A friend called me out of the blue to tell me that he just saw the funniest bumper sticker‚Ä¶
Now, I am by no means a ‚Äúbirther‚ÄĚ (one who believes that Barack Obama is ineligible for the Presidency of the United States based on questions surrounding his citizenship).¬† In fact, it‚Äôs not really a subject that I‚Äôve given much thought.¬† As with 29% of Americans, according to a July 2010 CNN poll, I‚Äôve always accepted that Obama was probably born in the United States.¬† Afterall, Hawaii has his birth certificate on file, right?
It wasn‚Äôt until recently that I started to really think about this subject.¬† I suppose we can credit the new Democratic Governor of Hawaii and ardent Obama supporter, Neil Abercrombie, for revisiting the issue when he gave a December 24, 2010 interview to the New York Times.¬† In that interview Abercrombie grumbled, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no reason on earth to have the memory of [Obama‚Äôs] parents insulted by people whose motivation is solely political. Let‚Äôs put this particular canard to rest.‚ÄĚ¬† He went on to say, ‚ÄúMy thought is, rather than get into some kind of argument or play into that mentality, why not just simply try to authenticate this and let the facts speak for themselves?‚ÄĚ Sounds good to me.
Four days later another Democrat and tingly-leg feeler, MSNBC‚Äôs Chris Matthews, decided to dedicate a segment of his show ‚ÄúHardball with Chris Matthews‚ÄĚ to Abercrombie‚Äôs mission to silence the ‚Äúbirthers‚ÄĚ once and for all.¬† In that segment, Matthews posed the following questions, ‚ÄúI don’t understand why the governor doesn‚Äôt just say, ‚ÄėSnap it up, who‚Äôs ever over there in the department of records, send me a copy right now‚Äô? And why doesn‚Äôt the president just say, ‚ÄėSend me a copy right now?‚Äô Why doesn‚Äôt [press secretary Robert] Gibbs and [Obama aide David] Axelrod say, ‚ÄėLet‚Äôs just get this crappy story dead‚Äô?‚ÄĚ¬† He continued, ‚ÄúIf it exists, why not put it out? I‚Äôm just asking the obvious questions why?‚ÄĚ¬† It‚Äôs not everyday that Chris Matthews makes sense, but he does have a point.
Since the inception of the Obama birth certificate controversy in early 2008, I finally took an interest.¬† So, I started to do a little research and the following is what I learned.
Obama‚Äôs birth certificate initially became an issue during the Democratic Primary in early 2008 when Hillary Clinton supporters, from a blog called The Blue State, began questioning Obama‚Äôs eligibility to be President.¬† As per Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution it states, ‚ÄúNo 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‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ¬† It wasn‚Äôt enough to derail the Obama campaign and by June, 2008, Obama squeezed Hillary out to become the Democratic Nominee for President.
But the issue wouldn‚Äôt go away.¬† NPR, National Review Online, CNN‚Äôs Lou Dobbs Tonight, and many other media outlets began to raise the same citizenship issues in regard to Obama‚Äôs eligibility to run for president.
In an effort to nip the controversy in the bud, Obama released what his campaign called his ‚ÄúOfficial Birth Certificate‚ÄĚ on a website called fightthesmears.com and at about the same time, the Daily Kos presented a copy of Obama‚Äôs Certification of Live Birth.¬† Left wing leaning fact checking organizations such as FactCheck.org, MediaMatters.org, Politifact.com and Snopes.com all confirmed authenticity of the birth certificate documents that indicate Obama was born in Hawaii and therefore eligible to be President.¬† It was even enough for the McCain campaign, who ironically had his citizenship status challenged by the Obama campaign, which issued the following statement:
To the extent that we could, we looked into the substantive side of these allegations.¬† We never saw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the United States. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. There were no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else. On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii. There was a certificate issued by the state‚Äôs Department of Health, and the responsible official in the state saying that he had personally seen the original certificate. There was a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, which would be very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance.
By this time, various theories began to emerge regarding Obama‚Äôs citizenship.¬† One suggested that he was actually born in Kenya, another was that he was born in Indonesia, yet another proposed that being Hawaiian born is not a ‚Äúnatural-born‚ÄĚ citizen, and so on.¬† The idea that Obama was born in a foreign country, then smuggled into the U.S., that his parents somehow deceived Hawaiian authorities into falsely certifying his birth and had the wherewithal to place birth announcements in the local paper really does sound absurd.¬† So why did the first ‚Äúbirther,‚ÄĚ Democrat activist lawyer Phil Berg, file a lawsuit challenging Obama eligibility in on August 21, 2008?¬† Why does White House Press Secretary Gibbs mock those who seek more evidence with comments like, ‚ÄúI will seek to interview whoever brought the president into this world‚ÄĚ?
Here‚Äôs the problem for the critics of birthers.
