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.
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.