Birth — And Death — Of A Notion

OK, President Obama released his “long form” birth certificate this week. Apparently the polling that had been showing the issue as a plus for Obama finally turned, and became enough of negative that he decided it was time to put an end (mostly) to it. I say “mostly” because there will always be enough nuts to keep it somewhat alive, but this should shut down most of those who’ve been pushing it.

But while it answers a lot of questions, it also raises quite a few points. For a couple of years, we’ve been told that Obama released all that was sufficient; Hawaii’s privacy laws blocked the release of the “long form” to the public. Not even Obama himself could get past that law.

Well, that turned out to be a crock. Obama (through his lawyer) sent in a request for the form on Friday, April 22; it was returned on Monday, April 25 — one business day later. All it took was the right letter, and — poof! — there it was.

And yes, the birther nuts are already screaming “fake” at the form Obama released. I’ve tried to avoid the details, but a few have come out — and they’re so laughably absurd that they’re readily dismissed with the slightest application of common sense.

“The photocopy shows a curve, as it is from a bound book, but the security paper patterns don’t curve! It’s a fake!”

“Security paper,” as we know it today, didn’t exist in 1961, when Obama was born. So, obviously, the copy Obama presented was printed or copied on to contemporary security paper.

“His mother’s first name is written above the signature! It was added after!”

We already know that Stanley Ann Dunham Obama didn’t like her first name — she went by “Ann” most of her life. Here’s how it probably played out: she was presented with the form, and asked to sign it. She signed it as she always did, and then was told it had to be her full, legal name. So, instead of getting a whole new form, she adds the disliked “Stanley” above the rest.

“The numbers don’t match up with other certificates! They’re slightly off!”

The bureaucrats who process these forms and assign the numbers could have easily shuffled them. The numbering is in the right general sequence. This is precisely the sort of thing that prompted the phrase “good enough for government work.”

“The date in box 20 is in an entirely different font and size than the rest!”

The date was applied with a rubber stamp, not a typewriter.

“His father’s race is listed as ‘African,’ not ‘Negro!'”

His father was, literally and legally, an African — a native-born citizen of Kenya. At that point, a lot of people drew a distinction between American blacks and actual, African blacks.

“It’s not a ‘Birth Certificate,’ but a ‘Certificate of Live Birth!'”

It’s got the words “birth” and “certificate” in the title. Good enough for me. Plus, it attests that the baby survived, and was not a stillbirth.

So, it’s over. Donald Trump called Obama’s bluff, and took away the hole card he and his supporters have been using for a couple of years to keep the whole birther mess alive, so they can paint a lot of his critics as nuts. And yeah, I do put the blame on Obama and his supporters — here’s a bit of proof: noted Obama rumpswabs CNN and MSNBC gave the issue tons and tons more coverage than noted Obama critic Fox News.

At this point, the “birthers” are reminding me more and more of the “Bush stole the 2000 election” nutjobs who kept on re-fighting that election long after it was over, and still bitterly cling to that delusion over ten years later. The most important thing now is not to fight over how to undo the 2008 election, but to focus on defeating Obama in 2012.

And birthers: you’re not helping. The most useful thing you can do is to simply STFU. Stop giving them an excuse to dismiss all of us as whackjobs.

So you still think that global warming has nothing to do with religion?
Turmoil at the UN