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.
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.