Opinion

The birther movement is President Obama’s fault

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Tommy De Seno
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      Tommy De Seno

      Tommy De Seno is a political columnist with the <a href="http://trinews.com/contact.htm">triCityNews</a> in New Jersey, a Fox News Forum Contributor and editor of the blog <a href="http://justifiedright.typepad.com/">Justified Right</a>.

The strange case of Governor Abercrombie: This mess speaks for itself. When Abercrombie resurrected this issue in December, I felt bad for the president. I pictured President Obama, face planted firmly in palm, mumbling, “What a dolt.” The story here, which extends the life of the issue, is that in 8 days of searching, Abercrombie could not find the long-form birth certificate (which confirms that Fukino didn’t see it either). He said he saw something “written down.” Yeah? What?

School records: To show I’m fair to both sides, I’ll oppose the birthers on this one. Sure his grammar school records show that he was enrolled as an Indonesian Muslim, but some people will say anything to get their kid in the right school. It doesn’t really answer the question. Nor does his failure to release his college records mean much. That’s common. John Kerry, the left’s intellectual hero, kept his records secret until after the election to hide that he had a lower grade point average than George Bush.

Back to the question of money. I hope this question finds its way to the president. It is premised on the fact that money is important, and people will behave in a way to preserve their own money.

President Obama has defended numerous lawsuits to force him to release his 1961 long-form birth certificate. No one but the president knows how much, but some estimates have it as high as $1.7 million.

But he could win each lawsuit for free. Just show the court the 1961 long-form birth certificate. Case dismissed. FOR FREE!

The question is: Why would President Obama spend thousands if not millions of dollars in court asserting that he shouldn’t have to show his birth certificate, when he could win the suit for free by showing it?

You have to admit, even if you are a devout Obama fan, Obama’s refusal to release any original documents makes for a newsworthy story by itself.

If he really wants the birthers to shut up, he has the power to do so by releasing the 1961 document. Why not just do it then? It’s a simple task. Why not get rid of a conversation that has been with America since the campaign, particularly since the number of people with questions is growing, not shrinking?

I call shenanigans on the straw-man argument that “the birthers still won’t believe him.” Yes, they will. And so too will others who just don’t know where he was born, not because they are kooks, but because Obama himself acts kooky in spending money to win lawsuits he could win for free by showing his birth certificate.

By defending the lawsuits and not showing the 1961 document, Obama feeds the suspicion of those who already think he is lying. That’s why this issue has the power to linger, and that’s Obama’s fault alone. I hope the birthers continue to bite his ankles until he releases the records. He deserves nothing less for making this issue stay with us.

I also hope some journalist with access to the president asks him why it is smarter to spend money defending lawsuits than winning them for free.

Tommy De Seno is a political columnist with the TriCityNews in New Jersey, a Fox News Forum contributor and editor of the blog Justified Right.

  • whoframedrudy

    Yes, the best defense is a great offense. Imagine Muhammad Ali in a boxing match, he sees an opening to knock his opponent clean out of the ring. What possible reason not to throw the knockout punch?

    Trump is brilliant. The race card is maxed out. He’s immune to the idiot card. He’s going for the jugular, just like he would with Putin or China. If you could knock Trump out of the ring now, why not?

  • dahni

    During the presidential campaign, Obama released just one brief document detailing his personal health, while GOP opponent John McCain released what he said was his complete medical file totaling more than 1,500 pages. The Obama campaign eventually released some routine lab-test results and electrocardiograms for Obama.
    Obama refused to offer his official papers as a state legislator in Illinois and did not produce correspondence, such as letters from lobbyists and other information, from his days in the Illinois State Senate.
    Obama did not release his client list as an attorney or his billing records.
    Obama declined to release his college records from Occidental College, where he studied for two years before transferring to Columbia University.
    Obama’s campaign refused to give Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in political science, permission to release his transcripts. Such transcripts would list the courses Obama took, and his grades.
    Obama’s college dissertation, reportedly titled “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament,” has disappeared from Columbia’s archives.
    Obama did not agree to the release of his application to the Illinois state bar, which would clear up intermittent allegations that his application to the bar may have been inaccurate.
    Obama has not released records from his time at Harvard Law School.
    During his campaign for president, Obama promised he would make his White House “the most open and transparent administration in history.”

