Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh, Birthers...

President Obama released his long-form birth certificate to the press today. In 2008 the president released his state-issued birth certificate, and has faced increasing scrutiny from a faction of conservative birthers who, blinded by prejudice, claim that Obama is not a natural born citizen (I highly recommend you check out the site, linked above. It's fascinating and nauseating).

The president says he released the long-form certificate because the press became fixated on the issue, which distracted from more pressing matters, like rising oil prices, budget negotiations, etc. I'm pretty disgusted that Obama's citizenship became such an issue that he actually needed to take the time to address it. We should certainly blame the media outlets who have allowed this issue to dominate their newscasts. And we can also blame Donald Trump.

In fact, Donald Trump is proud of his role in stirring up a ridiculous controversy grounded in baseless fear-mongering and Palin-esque hysteria. Trump cautions, though, that he still has questions about the validity of the form, and asks why it took so long for President Obama to produce a certificate.


Predictably, people are unhappy. Among the grab-bag of mixed reactions, birthers have already concocted various conspiracy theories, other are angry that the president is catering to crazy minorities, and many think the Obama wasted too much time avoiding the issue, and he should have silenced his critics by presenting this at the very beginning of his presidency. Here's Obama's justification for devoting time to "this silliness."

Hopefully this issue will be put to rest once and for all, but I have a feeling that, in this political climate, any mention of the topic at all is just fanning the flames of craziness. It will certainly be interesting to see what the birthers come up with next.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd give Obama some credit for what might be a brilliant political move.

The birthers and Trump are those crazy extreme uncles that the Republican Party wants to hide in the closet.

More media for them is always bad for the Republican Party. By recognizing them and giving them more voice and power, Obama is helping the Republican Party take itself apart from the inside.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. Giving power to people who run on prejudice and are deaf to reason seems extremely dangerous. We think they are a minority now, but they are a growing presence and that makes me extremely uneasy.