Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This morning Hawaii broke with its policy on the request of the President, and released a long-form version of the birth certificate that a handful of nutters have been insisting is the only proof that he is an American citizen. Clearly this could have been arranged at any time, so you have to wonder why now? Or rather, why not earlier?

If he'd wanted to put this issue to rest he'd have made a couple of calls during the campaign and sent his lawyer up to City Hall all the way back in 2008. He didn't then because birtherism makes Republicans look bad. People who accepted the normal Hawaiian birth certificate would look at the Republican party and see Orly Taitz;  the Republican Party is a nutty blonde lawyer/dentist who screams her way through interviews.

No rational person believes this certificate was a real issue; Republicans keep saying it is a real issue, therefore Republicans aren't rational.  Plus, it calls into question their global warming skepticism. And don't forget the subtle undertone of racism - aren't all black folk from Kenya? Well, this one must be, at least!

So the next question is what has Obama to gain by releasing now, instead of say, a couple of weeks before he's re-elected?

You might think it's to get Donald Trump out of the way, but I can't believe he was that great a threat. In fact if anything, Donald Trump was a Godsend to the DNC for the same reasons. Republicans are blowhard reality TV phonies with hair problems! He never would have declared candidacy anyway, because of the financial disclosure requirements. So Trump himself wasn't the motivation. He's a sideshow.

I'm guessing two possibilities - either Republicans go on with the birth issue thing anyway (check out the scare quotes in this headline!) which makes them look even worse to the normals (win for Obama!) or they drop it and are forced to debate him on policy (probable win for Obama, because he has adopted so many Republican positions that they have few left that they can fight him on). Beyond that there is always possibility #3, that someone starts the rumor that Obama IS Osama Bin Laden, shaved and coached in a Chicago accent. But really, that's just a variation of the birther argument.

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