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Over the course of the last two years, I remember being accused of being a "Birther" twice. Both accusations came in emails. Only one of them was tied to comments I had made - the other was just one descriptor in a long list of nasty accusations by someone who didn't seem to care for my politics in general.
The reason I haven't heard that accusation a lot is because I've been pretty clear from the beginning that I believe Barack Obama was born in the United States. My question has always been simply this: why would anyone in their right mind continue letting this fester, generate scandal in the mind of even one voter, and most of all: spend even a single dime on legal efforts to prevent the birth certificate from being seen publicly. It doesn't make sense. The long-form birth certificate is not a secret document. There's nothing classified about it. So why go to those lengths to keep it hidden? And why reveal the Certification of Live Birth and claim it was the long form?
Privately I speculated to friends that I honestly assumed what Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie unintentionally mentioned a while back - that the certificate didn't exist. Not because the President wasn't born in Hawaii, but because it had been misplaced, lost, accidentally destroyed...whatever. That explanation would seem to fit with the President's efforts to keep it hidden. If he didn't have it, and that became public, it would generate a firestorm - even calls for his immediate removal from office. It would usher in a constitutional crisis given that every act, every law, every order the President has participated in to this point would have been null and void. Oh yeah, and it would crush his re-election hopes.
So that's what I assumed. And then today, out of nowhere, the President decides to do what people have been calling for him to do for two years. He revealed the long-form birth certificate. What has that done? A couple things:
1. It has vindicated those who maintained that no birth certificate had been shown. It puts egg on the face of people like Bill O'Reilly who constantly yapped that he had seen the certificate and verified it. Really, Bill? Then what was this?
2. It is going to raise even more questions as to why the President went through this whole mess for over two years - and subjected the country to it as well. Far from it being big of him to just show the certificate so the country could move on to more important things, the President has been the sole cause of this talk to persist for two years. He won't be getting many thanks and congratulations for that, I'm afraid.
In the short term, I was most amused by the President's classic condescension of telling everyone essentially, "Well, I was going to come out here and solve all the world's problems, but instead you people made me talk about this instead. So you won't get any important stuff today because I've only got 10 minutes and I'm spending it on this birth certificate nonsense." Why only 10 minutes? He was heading out to be on Oprah (the important stuff).
In the long term, I am predicting this won't settle the controversy. The bizarreness of someone who spent a bunch of money to fight court challenges to force him to show something he did today voluntarily is only going to fuel speculation that it's a fake and forgery. Now we'll be hearing not that Obama is ineligible, but that he is ineligible and a criminal. Thanks for that, Mr. President.