    Read more: Chris Matthews: Obama Should Release Birth Certificate
    —————————————-
    Consider the hypocrisy of a President who is insistent that every American must show proof of having an Insurance policy but doesn’t need to show proof of citizenship before acquiring the benefits of being an American.
    Then again, I had to show proof of citizenship when I was getting a Top Secret clearance as a rocket scientist. My father and mother and three brothers all had to show the same documents, plus others. With Obama, I knew more about Palin in 4 days than I’ve learned about Obama in 4 years.
    He could show the documents and settle the questions. Not only the birth certificate, but what passports did he use during all his traveling to Africa, the Middle East and Russia? What does he show on his applications to American Colleges? Where did the money come from for his tuition?

    Obama restricts that information. Such effort to suppress such innocent documentation just generate more interest in just what he is hiding.

    Simple to solve, if you are innocent.

  • dennyboy

    Conider this also. When Obama ran for President signs read OBAMA BIDEN…Very close to Osama Bin Laden….Strange?!!!! Obama is left handed and Osama is left handed. Type in Is Obama Osama Bin Laden in youtube.
    Obama has the rarest blood AB and looks like Osama is probably AB too. No video of Osama Bin Laden after Obama became president. Similar heights and in fact similar birthdates. Do the research and decide for yourself. I did.

  • loudog

    He provided the required proof of citizenship, the rest is just good entertainment watching the unhinged develop conspiracy theories.

    • truebearing

      I see your reading comprehension problem is acting up again. It seems to coincide with your denial-itis and your allergy to truth.

      The story was very clearly delineated and as with all people with a functioning brain, the question the author echoes is: why won’t Obama do the asy, and right thing and provide the full documentation to end the controversy?

      The aswer is one of two possibilities: 1)He can’t, therefore isn’t qualified to be president, or 2)He thinks there is something to be gained politically by stonewalling. Either way, he really isn’t presidential material. He’s a fraud and a failure.

    • borderraven

      As a US Citizen Obama can be a Senator, but he is not a Natural Born Citizen and cannot be a President.

  • Sproing

    The author is right on the mark. Why work so hard to keep something so ordinary so secret? What does he have to hide? Nothing most likely, but the fact remains that by acting as he has about almost every aspect of his birth and his education we are left with the historical evidence of past such events which indicate a great probability of wrong doing, lying, or worse.

    I suspect that if we ever get a real look at his varied academic records we’ll find a rather weal scholastic record not much better then Senator Kerry’s or Al Gore’s turned out to be. I don’t know what’s in the water on the democratic side but going back to at least Adlai Stevenson they seem to find it necessary to paint all their candidates for President as some sort of out-sized scholar with an above average brain. I’ll bet the same is true of Obama as he has so far exhibited none of the traits of an above average intellect.

  • keyquestions

    Mr. Seno,

    Thanks very much for your article.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the matter of Mr. Obama’s eligibility would not be settled even if, as, and when a long form birth certificate is produced. In the final analysis Presidential candidates need not only to be born a citizen of the United States, they need to be “natural born” citizens of the United States.

    What meaning did the Framers give to the term “natural born citizen”? There was an exchange on February 15 on Anderson Cooper’s program on CNN about what the Framers intended when they included the “natural born citizen” eligibility requirement for the Presidency and Vice Presidency in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. Many veteran legal scholars and lawyers understand the requirement and the peculiar way that it is caveated to mean that individuals born after the ratification of the Constitution must be “natural born citizens”, that is they must have been born to U.S. citizen parents. (For background on Constitutional eligibility questions and views concerning the historical meaning “natural born citizen”, see http://eligibilityquestions.com . For statements by Montana State legislator, Bob Wagner, and counter arguments by Jeffrey Toobin, both of whom appeared on Anderson Cooper’s program on February 15; see http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/02/15/exp.ac.montana.birther.bill.cnn . For an illuminating and hard hitting critique of Mr. Toobin’s legal analysis, see Attorney Leo Donofrio’s “rebuttal” arguments at http://tinyurl.com/46dopuz .

