Born in the USA?

Where was Barack Obama born? Was it in Hawaii, as his official “short form” birth “certification” states? Or was he actually born in Kenya, and therefore ineligible to be President?

The “birthers” conspiracy theory has been gaining a lot of traction these days, though it has been around since before the election — since, in fact, people realized that a black guy might actually have a chance to be elected president. The birthers claim several things. First, that the reason Obama has never produced a long-form Hawaii birth certificate is because none exists. Second, that the short-form certificate is fake. Third, that the announcements placed in two major Hawaiian newspapers in August of 1961 are also somehow fake — though that would be evidence of an astonishing amount of forethought by his parents.

Now, inevitably, someone has produced a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama. And  those same people who are so reluctant to believe that the Hawaiian certification is genuine — even though it has been confirmed as such by state officials, some of whom are Republican — seem eager to believe this Kenyan document is real. This, even though it’s supposedly issued by the “Republic of Kenya,” when Kenya didn’t actually become a republic until 10 months after the document is dated.

But I’m less fascinated by the issue of “where was Obama born” than with the issue of “why is he so silent about this?” I think I know, but if it’s true, it’s an amazing example of Obama’s patience and ability to play a long-range game. I think he’s more than happy to have half of the Republican party frothing at the mouth about this bogus issue, and the other half embarrassed at the wingnut aspect of it all. And that appears to be the actual split: in a recent poll, half of Republicans thought Obama might have been born in Kenya; half said he was born in Hawaii.

Could Obama produce a “long-form” birth certificate? A website called factcheck.org claims to have seen it, and verified it as real. If that’s so — if the administration selected one organization to show it to — why would they pick factcheck.org? Why not the New York Times, or ABC News?  It seems weirder to be asked to believe that one single website, which most Americans have never heard of, was granted access to the document — while similarly maintaining there’s nothing to hide.

That’s what confuses me about this whole issue. If it’s easily put to rest, why not put it to rest? Either it’s not so easy, or Obama has other reasons for not wanting to put it to rest. Maybe he wants the issue to become even more divisive to Republicans — even more frothy-mouthed — before revealing the long-form certificate. Maybe he thinks that’s the best way to defuse the issue and damage the right-wingers. I can’t quite figure it out, but at this point I wish the issue would just go away.

PS: speaking of “born in the USA,” happy birthday, RB!

68 responses to “Born in the USA?”

  1. Dave says:

    Does RB share a birthday with BHO? Happy happy to both.

    That’s what confuses me about this whole issue. If it’s easily put to rest, why not put it to rest?

    If releasing the “short form” birth certificate, plus the birth announcements, hasn’t put this to rest, do you honestly think anything could put it to rest? People don’t believe stuff like this because of facts or evidence. They believe it because on some level they want or need to.

    In this case, it’s pretty clear that the birther stuff is pretty much just about racism.

  2. Tim says:

    I’ve said it elsewhere, but I’ll say it again: Happy Birthday, R[redacted]B[redacted]!

    Also, I was talking to my father last night about the whole “birther” thing. Being the fair sort, this kind of thing happens on both sides of the aisle.

    I recall my eagerness to believe the slightest scrap of rumor of *anything* that might have possibly, just a wee little bit, helped to discredit the last administration and begun its tumble from office, you know, back in the bad old days of 01-08. I was desperate for something that would get GWB and/or Cheney out of there. For a couple days I even pinned my hopes on an 18th-c. law that said a President and VP couldn’t reside in the same state. My motives, however, were perfectly rational and sane.

    On another note, same tune, is Andrew Sullivan still harping on Palin’s fake pregnancy? I hope so.

  3. Marleyfan says:

    The birth certificate is in the Vault # (redacted) within Area 51.

    I’m impressed Tim, I didn’t even know the word redacted until a year ago; I’m obviously a quick learner at age 42.

  4. Dave says:

    The redaction in 2 was mine. Nice use in 3, Marleyfan.

  5. goy ahoy says:

    If I were ever to meet this R.B. person I’m afraid I’d be tempted to call her/him Redacted Bredacted.

  6. Marleyfan says:

    I figured Tim was just being funny :)

    It’s always interesting who does and doesn’t want their real names on TGW, and as editor it would be difficult trying to remember. I really don’t know why I came up with Marleyfan as a pseudonym; maybe because I sometimes post from work.

