the law or the facts and yet you pontificate on the subject. This is only a distraction from the myriad of substantive reasons to oppose Obama and his worthless administration. Obama is clearly a natural born citizen, through his mother, wherever he was born. He never took the steps necessary under law to renounce his citizenship. Those who waste their time on this dryhole of a non-issue help Obama and his supporters by allowing them to attempt to tar all opponents with the type of nutball accusation that is truthfully applicable to the rabid “birthers”.

  • Don, it would seem to me that Angie raises some interesting legal points to which you, as a lawyer, appear to dismiss as sheer “ignorance” or a mere “distraction.” While I agree that it is a horse that has been well beaten, it also is a fact that the horse is not quite dead yet — and for good reason.

    If, indeed, it were ever to be proven that Obama was not a naturalized U.S. citizen and hence had been unqualified to be President that would be the biggest political story in U.S. history and its most shameful.

    Now, in a land in which you are presumed innocent and the burden of proof lies with the accuser (except in the case of airport security and the IRS and a few other things in which guilt is presumed), then it seems to me that trying to uncover “evidence” in the birther matter is virtually impossible since the only exculpatory evidence would be the genuine document attesting to his birth in U.S. You can’t prove a negative, so only the actual birth certificate will end all discussion. As for school records, it’s clear Obama might have scored as high as C- (giving him considerable benefit of the doubt).

    One other point, as shown in the fictional case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce in Dickens’ Bleak House dragged on for generations in England’s Chancery Court without resolution, which fueled reform in that nation’s cumbersome and often unworkable legal system.

    As a lawyer, for no other reason than guaranteed continuous remuneration and having an pecuniary interest in seeing matters unresolved to your benefit, it would seem that further legal inquiry in the birther issue would afford some barrister a nice living (present company excluded, of course), for I believe, Don, you are a man of integrity who believes in the true meaning of justice. Still, time has been billed for more trivial legal pursuits no doubt with little harm to clients except for lightening their pockets. : )

  • Joe, it is legally impossible for Obama to be a non natural born citizen unless he took the steps subsequent to his birth necessary to renounce his American citizenship. There is zilch evidence that he ever did that. To be quite blunt, Angie has raised no interesting legal points, but mere conspiracy mongering garbage. There is far too much of that on the internet, and The American Catholic will have no part in that. If Angie persists in doing that, she will be banned by me from this blog, since TAC will not provide a forum for that type of pernicious nonsense.

  • “Angie, with you we see the “birther” mindset in all its ignorant glory.”

    Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?

  • Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them, I’ve already gone and banned her, Don.

  • This distraction/misdirection/waste of energy and time does nothing to assuage the American people’s miseries: high food and fuel costs, high unemployment, and despair.

    Gallup: “Obama’s Approval Drops Below 50 Percent Among Poorest Americans; No Longer Enjoys Majority Approval In Any Income Class.”

    The natural born requirement was emplaced in the Constitution so that no foreign idea or cults of personality could come here and ruin the country. If it had been enforced the “demagogue manchild”; his unlawful czars; and his 40,000,000-strong horde of abortionists, guv employees, traitors, union thugs, etc. would not be destroying the country and our way of life.

    Obama must go.

  • Jasper asked: “Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?”

    A question for you first. Did you see Bush’s birth certificate or Clinton’s? How about Bush41. Reagan’s is in his library, but it was not published before or while he was president. Same for Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, Etc.

    So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate. However, you can do it voluntarily, as Obama and Trump have.

    The birth certificate that Obama has shown, known as the Certification of Live Birth, is the official birth certificate of Hawaii, and has been since 2001. It is the only birth certificate that Hawaii sends out, even to people born before 2001. Thousands of people use it to get their US passports every year.

    The Wall Street Journal said:

    “The birthers have also misrepresented the law in the claims they have made about Obama’s birth certificate. In truth, Obama has proved that he is a native of Hawaii, and this proof would hold up in any legal or administrative proceeding.

