Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

The birther conspiracy Kool-Aid flows uphill

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on April 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm with 8 Comments »
April 20, 2011 4:27 pm

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Normally we’d wait for Donald Trump’s “presidential campaign” to die a natural death, but his embrace of the birther lunacy makes for too sweet a target.

Trump’s taken to trumpeting his doubts about Barack Obama’s citizenship and demanding that the president produce his birth certificate. Obama – who appears to relish the spectacle – has turned the pseudo-controversy into comedy material.

Trump is one of a handful of Republican leaders (if that’s what he is) willing to sound like an actual birther. Michele Bachmann prefers artful coyness; all she wants is that Obama “just answer some questions” and produce his original birth certificate. Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee have alluded darkly to the president’s supposed Kenyan background.

Sarah Palin initially said the public “rightfully is still making it an issue.” Then she dismissed it as an annoying distraction. Then – to Judge Jeanine this month – she suggested that “obviously there is something there that the president doesn’t want people to see on that birth certificate ….”

We want to believe that – on the national level – not even Trump takes the birther hypothesis seriously. Obama’s certificate of live birth is a matter of record, and his arrival into the world was recorded in 1961 by two Honolulu newspapers.

Had he been born in Kenya as alleged, the cover-up must have lasted decades and involved thousands of people, including much of Hawaii’s Department of Health – all of whom began conniving in his quest for the presidency when he was still in the delivery room.

The problem is, a certain percentage of ordinary Americans will give credence to anything, depending on their cast of mind. Some believe 9/11 was an inside job. Some believe any number of things about the JFK assassination. Some believe the Holocaust never happened. Some believe that George W. Bush stole two elections. Some believe in astrology.

The birther delusion happens to be disproportionately lodged among Republicans; according to some polls, more than half of the GOP harbors a degree of doubt about the president’s citizenship.

When the Kool-Aid flows so freely, politicians get their feet wet. That’s how you get such absurdities as the bill in Arizona that would have required presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before getting a place on the state ballot. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer had enough sense to veto that one Monday.

The birthers do have a legitimate question: Why doesn’t Obama allow investigators to look at his actual paper birth certificate, now buried in the archives of Hawaii? Maybe there is something so shameful on it that Americans would recoil in horror – even though he was a newborn at the time.

More likely, he’s enjoying the way his potential Republican opponents are making themselves look foolish by pretending to take seriously what just ain’t so.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Nice one, Patrick! Yee and Haw!

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    When Barry S applied for and received a government grant only available to non-citizens. This true. At best, he’s a liar…at worst? George Soros’ money can buy anything, I’d imagine, Pat.

  3. “The problem is, a certain percentage of ordinary Americans will give credence to anything, depending on their cast of mind. Some believe 9/11 was an inside job. Some believe any number of things about the JFK assassination. Some believe the Holocaust never happened. Some believe that George W. Bush stole two elections. Some believe in astrology.”

    And some believe BHO was born here…..

  4. BCG is a birther in disguise. “When Barry S applied for and received a government grant only available to non-citizens.”
    The statement is totally false, but BCG lies all the time so it really isn’t a big deal.
    It does give us all insight into a mind that does not seem to be able to work by itself, but rather relies on junk from racists and bigots and similarly warped individuals.

  5. When Barry S applied for and received a government grant only available to non-citizens. This true. At best, he’s a liar…at worst? George Soros’ money can buy anything, I’d imagine, Pat.

    Actually it’s your claim that isn’t true.

    http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/has_a_smoking_gun_been_found_to.html

  6. BlaineCGarver says:

    Publico, you can go to hell….. Take your childish insults and go away.

  7. BlaineCGarver says:

    Factcheck seems to have some credibility…..I’ll look into this a bit more. Thanks for the link.

  8. NWflyfisher says:

    Article II Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

    Either one of two actions could put this entire issue to rest and should satisfy any doubt anyone might have regarding his eligibility. The first, of course, is Mr. Obama authorizing Hawaii to release his official “long form” birth certificate to the public. The second is if U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts affirmed under oath that he had personally examined the “long form” birth certificate, that it was genuine, that it proves Mr. Obama was born on U.S. soil and that he is therefore a natural born U.S. citizen.

    I don’t see where either action would be so difficult nor do I understand why Mr. Obama would not want to voluntarily prove his eligibility. It would put to rest the whole “Birther” issue of whether a true “long form” birth certificate really does exist once and for all. If not, then we have a serious constitutional crisis on our hands. In fact, I believe any candidate for President of the United States should be required to submit to the same scrutiny to prove their eligibility for the office.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0