I want to second Hadley’s contention that we need to talk about the serious issues confronting us as a nation, not the president’s birth certificate. But in the only post I have ever written about the controversy that just ended (I hope) with the release of President Obama’s long-awaited, long-form birth certificate, I do want to say what I think the whole thing reveals.
First of all, it appears that the president didn’t release this document sooner because he thought having the “birthers” around was advantageous. John McCormack notes this over at the Weekly Standard:
Why did Obama wait until April 27, 2011 to release this document? A White House official emails Ben Smith: “I am not going to argue the politics of doing this are good – they probably aren’t. Allowing the GOP primary to devolve into birther mania probably would be better, but the president felt strongly that this was bad for the country.”
So in that statement the official reveals what was always apparent: Team Obama thought the “birther issue” was politically advantageous for them. By refusing to release the document, they gave the conspiracy theory just enough oxygen to keep it alive and make Republicans look crazy when asked about it by their constituents (obviously, the most die-hard “birthers” will summarily call the “long-form” certificate a forgery or find other excuses to keep their fevered dreams alive).
It appears that it was the White House-not those crazy birthers-that was playing politics. I never doubted that he was born in Hawaii, but the request for the birth certificate was hardly outrageous. The arrogance displayed in not releasing the certificate until now is disturbing.
This arrogance came back to bite him yesterday in a nearly empty White House press room (the press had gone to be withThe Donald in New Hampshire). In a brillian piece in the New York Post about the “staging” yesterday at 1600 Pennsylvania, John Podhoretz notes:
Then he began by complaining about how, if he had come to talk about foreign policy, the networks wouldn’t have given him the time.
True — but the reason the networks went live with his comments about his own birth certificate was that he had lowered himself to Donald Trump’s level.
He is the president of the United States, for God’s sake. And yet he allowed himself to become a supporting player in someone else’s reality-TV show by whining about how he could only get the time of day from the broadcast gods by talking about his birth certificate….
This is another in a string of events and speeches and appearances in which Obama acts in ways that make him smaller, pettier and less consequential than the office he is occupying.
Forget Casey Stengel. Julie Taymor would have done less damage to Obama if she had put the president up on wires and sent him sailing through the air during “Spider-Man” before her firing.
Stop whining, Mr. President. You could have released this document two years ago, when it would not have as big a deal. (After lecturing us on the seriousness of the issues facing us, the President boarded a plane to go to Chicago to make an appearance with Oprah!)
Emboldened, Donald Trump is now demanding to see the president’s college records!
But we need to focus-on the issues before us, not on the president’s college transcript, for heaven’s sake. A transcript is valuable to employers-us-only because, with a hire new to the job market, it might predict success or failure. We now know what kind of president Mr. Obama is. We do not need to waste time on his college grades.