  7. Is this the RB whose name is on the contributors page? why is it getting redacted allofa sudden? If Ms. B does not want her name appearing on TGW it would probably be a good idea to redact the contributors page as well. And happy brithday!

  8. Tim says:

    Not that RB, Modesto, but a different one. Plus, that RB is a pseudonym.

    My bad this morning on posting redactable information, and thanks to Dave for catching it.

  9. LP says:

    2: the difference is,you wouldn’t have been out there, placard in hand, protesting that bush shouldn’t be president because of that arcane law. I’m amazed at how many people are so avidly pursuing this as a supposedly rational thing. Should obama be deported? If he’s been living here under a ruse all these years, that’s what would follow.

    7: different RB!

  10. Ah ok. I am in the dark then about to whom I am wishing a happy birthday.

  11. LP says:

    10:she says thank you! I would add a link to the post where I wrote about her, but my laptop is on the fritz and I’m posting this via blackberry. Perhaps later today…

  12. Dave says:

    This is amusing, if you can stand it, on the topic of the main post.

  13. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    Could Obama produce a “long-form” birth certificate? A website called factcheck.org claims to have seen it, and verified it as real. If that’s so — if the administration selected one organization to show it to — why would they pick factcheck.org? Why not the New York Times, or ABC News? It seems weirder to be asked to believe that one single website, which most Americans have never heard of, was granted access to the document — while similarly maintaining there’s nothing to hide.

    Lisa,

    FactCheck has NEVER claimed to see the original 1961 long form birth certificate. The only thing they’ve seen, and the document they’ve posted on their web site, is the 2007 computer-generated short form which is basically an affidavit from current Hawaii official saying that they’ve looked at Obama’s files.

    However, FactCheck HAS attempted, very successful, to mislead people into thinking that the 2007 certification is actually the 1961 long form signed by doctors and other witnesses. They have accomplished this by referring to it as “the original” and talking about touching and examining it, etc. But all they are “verifying” is that the state of Hawaii — rather than some forger” — created the computer printout. They call it an “original” simply because it was printed on fresh paper and has the 2007 raised seal; in other words, it’s not a photocopy of the 2007 document.

    If you read FactCheck.org’s article carefully, you’ll see that that they say the following about the 1961 long form:

    The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents’ hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.

    This is also deliberately misleading — they’re trying to imply that it would somehow be impossible for Obama to release the long form. But Hawaii statutes make it quite clear that all he has to do is ask. He wouldn’t be able to use the 1961 long form as “official” proof of anything (only the new short form gets signed by current state officials) but he could certainly get a copy of it for whatever purpose he wished.

  14. Scotty says:

    I’m sad to report that we will likely not have another normal, respected (by both sides of the aisle) president for some time. I blame the Right for this state of affairs since they impeached Clinton on some pretty petty charges then they clearly stole the 2000 election. The shouting of “illegitimacy” will continue long after Obama is gone.

  15. LP says:

    Wow! A bona fide conspiracy theorist, right here on TGW! A few questions for you, Elizabeth:

    1. If the short form is good enough for the State Dept. to issue a US passport, why is it not good enough for the birthers?

    2. Do you believe the Hawaiian officials who are Republicans are lying when they say the form is genuine and aver that Obama is a US citizen?

    3. Do you truly believe that Obama’s parents somehow fraudulently placed birth announcements in two Hawaiian newspapers? What did they do, telephone from Kenya?

    4. Did you similarly insist that Sarah Palin produce a birth certificate for Trig, which would have been just as easy?

    I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts. thanks for joining us here.

  16. swells says:

    Still, doesn’t anyone else wonder why the document hasn’t leaked out yet? Don’t you think every employee in the Honolulu County Records Office has sneaked a look at that thing by now? Is it just for the refusal to dignify the cranks (as even Ann Coulter calls them!) with a response that it hasn’t come out? (like negotiating with terrorists?) And yes, if he does stoop to produce it, I REALLY hope Sullivan shakes Trig’s certificate out of Bristol, oops I mean Sarah, Palin.

  17. swells says:

    And while we’re on it, can’t we have a little more birthday love for B[redacted] O[redacted] today? I don’t really care WHERE he was born, I’m just so darn happy that he was! (but, uh, I’m sure it was in America.)

    Has anyone else seen the argument that if you go by what the Constitution literally says about presidential requirements, to be eligible at all you’d have to have been not only born in a state that existed (i.e. one of the original 13), but also alive when the thing was written? Let’s get Scalia to read THAT without “interpreting.”