    Re your statements about short form Certifications of Live Birth in Hawaii at the time of Mr. Obama’s birth: It is important to keep in mind that such documents could be requested without a long form birth certificate produced. The families of individuals who were not born in Hawaii have been known to have requested and received Hawaiian Certifications of Live Birth. It should also be noted that the newspaper birth announcements were generated automatically by data sent by the Hawaiian Health Department: If the Health Department of Hawaii issued a short form Certification of Live Birth, then the Health Department also automatically sent to the paper the information that the person requesting the Certification of Live Birth provided to them.

    The bottom line is that the various copies of Certifications of Live Birth that have been made accessible online are not definitive proof of Mr. Obama’s birth place. Only a long form birth certificate with the name of the attending physician and the name of the hospital would provide such definitive proof. But, it is important to recognize that even if a long form birth certificate were produced, the remaining larger question will still be this: Was Mr. Obama a “natural born citizen” at birth given the fact that his father, Barack Obama, Sr., was not a U.S. citizen? A follow up question is this: What has been the status of Mr. Obama’s citizenship since the time of his adoption by his Indonesian step father and his residency in Indonesia? As is well known, naturalized citizens are eligible to serve in the Congress but not in the Presidency.

    One would hope that the Supreme Court will recognize the need to clarify such key Constitutional issues and render a determination concerning the Framers intention in drafting Article 2, Section requirements in the way that they did. One would hope that Members of the Supreme Court take into consideration in their deliberations why the Framers caveated the eligibility requirements in the way that they did. What was the reason that they specified that those born after the ratification of the Constitution had to be “natural born citizens”? Was their intent to ensure that individuals serving in the position would not have allegiances to counties other than the United States?”

    It is helpful to be aware that E. Vattel in his Law of Nations had defined the term “natural born citizen” as an individual born to parents who were citizens. The Framers were familiar with Vattel’s influential tome on law. Indeed, those who drafted Senate Resolution 511 in April 2008, clarifying the Presidential eligibility of Senator McCain stated that the Senator was eligible in part owing to the fact that both of his parents were “U.S. Citizens.

    The “definition of the problem” has been incorrectly understood largely because so many people have assumed that a President only needed to be a “native born” citizen. They have been conflating “native born” with “natural born”. They did not realize that there has been ongoing differences of interpretation concerning what the Framers intended when they included the eligibility requirement that Presidents born after the ratification of the Constitution must be “natural born citizens”. It is interesting to note that Governor Jindal’s eligibility is also in question owing to the fact that his parents were not U.S. citizens at the time of his birth.

    Some if not all of the ten or more state legislatures now contemplating implementation of a strict vetting process for Presidential candidates may end up requiring that candidates produce their long form birth certificate and proof of their citizenship. If the vetting process is made stricter by the states, it is conceivable that unless Mr. Obama produces a long form birth certificate, that his name will not be on the ballot in those states. This is, of course, assuming that he decides to run for a second term and that he wins his party’s nomination.

    It is also interesting to note that there were two different versions of the affidavit signed by Mrs. Pelosi in August of 2008 certifying Mr. Obama’s candidacy. One of those affidavits included wording to the effect that Mr. Obama was Constitutionally eligible. The second affidavit did not include any wording about the candidate’s Constitutional eligibility. A signed copy of the former affidavit was sent to Hawaii. Signed copies of the latter affidavit was sent to all the other states. This inexplicable anomaly is not likely to recur in 2012. (For copies of the two affidavits, see http://eligibilityquestions.com .)

    Getting to the bottom of these matters is not something that can be done in sound bites. It can also require some diligent research and some conversancy with the Constitution and the historical context in which the Framers produced that extraordinary document.