    In order to explain the birthers’ deception on this point, it is necessary to delve into the arcana of Hawaiian vital records. The document that Obama has released, which carries the title “certification of live birth,” confirms that the president was born in Honolulu. It is a legal birth certificate, and, as the Honolulu Star-Bulletin notes, it is the only kind of birth certificate the state of Hawaii issues….

    Further, if Congress were to pass the so-called birther bill, Obama would be able to comply easily. The bill would require presidential campaigns to submit “a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate” to the Federal Election Commission. The certificate Obama has released publicly would meet this requirement.”

  • Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them…

    It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  • It does include spaces for the hospital name, name of the doctor, etc–but these are not likely to be politically damaging.

    That is as much mere speculation – that revealing those details would not lead to any politically damaging inquiry – as is “birther” speculation, or my own speculation that Obama is in fact a natural born citizen. The reason why it is mere speculation is because of Obama himself: because he has blocked access to those details.

    I mean, folks may be right that the birther issue is a “distraction” — as if that observation were somehow different from ‘”shut up”, he explained’ — and they may be right that the birther issue politically damages elephants more than asses, etc etc. I couldn’t care less about those contentions, which is why I didn’t comment on them.

    The fact remains that Obama is hiding the details of his birth, and it is not unreasonable, it doesn’t turn one into a raving lunatic, to ask why he is doing that or even to further contend that he ought to reveal those details.

    If the anti-birther crowd (I am neither pro- nor anti-birther, any more than I am pro- or anti- “Battlestar Galactica fan”) were willing to openly concede that Obama is deliberately hiding the details of his birth, and it his deliberate witholding of information that is the cause of controversy, but… well that would be an honest discussion. As it is, all the contempt heaped upon “birthers” just signals, to me if to nobody else, a fundamental dishonesty on the part of anti-birthers: an attempt to paint those who disagree as raving loons. (Granting, of course, that given any position X there are virtually always raving loons who agree with X).

    As I said, I fully expect that Obama was born in Hawaii — and even if not, that he is a natural born citizen, fully and unambiguously eligible for the presidency. That is my speculation — which is as supported/unsupported, given the deliberate withholding of detailed facts by Obama, as any other speculation.

  • Granite1,

    Ok, I take your word for it. Thanks

  • So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.

    If I take (say) Lawrence Auster as an example of the “birther subplot” – that is, those who expect that Obama is in fact eligible for the presidency, but wont just shut up and go away the way the author of this post would like them to shut up and go away – then this is a straw man. Auster for one has never (that I have seen) contended that Obama is legally required to reveal the details of his birth, nor that presidential candidates in general have done so.

    One problem with trying to paint those who disagree with you about something as raving loons is that you almost inevitably end up attacking all sorts of straw men.

  • Speaking of strawmen:

    those who expect that Obama is in fact eligible for the presidency, but wont just shut up and go away the way the author of this post would like them to shut up and go away

    One problem with trying to paint those who disagree with you about something as raving loons

    I don’t believe that Trump and his ilk are themselves loons, nor do I say that they should shut up and go away (well, maybe Trump, but not for this). I simply think it’s a waste of time and that nothing meaningful can be revealed by pursuing this. I think that pressing the issue will allow them to be portrayed as loons, but I’m not suggesting that they are.

    Now Angie and those of her stripe who out and out suggest that Obama is not a natural born citizen – yeah, I think that’s loony.

  • I simply think it’s a waste of time and that nothing meaningful can be revealed by pursuing this.

    Fair enough. That is your mere speculation, though, resting on the same quicksand of absent facts – caused by Obama’s choice to hide the details, again despite being the sort of personal exhibitionist who twice authors supposedly intimate autobiographies before he had done much of anything – as the speculations of those with whom you disagree.

    Your anti-speculation is no better founded than the speculations of those against whom you argue. And the reason why everyone’s speculations are equally useless is because of Obama-the-exhibitionist’s deliberate choice to hide the detailed facts.