Hawaii has two ways to ‚Äúprove‚ÄĚ citizenship. One way is by producing the CERTIFICATION OF LIVE BIRTH, which is the short form computer-generated printout that provides specific details of a person’s birth that can be printed out at any time.¬† This document is what Obama produced with a 2007 stamp on it.¬† This document is what all the Left wing fact checker organizations use to confirm Obama‚Äôs eligibility to be President.
The other way of proving citizenship is by producing a CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH, which is the long form original birth certificate document produced at the time of birth with the name of the hospital, hand written dates, signatures of the doctor, the registrar, the director of health, and the state registrar.¬† This is the document that Governor Neil Abercrombie, MSNBC‚Äôs Chris Matthews and the birthers all want to see produced.
And since Hawaii has a privacy law that bars the disclosure of an individual‚Äôs birth documentation without the person‚Äôs consent, no objective eye has ever seen Obama‚Äôs actual birth certificate.¬† This is the crux of the problem and what fuels the birther‚Äôs fire.
So how does Obama‚Äôs name get in Hawaii‚Äôs database if no birth certificate was ever created?
I wondered the same thing and found something interesting on a recent trip to Hawaii where I met with the statue of Sun Yat-Sen, the Founding Father of Nationalist China which paved the road to the authoritarian Chinese regime we know today.¬† He was born in the village of Cuiheng, near Hong Kong in China, in 1866.¬† Like Obama, Sun Yat-Sen spent several years going to school in Oahu. And in March 1904, he obtained a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth, issued by the Territory of Hawaii, stating he was born on November 24, 1870 in Kula, Maui.
It was possible for the Sun Yat-Sen to obtain a Hawaiian birth certificate simply by submitting an Affidavit to the Office of the Secretary stating he was born in Hawaii.¬† This practice evolved and in 1911 became a law that allowed foreign born person to be registered as though they were born in Hawaii.¬† All that was required was to simply fill out an application, be presented to a representative to the Secretary of Hawaii and have a witness testimony that could include family and friends.¬† The practice continued until 1972.
So, it is not unfathomable that Hawaii would issue a birth certificate to a foreign born person.¬† Or that said person could go on to become a world leader.¬† All that was required in 1961 was Obama‚Äôs grandparents to recognize the fact that having U.S. citizenship would provide him with a better life and his mother with a better opportunity in the event a divorce and custody hearing arose in her first marriage.¬† If this were the case, all that would actually exist is the short form computer generated certification of live birth.¬† In other words, no actual long form original certificate of live birth would exist.¬† This is consistent with what Obama and his campaign and staff have presented to date.
And how was an announcement made of Obama‚Äôs birth if he was never born in Hawaii?¬† The announcements were automatically issued whenever a certification of live birth was issued.¬† Once Obama‚Äôs name was in the system, the birth announcement was issued.
What is fascinating is that for about a period of 4 years between 2004 and 2008, the American Left made issue that no evidence of WMDs were ever found.¬† They successfully demonized President George W. Bush regarding the Iraq invasion and eventually took Congress and the office of the President with large margins.¬† For the next couple years, a group of people take issue with Obama‚Äôs citizenship calling for the president to produce evidence of his long form certificate of live birth, of which Obama refuses to do.¬† And instead of Obama getting demonized, those on the Left have successfully marginalized and vilified the individuals demanding proof of citizenship as if they were on equal footing as the 9/11 ‚Äútruthers.‚ÄĚ¬† Stalin had the ‚Äúbourgeois‚ÄĚ and now Obama has the ‚Äúbirthers.‚ÄĚ
So, did Hawaiian Governor Abercrombie simply authenticate Obama‚Äôs certificate of live birth and let the facts speak for themselves as he said he would at the end of December 2010?
On January 20, 2011, Governor Abercrombie declared that State Attorney General David Louie told him that privacy laws bar him from disclosing an individual‚Äôs birth documentation without the person‚Äôs consent (how convenient); however, Abercrombie contended, without seeing it first hand, that Obama‚Äôs long form birth certificate ‚Äúexists in archives.‚ÄĚ¬† That fruitless effort certainly did not put the issue at rest for good.¬† Apparently, the only person who can legally put the issue to rest for good is Obama himself.¬† So, when he is done with the rhetoric that he ‚Äúcan‚Äôt spend all of [his] time with [his] birth certificate plastered on [his] forehead,‚ÄĚ maybe he will spend the two minutes to call his attorney and instruct them to coordinate with the Hawaiian Department of Health to obtain the long form certificate of live birth.
Until this document is produced, examined and authenticated, more ‚ÄúWhere‚Äôs the Birth Certificate?‚ÄĚ billboards will be erected, more blogs will push the story and more Americans will begin to change their attitude from Obama probably is a citizen to Obama is probably not a citizen‚Ä¶ like me.