  18. Scotty says:

    17: there’s a very important “or” in Article II, which you may not be giving due creedence. The passage reads:

    “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 the President…”

    I’m not a big Bill Maher fan, but this rant about the idiots — I mean the birthers — is pretty good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4apBc87h5-A

  19. LP says:

    That reminds me of.another question: even if obama was born in Kenya, wouldn’t he still be a US citizen, since his mother is?

    Also, for the record, I believe trig is Sarah palin’s baby. I just think it’s interesting that prole who howl about producing one birth certificate don’t care at all about the other.

  20. Scotty says:

    Since we’re all talking on the record here, I’d just like to say that despite how much I dislike Sarah Palin, I do think there is a big difference between the two cases: regardless of who Trig’s mother is, it doesn’t affect Palin’s eligibility for office. That should be demonstrated by her idiocy.

  21. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    LP,

    I’m going to provide honest, complete and direct responses to all of your questions and statements. I hope you’ll have the courtesy to reply to my questions in the same manner.

    Wow! A bona fide conspiracy theorist, right here on TGW! A few questions for you, Elizabeth:

    I am not a conspiracy theorist. I believe that Obama was born in Hawaii. My only statements on this blog have related to the nature of the documents that have been released. I do suspect there is something on Obama’s 1961 that he doesn’t want made public, even though it has nothing to do with his place of birth

    If the short form is good enough for the State Dept. to issue a US passport, why is it not good enough for the birthers?

    I imagine the reason would vary from birther to birther, and since I’m not a birther, you’d have to ask one of them. However, you should keep in mind that “what’s good enough for the State Department” and “what’s the best proof of someone’s birthplace” are two very different question. First, I don’t know whether being a natural born citizen or being actually born in the state indicated on the short form are requrements of getting a passport. Second, if an accurate birthplace is important to the State Department, they’d rely on the long form rather than the short if there was a suspected conflict between the two (which there isn’t in Obama’s case). Third, the State Department would REJECT newspaper birth announcements if they were submiited as proof in connection with passport application, even though such evidence is far more compelling than a computer-generated short form. So “what’s good enough for the State Department” is a weak argument.

    Do you believe the Hawaiian officials who are Republicans are lying when they say the form is genuine and aver that Obama is a US citizen?

    I don’t know what “form” you’re talking about or what you mean by “genuine.” If you mean the 2007 short form, I believe it was genuinely issued by the State of Hawaii. If the officials are representing that the short form is the genuine, original 1961 certificate, then they are lying regardless of their party affiliation.

    I do not know what documents the officials examined to fill in the blanks on the 2007 form. They have given conflicting accounts regarding the nature and existence of the 1961 vital records that were employed. If, in fact, by claiming that Obama is a “citizen” they mean that they saw some contemporaneous 1961 that indicated Obama was born in Hawaii, then I believe that they did. Unfortunately, they haven’t stated anything very clearly.

    Do you truly believe that Obama’s parents somehow fraudulently placed birth announcements in two Hawaiian newspapers?

    No. The newspaper articles are what convinces me Obama was born in Hawaii. They’re much better evidence than than 2007 short form, though not as good as the long form. Technically speaking, they only prove that his parents had an address in Hawaii when they placed an announcement about a “son” in mid~august, but obviously there’s other compelling circumstantial evidence that fills in the gaps.

    Did you similarly insist that Sarah Palin produce a birth certificate for Trig, which would have been just as easy?

    i don’t recall that Trig was running for President or that his country of birth was in question. However, if there were a significant number of Trig birthers (I think it was just Andrew Sullivan) I would have very vigorously insisted on the certificate (or hospital records) to shut them up.

    Now my question for you:

    Do you acknowledge that FactCheck.org has never examined Obama’s 1961 long form birth certificate, and the only document they’ve purported to verify is the 2007 Certification printed out by a computer and signed by current Hawaiian officials?

  22. lane says:

    Nor’east Lizzy,

    that IS a BUNCH of cold air . . . serious buzzkill, just stop . . .

    for god’s sake put your obviously brilliant mind to work for something other than understanding and repeating hearsay and insanity. unless you’re studying for the law, and this is a . . , ruse, of sorts.

    work on REALITY!