  • The problem isn’t where Obama was whelped. It’s he is ruining the country.

    Jobless rates “surprisingly” increased in today’s report; inflation raises prices on necessities.

    Only 45.4% of Americans held jobs in 2010, the lowest since 1983 and down from 49.3% in 2000.

    A redux of Carter’s ruinous regime is the best case scenario, a miracle.

    “Manchild Demagogue” spends three times as much as Dubya: blames Dubya.

    “Eat the Rich” Department:

    Americans prefer spending decreases to tax increases by 50% margin: three to two.

    Gallup: Obama’s Approval Drops Below 50 Percent Among Poorest Americans; No Longer Enjoys Majority Approval In Any Income Class.

    “So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.”

    The AZ legisalture is about to make proof of Constitutional eligibility to be President a requirement to be included on the ballot in AZ.

    Obama must go.

  • Bob said: “because he has blocked access to those details.”

    Answer: No he didn’t. Hawaii does not send out the original birth certificate anymore. That was Hawaii’s decision, back in 2001, when it decided not to send out the long-form birth certificate anymore, and since then it hasn’t, not even to people who were born before 2001.

    Re: “The fact remains that Obama is hiding the details of his birth..”

    Answer. Once again, no he hasn’t. It is Hawaii that does not send out the original birth certificate anymore.

    Re: “If the anti-birther crowd…were willing to openly concede that Obama is deliberately hiding the details of his birth.”

    We do not and cannot because it is Hawaii that does not send out the original birth certificate to anyone. ANYONE.

    Re: “As I said, I fully expect that Obama was born in Hawaii…’

    Answer. So do I, based on the birth certificate, the confirmation of the officials in Hawaii (Three officials, three times, all Republicans), the notices in the Hawaii newspapers, which were not ads by the way, this witness who recalls being told of Obama’s birth in Hawaii, in Kapiolani Hospital, in 1961:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article137495.ece

    And the absence of any US travel document indicating that Obama traveled in 1961. (If a child were in fact born in a foreign country, she or he would need a US visa or to be entered on the mother’s US passport to get to the USA)–which has not been found for Obama.

    I expect that you need proof that Hawaii does not send out copies of the long form birth certificate to ANYONE:

    http://archives.starbulletin.com/content/20090606

    And:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42519951/ns/politics-

  • TShaw said: “So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.”

    The AZ legisalture is about to make proof of Constitutional eligibility to be President a requirement to be included on the ballot in AZ. ”

    Answer: Yes that may pass. My point was that there was none so far, so Bush and Clinton did not break any laws by not showing their birth certificates.

    IF Arizona does indeed pass that law, then the most that it can do is require Obama to show the official birth certificate of Hawaii, which is the one that he has already shown. Yes, I know that the bill still says “long-form,” but that is unconstitutional under the US Constitution’s full faith and credit clause. Under that clause every state must accept the official documents of all other states.

    So, it may have to go to court. If it does, there is no question that the courts will rule that Arizona must accept Hawaii’s official birth certificate, which is the Certification of Live Birth.

  • “Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them, I’ve already gone and banned her, Don.”

    Bravo Paul!

    “Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?”

    Well Jasper I’ve already cited the law that makes Obama a natural born citizen and I will cite it again:

    “Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:

    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:

    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/usc_sec_08_00001401—-000-.html

    I am quite familiar with this law, and not only because I am an attorney. My brother was born in Saint John’s Newfoundland to my American Father and my then Canandian (She later became a naturalized American citizen) Mother. Out of curiosity I looked up the law on the subject years before I became an attorney and I know this aspect of the law by heart.

  • Ironically, Romney’s father who ran for the Republican nomination in 1968 was born in Mexico but it didn’t matter because his parents were US citizens, making him a natural born citizen.

    Obama’s father was not a US citizen so if he wasn’t born in the US he wouldn’t be a natural born citizen.

    My cousin went to school in Indonesia without being an Indonesian citizen.

