Today, the White House released President Barack Obama's birth certificate. The story can be seen at this link.
The CNN article shows the actual long-form birth certificate as recorded by the State of Hawaii. It proves that President Obama was actually born in Hawaii, which the last time I looked was part of the United States of America. This evidence should put to rest the whole sturm and drang that has been dogging the President since he was elected back in 2008. Back then, there were questions that because Obama was born to an African father and a Caucasian mother, and had spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, that he was not qualified to be President under the Constitution that states that only natural-born citizens can be elected to the office. Obama released the short-form certificate back then but it wasn't enough to satisfy the Birther movement folks who maintain that Obama's presidency is illegitimate.
Normally, Hawaii state law does not allow for the issuance of the actual birth certificate, but rather a "certificate of live birth" which is a document witnessed and certified by the State of Hawaii that replicates the information found on the actual birth certificate. But the Obama administration in an effort to kill this albatross once and for all made a special request to the State of Hawaii for the long-form actual birth certificate.
Perhaps this latest release will be enough to put a stake through the heart of this wackiness. Although the skeptic in me thinks that there will be folks who will dispute the legitimacy of the released birth certificate as faked, or Photoshopped, or something equally inane.
In a recent poll, 4 out of 10 Republicans believe that Obama was not born in this country. Maybe they were out with the measles on the day their geography teachers taught the class about Hawaii. I think that more than a few of them still can't deal with the fact that we have a black president. There, I said it. And this is one of their ways of showing their displeasure without being labeled a racist. But I wonder if Obama was white, and had grown up under the exact same circumstances, would all this kerfuffle still be going on? Somehow I doubt it.
The fact that billionaire real estate mogul, reality TV star, possible Presidential candidate and general blowhard Donald Trump counts himself as part of the Birther movement can't lend a lot of credence to a case based on smoke and mirrors. In typical Trump style, he credits himself for the administration's release of the birth certificate. ""I've accomplished something nobody else was able to accomplish," Trump said." with his usual Manhattan sized ego.
Most mainstream Republicans have distanced themselves from the Birthers leaving the core of the group mainly way out in the far right reaches of the Republican Party. While the majority of Republicans, and not a few Democrats have a lot of beef with Obama's policies in terms of health care, drilling for oil, the sluggish economy, and the general malaise in the country, they have not ventured into Birther territory seeing it for the idiotic distraction that it is. There's a lot wrong with this country, and I, an Obama supporter will admit that he has made his share of mistakes in this first term. I don't care how long you've been in Washington, and how much you think you know about where the bodies are buried, there is nothing that can prepare you totally for the job of running the most powerful country on the planet. Presidential candidates run for the office on the knowledge of what they see on the outside. They make promises to their supporters about what they are going to do. They are going on the 80-90% of the information the rest of the population sees. But once they get into the Oval Office and the full weight of their obligations get rested on their shoulders, they realize that all they wanted to do needs to be re-prioritized, rethought and rescheduled. They see the 10% that the general populace doesn't see. And that 10% makes all the difference. It's easy to steer the ship and tell the captain where it should go when your hand is not on the wheel. But when you take the helm and see where the waves are and feel them under your keel, that's another ball game all together.
Everything and anything the President does will make some folks happy and piss others off. There's no getting around it. It's the nature of the job. I don't believe that Obama, who was handed a steaming pile of awful by his predecessor, George W. Bush, could be reasonably expected to turn the whole country around in four years. Hell, a lot of what Obama's trying to do won't have an effect until after long after his presidency is over. Unfortunately, the attention span as well as the patience of the American people is about that of a six year old. Too often, we let ourselves get distracted by things that sparkle, shimmer and make lots of noise, and don't pay attention to the things that matter. The economy matters. Health care matters. Our dependence on Middle East oil matter. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our intervention in Libya matter. Where the President was born does not matter.