April 30, 2011

The long-form birth certificate makes me sad

No matter what I read on the subject of the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, whether from the left or the right, the feeling I’m left with is sadness.

Back when Barack Obama was merely a candidate, and the question of where he was born first came up, I thought it was silly and ridiculous; that someone would even try to run for president who wasn't eligible was inconceivable to me. The chatter didn't stop once Obama was elected, and I was convinced that he should let the crazies make fools of themselves as long as they wanted. After all, the ‘birthers’ were really nothing more than group of fringe nutcases, right?

Over the past several months, Republican leaders and their stand-ins on the intranet, TV and radio did nothing to stop the clamor; the ‘mainstream media’ not only allowed it to fester but encouraged the birther issue by raising it repeatedly. And when blowhard Donald Trump began chest-thumping about it, I still felt that there should be no response from the White House or the president.

Sadly, not only did they produce the document, but Obama himself met with the press to provide the reasoning behind releasing it, not the least of which was that the continued interest was distracting us from the important business at hand.

Adam Serwer, writing in The Plum Line, posted this thought:
Aside from being one of the most idiotic moments in American political history, this marks a level of personal humiliation no previous president has ever been asked to endure.
Trump, proud of his role in getting the birth certificate released, insists that he doesn't want to talk about it anymore (all the while talking constantly about it); instead, he wants to talk about real issues. Like whether the President was qualified to attend Columbia and Harvard, from which he graduated magna cum laude. To that end, Trump is now suggesting that Obama release his college transcripts.

Birth certificate. College transcripts. What’s next?

A sweaty jockstrap? Because those pictures of him playing basketball may have been faked, you know. Maybe a sperm sample and a DNA test, to prove that he really fathered his daughters?  I mean, does he really look fit and virile, or is that faked too?

Leading Republicans have done a quick 180 and are saying that this is a non-issue, it’s always been a non-issue, and the country has more important things to worry about. And we let them get away with that, by covering the stories, and yes, by repeating them in blogs, and talking about them with our friends.

This whole thing is seedy. It’s beneath the office of the presidency, not just the current occupant. It’s beneath everyone who aspires to that office, and anyone who has supported this insanity should be summarily ignored. And you’ll have a hard time convincing me it’s anything other than racism, plain and simple -- and sad.

Oh - one more thing.

The President is right – we do have more important things to worry about. Notably, he worried about them by leaving Washington Wednesday to tape an appearance on Oprah and then attend a fundraiser.

And that, too, is sad.