  • “Obama’s father was not a US citizen so if he wasn’t born in the US he wouldn’t be a natural born citizen.”

    Untrue RR. See the statute I cited prior to your comment.

  • Donald,

    Ok, I believe you.

  • Obama’s mother was a citizen, so I believe that would make him a NBC regardless (hence the wacky theory that his mother renounced her citizenship prior to Obama’s birth).

  • Bear in mind also, there is, so far as I know, absolutely no evidence that Obama’s mother ever went to Kenya, and given that Obama Sr. had another wife back in Kenya that Ms. Dunham didn’t know about, that seems unlikely.

  • Bob said: “because he has blocked access to those details.”

    Answer: No he didn’t.

    Are you suggesting that Obama does not know and is not capable of finding out the details of his own birth?

    I suppose that is another possibility; though how believable a possibility is another matter.

  • So, Obama, Sr. had two wives at the same????

    He was married to Stanley and another woman in Kenya????

    Kenyan citizens are legally permitted to retain two wives???

    Now, I understand. It is all perfectly clear.

  • All of this is just a PR boon for Obama. First, it makes his opponents look like nuts, but it also brings to the forefront Obama’s most sympathetic qualities. Any embarrassing information on Obama’s birth certificate would be no fault of his own, but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood. One of the few things I can say I admire about Obama is the fact that he overcame a difficult past and is, as far as I can tell, a devoted family man. That’s truly a wonderful thing. You can’t say that about Bill Clinton. I think all Americans are naturally sympathetic to someone with humble beginnings who then succeeds. As opponents of Obama, we need to concentrate on his numerous policy shortcomings, and not farfetched accidents of his birth.

  • Paul, it could very well be argued that good breeding matters a great deal. Objectively examining Obama’s parentage and extended family tree, one is hard-pressed to locate sturdy limbs upon which to hang the utmost confidence. That’s putting it as delicately as I can.

  • but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood. One of the few things I can say I admire about Obama is the fact that he overcame a difficult past and is, as far as I can tell, a devoted family man. That’s truly a wonderful thing. You can’t say that about Bill Clinton.

    Calling his upbringing ‘tragic’ is de trop. By what accounts have appeared in the papers, Ann Dunham could be described as an odd, erratic and self-centered creature and the effects of this certainly tainted the lives of the people around her (both children, her parents, and her 2d husband). By the age of 35, she had taken two trips through the divorce courts and subcontracted the rearing of her son to her parents. That having been said, the life BO lead in Honolulu was (in material terms) agreeably bourgeois and there is little indication that any of the adults in his domestic milieux were given to the sort of cruelty that Roger Clinton visited on his sons or Hugh Rodham on his.

  • Don, you’re right. I misread the end of the statute about military service as a conditional.

  • Thank you for providing the following, Mr. McClarey:

    Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:
    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:
    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    Do you have any legal considerations to offer us regarding Obama’s Connecticut Social Security number?

  • First, it makes his opponents look like nuts, but it also brings to the forefront Obama’s most sympathetic qualities. Any embarrassing information on Obama’s birth certificate would be no fault of his own, but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood.

    If that were true, though, it seems it would motivate Obama to release the information rather than hide it, as he has done. So it seems likely that the qualities in question aren’t sympathetic – at least in the sense of inspiring support for him rather than undermining him politically, for whatever reason.

    Perhaps the argument is that whatever the facts turned out to be, no matter what they are, those facts ought to inspire sympathy and thus political support, given an ideally virtuous electorate. But an ideally virtuous electorate would never have elected Obama in the first place, so I’m not sure what that is supposed to prove; and in any event it is far from clear that it is wise, let alone virtuous, to willfully ignore a president’s formation and upbringing.

  • President Obama’s mother was a US citizen.

    She was permanently resident in the United States before his birth.

    She was permanently resident in the United States after his birth.

    Thus

    The President is a natural born United States Citizen if he was born in Hawaii, Kenya, Antarctica, the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the far side of the moon, or Alpha Centauri.

