I haven’t had much to say about the “birther” issue so far. I don’t believe Obama was born in Kenya. I believe he was born in Hawaii. And I even argued before the election (mostly at Third Party Watch and the Independent Political Report I believe) that I don’t think “natural born” means born on American soil. If so, McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone, would have been ineligible. I think “natural born” means not naturalized. I do think there could be something to the allegation that he became a citizen of Indonesia when he was a child. That isn’t far fetched or unreasonable at all, but has been focused on less because it is less sensational. Whether that would have caused him to lose his US citizenship is a legal question, and I have seen conflicting opinions on that.
That said, I do think Obama has acted very fishy during this whole thing. It is not unreasonable or outrageous to ask him to just authorize the release of his original “long form” birth certificate if for no other reason than to put the issue to rest and shut everyone up. Why spend thousands fighting in court when all he would have to do is authorize the release? Those who suggest he doesn’t just so the fringe will keep talking about it are engaging in a kind of conspiracy theory themselves.
I am not prone to embrace conspiracy theories myself, but neither am I conspiracy phobic, a common malady on the “respectable” right. The insinuation by the respectability mafia that merely asking him to produce the original long form birth certificate or wondering aloud why he hasn’t (As Sen. Shelby and Rep. Blunt reportedly did and then backtracked when confronted) is somehow out of line is absurd. The sentiment “just show us the birth certificate” is eminently reasonable and common sensical, and suggestions otherwise smack me as “I’m more conspiracy phobic than thou” respectability bona fides polishing.
I don’t think he is hiding his place of birth, but I do think he could be hiding something. The whole thing stinks. He never released his medical records or his school transcripts either as is customary for Presidential candidates. Personally, I have always thought this obligation to be intrusive and unnecessary. Maybe someone had a case of gonorrhea in the past and doesn’t want their spouse to know about it. Or maybe they goofed off too much in school and made a couple of D’s they aren’t proud of. But it has unfortunately become the norm, so Obama is conspicuous by his refusal to do so. I think his transcripts would prove he was clearly an Affirmative Action admit to Columbia and Harvard Law. My suspicion is that he may somewhere in them have indicated Indonesian citizenship, but that is a wild hunch.
I do think the birth certificate debate could become a distraction, just as Clinton hate distracted from simply opposing his policies. I think it has the potential to do more harm than good although if it does as much of the blame for this will rest on the hand-wringing, squeamish respectability police conspiracy phobics left, right and center as it will the “birthers” for overstating their case. Simply wanting to see the original birth certificate and wondering why Obama hasn’t produced it, as opposed to the dogmatic assertion that he was born in Kenya, is entirely reasonable.
This video by Jack Hunter, a friend of this site, is what prompted me to venture into this no-man’s land which I had before been intentionally avoiding. I normally agree almost entirely with Jack, but I have to take serious issue with something he says here. He asks what do “birthers” expect even if their allegations are true, “that Obama would be stripped of his office.” Huh? Is this even a question? Of course he should be stripped of his office if he is not in fact a “natural born” citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold it. Should he be allowed to continue in office anyway? To allow him to remain in office would make a laughingstock of the Constitution and the rule of law. As Jack and I know we already do that every day, but this would do so in a way so blatant and easy to understand by all that any future attempt to claim a constitutional prohibition against anything would be meaningless.