  23. Scotty says:

    Wow Lane, that’s kind of unnecessary. Are we that lame that we can’t handle opposing beliefs and opinions? Plus she said that she believes that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    I know that I’m not part of the original GW-old guard, but I for one welcome new voices…

  24. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    that IS a BUNCH of cold air . . . serious buzzkill, just stop . . .

    Lane,

    You must have missed LP’s prior comment — I was responding to a series of questions she posed. No worries, sometimes I don’t have the time to scroll up and figure out who’s responding to who either, lol.

    Thx, Scotty! But I wasn’t expressing an “opposing” opinion, I was just clarifying the undisputed facts about the documentary evidence relevant to this controversy. Many people share LP’s confusion about what documents have been released and/or provided to third parties such as FactCheck for inspection.

  25. LP says:

    Elizabeth –

    Thanks for your thoughtful replies. Here are my thoughts on them, and a response to the question you ask me:

    I do suspect there is something on Obama’s 1961 that he doesn’t want made public, even though it has nothing to do with his place of birth.

    This is an interesting supposition, and one that would seem to make sense. The only thing I can think of is that the long-form birth certificate might list his religion (if it does such a thing, which I don’t know is the case) as Muslim. This would send people into another frenzy, even though declaring a baby’s religion is of course no indication of what that person will ultimately believe when able to make his own decisions.

    you should keep in mind that “what’s good enough for the State Department” and “what’s the best proof of someone’s birthplace” are two very different question.

    I’d wager that an official, state-issued short-form certificate is pretty good proof of someone’s birthplace. Especially in this day and age of super-heightened attention to who is trying to get into the US, this document seems definitive. It doesn’t list the hospital, no – but I’m not sure why that’s so important. Again, if it can be used to obtain a US passport – one of the most sought-after documents in the terrorist community, among others – then I’m not sure why it’s not good enough proof for the “birthers.”

    That said, I do wish Obama would just release the long form, if it is possible to do so. But perhaps it’s not. I have also read that the Hawaiian authorities went all-digital with their records in 2000 or so, meaning the long form is no longer available. Though that seems a bit fishy, too.

    Third, the State Department would REJECT newspaper birth announcements if they were submiited as proof in connection with passport application, even though such evidence is far more compelling than a computer-generated short form.

    My only point here was that the newspaper announcements would have been much harder to fake, so they seem more compelling evidence to me (as they do to you) that Obama was actually born in Hawaii – which, we should remember, is the ONLY thing we should be concerned with here. It seems the birthers are more concerned with what’s on the long form, and why aren’t they allowed to see it, than being presented with other proof that Obama is in fact a US citizen.

    I don’t know what “form” you’re talking about or what you mean by “genuine.”

    What I mean is, Hawaiian officials, some of whom are Republican, have stated that the short form the state issued is in fact the form they issue when asked for proof of birth in the state – meaning that Obama was born in Hawaii. Which is, again, the only issue we should be concerned with.

    if there were a significant number of Trig birthers…

    It wasn’t only Andrew Sullivan, but you are correct that it was nowhere near the number of Obama birthers, which apparently now number half of all Republicans. Which in itself is astonishing to me, and indicative of how desperate Republicans are, how fringe-y they’ve become, and how difficult a road it will be for them to come back. i can’t imagine how it must feel to a reasonably level-headed Republican congressman to face a group of frothing-at-the-mouth birthers, screaming that Obama is a Kenyan citizen, that he hates America, etc. Ridiculous. But this is their base. Nice work, Karl Rove.

    Do you acknowledge that FactCheck.org has never examined Obama’s 1961 long form birth certificate, and the only document they’ve purported to verify is the 2007 Certification printed out by a computer and signed by current Hawaiian officials?

    I’ve been confused by the factcheck.org thing all along (as I mentioned in the post above). I think it’s likely you are correct here, though I still don’t think it means anything in terms of whether Obama is a US citizen, which again is the ONLY thing we should be concerned with. It doesn’t seem to reflect well on factcheck.org, but that’s not Obama’s problem.

    The question is, will the birther thing just flame out eventually, or will some Republican congress members start offering up bills demanding to see the long form? I’m betting on the latter. It’s certainly not over.

  26. LP says:

    12: Wow. That was like an SNL skit. And like most SNL skits, it went on too long.

    Non-nutsy Republicans must be cringing.

