Birthers aborted?

The White House finally made public the long form birth certificate of Barack Obama. This whole non-issue has been stirred by a lot of people on the Republican side suggesting that the president wasn’t born in Hawaii but in Kenya. There was never any truth to these allegations, and there was an implied tone of racism there. I can’t imagine a white president being asked to prove his citizenship by birth.

Article II, Section I, Clause V of the US Constitution says, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” So, if Barack Obama had indeed been born outside the US, he would be automatically disqualified for the office he currently holds. Hence the whole controversy. It has been discussed that the original reason this clause was put in the constitution was to prevent a member of the British royal family from becoming president and then turning the country over to the very same imperialists it was fought and obtained from. Makes sense right? Except when it tends to discriminate against naturalized citizens who might otherwise be extremely qualified for the post. That of course, is a topic that deserves its own post.

Courtesy: Jerry Breen (newbreen.com)

IMHO, it’s quite sad that some of the people who’ve been clamoring for more liberty and less taxation have chosen to align themselves with the nuts who believe that the president wasn’t born in the US. If anything, it takes away from any morality that existed in their political stand. Of all the people who’ve taken on this ridiculous project of questioning the president’s birthplace, Donald Trump has been the most disappointing but not very surprising. He actually had fueled a lot of this controversy by pandering to the ‘birthers’. He even apparently released his own birth certificate in a tongue-in-cheek way. Now that the president has released the long form of his birth certificate, Trump has the gall to take credit for helping settle the issue. My opinion of Trump’s arrogance is better expressed by Mr. Jim Mitchell. In any case, people who attack the president on policy and question his methods of resolving the debt and jobs crisis were being drowned out by this incessant yapping from a faction of the right. I must admit that I too was wondering why Obama doesn’t release the long form of his birth certificate for all this time. I thought of some good reasons:

  • Apparently, the state of Hawaii doesn’t release long forms often
  • Obama didn’t want to dignify this non-issue by reacting to it
  • Obama wanted the birthers (and the Republican candidates who align themselves with the birthers) to collect enough rope so he could hang them at the right time
All of the above could be reasons for his hitherto silence. If it is the third reason (which would be serious realpolitik by the way!), perhaps Obama would have been helped by waiting a little longer. Trump seemed like he was gonna take this issue further, and cutting him to size would have been better if done closer to the beginning of the 2012 campaign.
Either way, hope this issue is settled now, and we can focus on real stuff.

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6 thoughts on “Birthers aborted?

  1. Quite Often, in a democratic set up – there is ‘freedom of speech’ misused and this happens even in India too. Distracting and indulging in smear campaign of the capable are very common. I do not think anyone would present a false birth certificate and get elected as President! At least not in USA!!

    • I agree. It is highly unlikely. The thing about a smear campaign is that it tells as much about the people it is targeted to as it does about the people who create it.

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