    Since the Courts would hold that for any Tom Dick or Harry in the same situation, I have no doubt that they would hold it for President Obama.

  • I’m not suggesting that someone’s upbringing is irrelevant to one’s character, but by continually bringing it up it makes Obama’s opponents look like jerks. He should be judged on his actions and stated beliefs, not his mother’s erratic behavior. Also simply growing up without material want doesn’t mean that he did not have a tragic childhood. As the child of multiple divorces, I’ve felt this personally.

    I vehemently oppose Obama politically, but I would hope that I would never fall into the trap of some of Bush’s detractors who seem to find everything about the man objectionable, sinister, or evil. It’s bad strategy and spiritually unhealthy.

    Bob, I honestly don’t think there is anything to be revealed, embarrassing or sympathy inducing. By delaying, Obama keeps the focus away from his actual record, and on this kookie issue.

  • I honestly don’t think there is anything to be revealed, embarrassing or sympathy inducing.

    And again, this is no better or worse a speculation than birther speculations, because we don’t have the facts; and the reason we don’t have the facts is that Barack “two autobiographies in his forties even though he did nothing of note” Obama, the exhibitionist, who has continually made a political symbol of his personal childhood and upbringing, is deliberately hiding those facts.

    What birthers and anti-birthers have in common is that they both assume that they know the implications of the deliberately-hidden facts about Obama’s childhood. Birthers think those unknown facts make Obama unqualified to be president under the Constitution; anti-birthers think those unknown facts are irrelevant. The “birther subplot” which is being criticized in this post seems to me to be frankly the only reasonable position: that is, we don’t know the facts, and we don’t know them precisely because Obama, who has deliberately made a political symbol out of his childhood, refuses to reveal the facts about his politically symbolic childhood.

    I suppose we might say that there is an “anti-birther subplot” at work too. An unspoken premise of the anti-birther subplot is that it is an unreasonable and embarrassing waste of time to press any issue which is presumed (without factual basis) to be unimportant.

    Under the anti-birther subplot, pressing the issue – the fact – that Obama-who-made-his-childhood-a-political-symbol-and-wrote-two-autobiographies-by-the-time-he-was-in-his-forties-and-won-the-presidency-on-that-narrative, refuses to reveal the details of his own childhood – is unreasonable and embarrassing.

    I don’t think either birtherism or anti-birtherism (as defined in this thread) are at all reasonable, because both presume to know facts which we do not in fact know, and we don’t know them because Obama is deliberately hiding them. And I don’t find the “shut up, he explained” or “pressing any issue which is not the most important issue is a foolish waste of time” narrative of the anti-birther-subplot, as typified by this blog post, to be particularly reasonable either.

    The more I think about it, the most defensible position seems to be the “birther subplot” position: we don’t know the facts because Obama, who deliberately made a political symbol of his own childhood, is deliberately preventing us from knowing them. Furthermore, as human beings we are perfectly capable of talking about and pressing more than one issue. Pressing some particular issue doesn’t mean it is the most important issue, so the contention that pressing this issue from the standpoint of the “birther subplot” is a waste of time, is pish-posh.

  • PHOENIX — The Arizona Legislature gave final approval late Thursday night to a proposal that would require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state’s ballot.

  • Also simply growing up without material want doesn’t mean that he did not have a tragic childhood. As the child of multiple divorces, I’ve felt this personally.

    There is a distinction between ‘disagreeable in some aspects’ and ‘tragic’.

  • Bob,

    There are literally dozens of reasons that Obama is unfit for office. Harping on a stupid non-issue like this is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. In fact I now regret even bringing up the issue because it’s an even bigger waste of time and energy discussing what a complete waste of time and energy it is. Who cares if his mother was unmarried or his father was a louse or anything that might be on the long-form certificate? It is irrelevant to the fact that the man is: a demagogue unserious about tackling the financial issues facing this nation, is the biggest enemy of the unborn ever to occupy the White House, has absolutely no idea how to conduct foreign policy, lies with practically every breath he takes, and seeks to socialize the economy to an extent heretofore unseen. Oh, but there maybe kinda possibly be sort of something that is not good on his birth certificate. Who. Freaking. Cares.

