Opinion

The birther movement is President Obama’s fault

I’ve long maintained that the existence of the “birther movement” is President Obama’s fault. He could dispel the rumors about his birth by simply showing everyone his 1961 birth certificate. By doing so, he would also save a lot in legal fees. Yet, no one has ever asked Obama why he’d rather lose money than show his birth certificate. It’s time to ask that question.

I’ll explore that in more detail later, but first let’s dispel the common myth that it’s been proven that Obama was born in Hawaii.

There’s nothing wrong with taking President Obama at his word that he was born in Hawaii. I do. But there’s nothing wrong with Reagan’s “trust but verify” advice either. Little League baseball wouldn’t take my word for it when I gave my son’s age. I had to verify my words and show his birth certificate. Baseball is important, but the presidency may be a more serious topic, at least when it isn’t summertime. Refusing to accept a deferential standard of proof on a constitutional issue hardly makes a person a kook.

So let’s discuss and discard what has been released:

The certification of live birth: The certificate put on the Internet by President Obama’s campaign was created in 2007. It’s a certification from the clerk in Hawaii that says, to paraphrase: “I certify by signing this document that the other document you folks are looking for does exist.” Great. Why not give us a peek at the other document? It doesn’t matter that Hawaiian law says you can use the 2007 document in court or get a passport with it. Just show the 1961 document if you certify that it exists.

The newspaper announcements: Two birth announcements from Hawaiian local papers reflect Obama’s birth in 1961. The usual, sarcastic straw man used by Obama defenders is, “So in 1961 his parents thought he might want to be president and had his Kenyan birth announced in Hawaii to fool everyone? Ha ha, we win!”

But let’s say his parents acted like normal parents who are from Hawaii but birthed a child while away on vacation or visiting the father’s homeland. The first thing the parents would do upon arriving home in Hawaii would be to register the birth of the child there for purposes of social services, school, passport, etc. Wouldn’t that also trigger the newspaper birth announcements (note: I don’t know the answer; someone from Hawaii please tell me).

Also, it isn’t impractical to think that the Obamas themselves when they returned to Hawaii would send an announcement to the newspapers to let friends and family know of their joyous news. The newspaper announcements fall short of proof here.

Dr. Chiyome Fukino’s July 27, 2009 statement: It is a misconception that the then-director of the Hawaii Department of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, stated she had personally viewed the 1961 long-form birth certificate. She didn’t say that. In fact she avoided saying “long-form birth certificate.” She said she saw “the vital statistics maintained,” which could be the registration the Obamas filed themselves upon returning to Hawaii. But don’t take my word for it. See her written statement and look at her words. “Long-form birth certificate” is not among them.