It appears the Obama Administration is inept at anything other than getting elected. They have failed with the economy, unemployment, foreign affairs, healthcare, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Despite one disaster after another, they blunder forward guided only by arrogance.
The birth certificate issue is more incompetence and arrogance. The issue should have been dealt with at the beginning of Obama’s campaign. The fact that it wasn’t should have raised a red flag. Obama’s unwillingness to deal with the matter should have raised questions of judgment, respect for the law and fitness for office. Citizenship is a clear-cut requirement for the office, spelled out in the Constitution. Such matters cannot be assumed, or allowed, to be irrelevant.
Anthony J Ciani stated that such requests for information were never considered irrelevant before:
In fact, I can now say that there has never been a president who, when challenged for his vital records, did not provide them.
Fawning media protected Obama on this and many other issues in the primaries and campaign. They continued to safeguard him in office by burying the issue and ridiculing anyone who raised it. Their shield enabled Obama to mostly ignore the issue.
Then, along came Donald Trump, a man with an ego bigger than Obama’s. Trump commands his own microphone. He can be criticized but not silenced. He is capable of playing the media for personal advantage. Trump brought the birth certificate issue back to the front burner.
Mr. Trump’s motives are unclear. Does he desire to replace Obama in 2012? Is he performing a role the press neglected? Some suggest he is a foil for Obama, conveniently directing attention to this sideshow, away from the real issues of the economy, spending and government insolvency. Others say he is on just another ego trip, glowing in the attention he is able to command. Perhaps he is trying to “extort” Federal favors for some bigger-and-better-than-ever, best-in-the-world project. One or more of these is likely, including possibly others not mentioned.
Regardless of Trump’s motives, Obama had to quiet him. The brouhaha was the worst thing that could happen. In a public battle, Trump looks like a Goliath compared to a puny David sans slingshot, stones or an understandable position. Despite the high ground of the White House and the bully pulpit, Obama was completely overmatched – an immature boy against a man. The real street hustler challenged the boy community organizer revealing Obama’s smallness, lack of experience and ineptness.
Trump called Obama’s bluff and Obama folded his cards. He capitulated because he grew smaller by the day under Trump’s attack. He provided his “real” birth certificate. It was the right thing to do, but it was more than three years too late. The concession reeks of weakness and desperation, rejuvenating the “birthers.” Millions of internet users viewed the release and claimed that it could not be valid. At last count, they claimed more than 20 discrepancies in the document.
I have no idea what is the truth, but I know the “birthers” will not go away easily (or rationally). As Steve Chapman aptly described them:
Birthers don’t dislike Obama because they think he was born abroad. They think he was born abroad because they dislike him. People of this bent don’t proceed from facts to a conclusion. They prefer to reach a conclusion and then scrounge for any facts — or “facts” — that support it.
Birthers clearly have an agenda, yet that does not mean they are incorrect. The birther term has become somewhat of a strawman in the sense that few birthers question that Obama was born in Hawaii. The issue is less birth location and more “what is he hiding” with this bizarre behavior. They are convinced there is serious, perhaps devastating, information that is being hidden.
Jerome Corsi, who has had two previous number ones on The New York Times best-sellers list, has written a third book also highly critical of Obama: Where’s the Birth Certificate: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.” He contends that Obama’s birth certificate release was forced by his upcoming book and not Trump. Interest in his book is obvious as it was number one on Amazon’s list weeks before its scheduled release. I have not read Mr. Corsi’s work so cannot comment other than he has created a cottage industry out of the distrust of Obama.
Nixon thought he could stop the Watergate scandal from unfolding by releasing a few tapes. All that did was fuel the fire.
Karl Denninger raises the possibility and implications of forgery [emphasis his]:
This debate is not, at this point, about whether Obama was born in the United States. There are plenty of people who question that, but this case simply isn’t about that any more.
This case is about whether a sitting President presented an altered – that is, forged - document to the American public and claimed it was authentic. You cannot at the same time have Hawaii state that they made two PHOTOCOPIES of an original in a book and then have the White House and AP release “scanned” copies of that document which appear to have been printed on entirely-different paper, never mind that one of them is clearly not a simple scan.
Denninger alludes to Nixon and his coverup:
The evidence strongly supports this allegation [forgery]. The obvious next question is this: What, Mr. President, are you trying to hide, and we then must turn to whether a sitting President should be permitted to erase the tapes that document his knowledge of a break-in to a hotel….
Could President Obama be so stupid as to pull the stunt suggested by Mr. Denninger? His tendency toward lying, arrogance and trying to bluff his way through situations suggests it might be possible.
That Obama has gone to such lengths as reportedly spending millions of dollars to hide his past suggests that something is very, very wrong. Whether it is an ineligibility for the office or some other revelation that destroys his political viability is immaterial. The clumsy handling of the matter ensures that it will not go away soon. Apparently Mr. Obama did not heed Sir Walter Scott’s warning:
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
Mr. Obama’s handling of this issue almost surely guarantees that it will grow rather than diminish. If Mr. Denninger’s comments are correct, Mr. Obama has assured, hands down, his place in history as our worst president. Before this issue, he had supplanted the inept Jimmy Carter as America’s most incompetent president. Now, he might replace the despised Richard Nixon as America’s most disgraced president.
Where this bizarre situation goes from here is anyone’s guess. If the birth certificate is falsified, the next iteration might involve a manger birth claim. When that fails, a story that Obama is really a robot or a puppet conceived by benevolent scientists to save the world could follow. While implausible, each of these explains why there is no birth certificate.
I am no fan of Donald Trump but I think we all owe him gratitude for doing what our political class was too cowardly to do — put this issue on the front burner. Who is our President, where did he come from and who is pulling his strings?
Interesting times are ahead. If Obama’s past is so shady that he continues to obfuscate, he will not be protected by his fellow Democrats like Bill Clinton was. Clinton was popular and the Democrats were not losing elections (after the mid-term debacle in Clinton’s first term). That is not the case today.
Obama was an albatross in the 2010 elections and the numbers are not shaping up well for 2012. Democrats are in danger of disappearing as a major party, perhaps even a viable party, as a result of Obama policies. If it comes down to their survival or re-electing Obama, it is an easy call. Democrats are looking at Obama as a liability rather than an asset. He is more of an asset to feckless Republicans who appear competent compared to this Carter-Nixon hybrid.
The Democrat Party is in need of a Brutus. Who will play this political role in their party?