Shortly before boarding Air Force One for a $190,000 per hour flight to an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago, Barack Obama released his birth certificate. He claimed that dealing with doubts about his eligibility for the office he now holds was wasting too much valuable time that he could better spend reducing the deficit.
You can stop laughing now.
Who knows why he chose to release the innocuous document Wednesday? It’s been nearly 3 years since Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign first raised doubts
about Obama’s origins while also circulated pictures
suggesting that he was a crypto-Muslim. Hillary’s desperate operatives circulated an e-mail explaining that, “Barack Obama’s mother was living in Kenya with his Arab-African father late in her pregnancy. She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth.”
Nevertheless, it was Republicans whom the media ultimately tarred with the conspiracy.
Perhaps Obama wanted to spoil the release of right wing gadfly Jerome Corsi’s book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” Whatever the reason, it will hopefully put an end to the mainstream news media’s efforts to keep this issue alive and use it to smear conservatism.
Surely you remember all the news media stories five years ago about the challenges that Democratic leaders had to overcome when so many of their voters believed that George Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terrorist attack?
Neither do I.
That’s because there were no such stories. In fact, the only time I ever heard any mention of it in the news media was when former presidential frontrunner and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean
answered an interviewer’s question on the subject by stating that he thought that it was a legitimate line of inquiry. After that, the media smothered the story.
But the fact is that a 2006 survey of registered Democrats found that a majority considered the possibility that the sitting president of the United States conspired with Al Qaida against the United States was at least “somewhat likely,” with nearly a quarter of the Democratic Party believing that it was “very likely.”
That’s right! And you probably heard it here first. Fully 51% of self-identified Democrats
believed that George Bush conspired to kill thousands of Americans just so that he could start a war. It was an outrageous conspiracy theory that, in its grotesqueness, far exceeded any so-called birther conspiracy theory.
But that fact that half of a major political party’s rank and file and its national chairman believed that it was at least possible did not rise to the level of news coverage that the birther conspiracy gained.
Barack Obama even appointed an adherent to trutherism
as one of his czars and nobody thought anything of it until Glenn Beck exposed him.
Contrast the truther coverage with last Saturday’s Lewiston Tribune story which had the headline declaring that, “Birther claims present a challenge for GOP.”
The biggest challenge GOP leaders faced was that the media were using this silliness
to paint Republicans as a party of extremist lunatics in order to scare off moderates. Ever since the effort to paint the Tea Party as violent racists failed, the media have been searching for another narrative to use against conservatism and settled on the birther issue.
Meet the Press host David Gregory
gave the game away early. Shortly after winning the 2010 election, one Republican House leader after another was called into Gregory’s Star Chamber. Gregory demanded of each that he prove his fitness for leadership by condemning a list of accusations against Obama, including the birther conspiracy.
This contrasts dramatically with how the truther conspiracies were treated. After Howard Dean’s embarrassing performance, no Democrat was ever asked to distance himself from the truthers, probably for fear that, like Howard Dean, they might embrace the kooks.
As for why Obama chose to come clean now, I have my own theory. It’s easier to come up with a birth certificate than circumcision records. The State Department’s new passport application
requires applicants without birth certificates to record every address they’ve ever lived at, every job they’ve ever held, and produce all that information and more within a 45 minute window. And, you’d better have your circumcision records
. They want that too. As much as Obama likes international vacations, he’ll want to keep his birth certificate handy for passport applications.