Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm Not a Birther, but . . . .

.  .  .  hokey smokes, Bullwinkle.

I have always accepted the President's claim that he was born in Hawaii.  Partly because it seemed likely, and partly because if you're a "birther" you probably also have to hang out (on the Internet, at least) with the 9/11 "truther" lunatics.

It's an important issue.  If he was not born in the U.S. (given the other known circumstances of his birth, mainly his Kenyan non-citizen father), then he cannot be President of the United States.  There is no available interpretation of the Constitution and related U.S. statutes (8 U.S.C. sec. 1401, 1403) that would allow it, if I understand matters correctly.  His birth in the United States is, because of the other circumstances of his birth, a critical requirement.   If he was not born in the U.S., he would have no alternative but to resign, or be instantly impeached and removed. 

Yes, yes, even if that would result in President Biden.  That's another reason I'm not a birther.

So now, the State of Hawaii, or at least it's rambunctious governor, says that there is documentary proof, if not a gilt-edged birth certificate, that proves his birth in that lovely venue. But, says Hawaii, it can't release it because of a law forbidding release of birth info without the consent of the one claiming to have been born.

So I would expect the President to prepare a letter, certified, return receipt requested, to the Hawaii secretary of state authorizing her to release that instrument forthwith.

If he doesn't, then Congressional leaders should call upon him to do it. 

If he still doesn't, those leaders should investigate the circumstances of the President's birth, and subpoena it.  If it demonstrates his birth in Hawaii, we're done.  If not, we're back where we were.

Now, it must be said that the Constitution does not require a birth certificate or any documentation of any kind.    It only requires that its requirements be met, and there is more than one way to prove that.  If you're willing to take the word of Hawaii's governor that he knows Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, that's fine.  That's not nothing, that's evidence of birth.  It's not great evidence, but it's something.  Is it enough for something this important?  Not for me, but I'm willing to listen to all nondocumentary evidence of where the President was born.

The Baby Obama

I am very, very regretfully coming to the conclusion that this topic requires some kind of official inquiry, and I would be hopeful that Hawaii can be persuaded to part with what it claims to be definitive evidence on this subject.

Hey  .  .  .  do we have any baby pictures of Barack Obama taken outdoors?




    and file legal demands, "production of documents"
    to provide "injunctive relief" of
    the TANGIBLE evidence every U.S. Citizen
    has a right to know of when and where and
    to whom President Obama was born.

  2. Why is this coming up now and, if you were satisfied two years ago, then why are you less satisfied now? I admit it does seem odd that, assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, that the White House does not just release the actual birth certificate (when it would be so easy to do and put the matter to rest), especially given that presidents routinely release their medical records (except Clinton!) and their tax returns. It is also odd, however, that if he was not born in the US, no one has "leaked" the evidence, which surely would have happened if the questioned birth were that of, say, George W. Bush.

    But g

  3. Aren't there independent ways to verify this? Has every copy of every newspaper from the week Obama was born been confiscated? Surely there's a birth announcement out there somewhere. Get out the microfiche reader and get to work!

  4. Hmmm .... Obama has his birthplace questioned. ... Obama's former Chief of Staff, now running for Chicago mayor, has his residency questioned. .... Obama came to the White House from Chicago. ... Rahm Emanuel too. ... Maybe it's a Chicago thing. Go Packers!

  5. Anonymous(2), that's a fair question.

    Please don't take offense, but I think a lot of it has to do with the people who were, at the outset at least, raising the issue the loudest -- the conspiracy crowd, the "truthers," the Kennedy assassination conspiracists, the government-knows-all-about-UFO-alien-contact guys. I have no proof that they're all the same crowd, but they sound the same. And 98% percent of it is nonsense.

    Of course, conspiracies do exist. They get prosecuted under RICO all the time. The birther business is different -- we're not talking about a government or bad-guy conspiracy, we're talking about a single family's history. This issue always struck me as a little less crazy than some of them, but I figured that some journalist -- maybe even a liberal one -- had figured out that a Pulitzer awaited anyone who could get an answer to this question, and no one had established his birthplace as anywhere other than Hawaii. Under the circumstances, we were left with the undocumented word of people who claimed to know where the guy was born.

    This, incidentally, is among the reasons I don't want the Palins anywhere near the White House, sound as mom is on many issues. We elected an exotic, and look what we got. We don't know nearly enough of that odd family's secrets, and I'm sure there are secrets to know.

    I'm not versed in birther theory, but the fundamental question is a pretty simple one, as is the application of the Constitution as filled out by appropriate Congressional enactments. It seems to me, especially now that Hawaii is being so damned coy, that we should get to the bottom of this and when we do, I do expect we will discover that the President is a native Hawaiian and that will be the end of that. Having considered this in any detail for the first time, I now think that it is appropriate to marshal the evidence as to the birthplace of the most powerful person in the world.

    Of course, we can't seem to find one of the most evil persons in the world, so perhaps this is not so surprising. After all is said and done, it's not science -- it's people telling the truth, or not.

  6. Your Big Fan in the Big AppleJanuary 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    If you really want a conspiracy theory, check out the Auchi -Saddam Hussein - Tony Rezko - Barack Obama connection, which holds that Saddam's financier (Auchi) backed Saddam's financier (Rezko, now in jail) to get a pliant puppet in the White House. Sounds far-fetched, but the evidence is more solid than the birther theory. ... So other than "the lady doth protest too much," what's your evidence that BOB was not born in Hawaii?

  7. Thanks, Big Fan. I have no such evidence and in fact, I am very inclined to believe he was born in Hawaii.

    This morning's stroll through the blogs reveals a fascinating theory that appears to have some legs. The theory is that POTUS was born in Hawaii, but has a very special reason for not wanting the scant documentation released. It comes from a gay website in Chicago:

    So -- no more electing presidents we don't know much about, OK? Thanks for checking in, Apple, whoever you are.