  • Thanks Don. I will grant that the Birthers have absolutely nothing on the Trig Truthers. Now that is some unhinged crazy.

  • Z: Thanks for bumping that comment.

  • Rah!, rah!, facts are a waste of time! woo-hoo!

    I’ll have what you guys are drinking.

  • What “facts” have you presented, Bob? Do you think that ranting and raving is somehow proof of your argument?

    Unreal.

  • Every time you use the term “waste”, “ranting”, “raving”, “crazy”, “who cares”, or “unhinged”, you have to drink.

  • Right Bob, using strong adjectives is the same thing as making unsupportable claims and stating them as fact.

    I’m done with this.

  • I think it was Rochefoucauld who said that arguments would not last long if the fault were on only one side.

  • I rather think Rochefoucauld did not have deranged conspiracy nuts in mind when he made that statement Joe. :)

  • Don’t forget that “birther” itself is a play on “truther”, the term for the (generally left leaning) people who insist that 9/11 was an “inside job” plotted, or at the very least allowed to happen, by the Bush Administration. I guess “-ther” has become the suffix of choice to designate crackpot conspiracy theories just as “-gate” is for political scandals.

    Another one of Trump’s supremely idiotic statements on the birther issue was his assertion that the birth announcements which appeared in the Honolulu newspapers were paid advertisements placed by his grandparents in an attempt to make little Barry appear to be a U.S. citizen and thereby gain the benefits of citizenship.

    It may be true TODAY that people have to pay to publish birth announcements (or wedding announcements, or obituaries). However, routine publication of birth announcements in newspapers (along with hospital admissions and discharges) was a common practice in small towns and small- to medium-size cities prior to the advent of medical privacy laws and concerns about child abduction and identity theft.

    My own birth and that of my older brother (nearly the same age as Obama) was announced in the local newspaper in precisely the same format as was Obama’s — “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe (Jane Smith), 123 Elm Street, Anytown, girl, Saturday, St. Mary’s.” In the 1960s hospitals automatically provided this information to local newspapers unless the parents specifically requested that it NOT be published.

  • “However, routine publication of birth announcements in newspapers (along with hospital admissions and discharges) was a common practice in small towns and small- to medium-size cities prior to the advent of medical privacy laws and concerns about child abduction and identity theft.”

    Quite right Elaine. In my own small town newspaper this is still the case. I almost think Trump, bad hair piece+big ego, is a mole attempting to get Obama re-elected.

  • As with many arguments, this one (referring to “anti-birther-subplot” as opposed to “anti-birther”) seems to suffer from an utter incapacity to accurately paraphrase what you are arguing against.

  • Actually Bob I think it’s quite simple. Birthers are either fools or knaves who either have no knowledge of the relevant law and facts or deliberately choose to ignore the relevant law and facts. Nothing complicated about it.

  • Actually Bob I think it’s quite simple. Birthers are either fools or knaves who either have no knowledge of the relevant law and facts or deliberately choose to ignore the relevant law and facts. Nothing complicated about it.

    Don: you prove my point just about perfectly with that post.

    All of my own discussion in this post has been about the “birther subplot,” not “birtherism” proper. I explicitly rejected the “birther” position above, which you would know if you were putting even the slightest effort into making an accurate paraphrase.

    I get it, though. This post wasn’t about substantive discussion; it was just a rant. And hey, everyone needs a little rant now and then.

    Enjoy the hothouse, boys!

  • “I get it, though. This post wasn’t about substantive discussion; it was just a rant. And hey, everyone needs a little rant now and then.”

    No Bob, this post was to indicate that Birtherism is a complete dead end. Your meandering contribution did help substantiate that point, so very good show Bob!

  • I believe we have reached the end of the useful life of this thread.

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