Holding views similar to those of blogging law professor William Jacobson, I believe the “birther” story has released critical mass in large part because Obama supporters want to paint the President’s critics with a broad brush, as if we’re all extremists. Why else would left-wing extremist website (DailyKos) have commissioned a poll on this topic for unhinged leftists to wave around in much the same manner as some of the birthers wave around their facts?
One reason the “birthers” have gained so much traction in America is that while promising a new era of transparency, Barack Obama has been less than forthcoming about his own past, misrepresenting his relationship with William Ayers, refusing to release his transcripts from Occidential College or Columbia University and offering evasive explanations about his youthful years in Indonesia. He could clear up a lot if he, as past presidents have done, just released the various documents.
In my initial post on the topic, I noted that I was impressed with the awarenes many “birthers” have of the issue which so animates them. They, like our reader Charlene in commenting to my post, marshal a good deal of eividence when I argue that they’re making much ado about nothing.
Charlene does, however, raises one issue which makes me wonder if maybe I’ve been wrong to dismiss this issue altogether. If there were nothing to hide then why would Obama spend nearly three-quarters of a million dollars keeping the records secret? Another reader, Silverwolf, contends there are two camps of birthers, considering himself part of the second, those believing “there is something on the birth certificate that would be rather embarrassing to be found out.” That notion makes a lot of sense. Ashpenaz has a theory what that supposedly embarrasing fact might be.
And while the DailyKos poll suggests a majority of Republicans falls in the first camp, the real question for those on the left who want to use that number to trash Republicans is this: if so many rank-and-file Republicans support the birthers, why aren’t leading GOP politicians making more of this issue? Can these lefties identify any national Republican who has supported the birthers? Are they aware that no House Republican voted against the resolution declaring Obama a native of Hawai’i?
FROM THE COMMENTS: Sonicfrog reminds me why I had long ago lost interest in this issue: “Yet, when the Republican Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle declares that she’s seen the original and declares Obama a natural born citizen, well, this inconvenient fact is shrugged off.” Believing this good woman, I paid the issue no heed until it was all over the blogosphere this past week.
Perhaps, I shouldn’t have blogged on this, given the number of our perennial critics who have faulted me for saying the exact opposite of what I actually said. But, then again, this isn’t the first time, they’ve put words into my mouth so they can fault me for saying them.