  27. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    LP,

    I’m on agreement on pretty much everything here. I also originally suspected there was a religion issue (that it would identify his mother’s religion as “atheist”) but then I looked at the 1961 Hawaii certificate that were in use in early August 1961 (see here) and there’s no space for “religion.” (There was also no space for the mother’s “usual occupation” although there was one for the father’s).

    A copy of the Republican bill to require a copy of a birth certificate from presidential candidates is available here. Obviously they don’t have the numbers to pass, and won’t unless there’s a major upheaval in 2010.

    Unfortunately, the way Obama’s camp has handled the issue reflects as poorly on them as it does on FactCheck.org. At least FactCheck notes that there is something called the long form and you can surmise from their post that they haven’t examined it. Obama’s people have gone out of their way to imply that what FactCheck has posted is the 1961 original, and I suspect that they put pressure on Andrew Sullivan to spread this misimpression last week.

  28. LP says:

    It certainly is strange that, if the long form is available, they don’t simply present it and cut off all this speculation. Unless Obama somehow feels that this debate ultimately damages the Republicans far more than it does the himself, which I think it does. When one half of the party is at war with the other half, and even Ann Coulter is calling the birthers fringe nuts, that can only be good for the Dems.

    I’m also curious – why are you doing so much research on this issue? I obviously have a significant degree of curiosity about it too, but you seem to have done more digging – even though you yourself are convinced he is a US citizen. I’m guessing you found this site by looking for “birthers” mentions on Technorati, or some such?

    Thanks for the discussion, btw. And welcome to TGW.

  29. Dave says:

    Northeast Elizabeth, I’m puzzled by your dissatisfaction with the factcheck.org article. It makes perfectly clear that it’s referring to the short-form, not the long-form certificate:

    The document is a “certification of birth,” also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents’ hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.

    Is that not perfectly clear?

    I’d also like a source for your claim that “Obama’s people have gone out of their way to imply that what FactCheck has posted is the 1961 original.”

    I think the Obama team’s response has been perfectly appropriate. The thing about weird conspiracy theories is that people don’t believe them based on evidence, they believe them out of deep-seated psychological needs. (In this case, it seems to be pretty much just the need to deny that a black man could be elected President.) Trying to refute the birther stuff is like shooting at a moving target. Obama’s camp is best off doing what they’ve done: release the birth certificate that’s acceptable to the State Department and other official parties, then take the high ground and watch the nutjobs rant and rave — which they’d do regardless of Obama’s response.

    When this “controversy” dies down, the crazies will manufacture another one, and then another. Remember the Clinton years, Vince Foster and all that? The two sides really are not symmetrical in coming up with this kind of bullshit.

  30. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    I’m also curious – why are you doing so much research on this issue?

    Because I despise Obama and want him destroyed by any means possible, preferably by a lurid scandal that will drive him out of public service forever. I would prefer an adultery scandal, but If there’s some information in the original birth certificate that shows that he’s lied about his background.I would be content with that as well.

    Even though i believe he was born in Hawaii.

    I’m puzzled by your dissatisfaction with the factcheck.org article. It makes perfectly clear that it’s referring to the short-form, not the long-form certificate:

    As I said above, “FactCheck has NEVER claimed to see the original 1961 long form birth certificate.” But, my dear Dave, there’s that little business in FactCheck’s opening summary where they say “FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate.” First, it’s technically a lie, because it’s the 2007 “certification” (i.e. an affidavit) and not the 1961 “certificate.” Also, it’s not “original” in the sense the ordinary person would understand that word, i.e., the document “originally” prepared by actual witness in 1961. FactCheck new very well that their opening line about touching, examining etc. the “original” would mislead people into thinking that they had been give some rare historical document, rather than some 2007 printout that the Hawaii officials have give to numerous organizations. They knew that the vast majority of people would not wade through the rest of their verbiage and figure out the difference between the certificate and the certification.

    And indeed, it did confuse LP and thousands of other bloggers. Just stick their misleading language through Google blog search and you’ll see. Most recently, the language fooled Andrew Sullivan out of pressing for the long form, which he was pushing for here. If you read that post, you’ll see that Sullivan understood very well that the 2007 certification was merely a document in which Hawaii officials claimed to have seen Obama’s original documentation — and he demanded that the original documents be released rather than have the public rely on the official’s word. However, he retracted that demand here, upon the express understanding that FactCheck.org HAD examined the original.

    I’d also like a source for your claim that “Obama’s people have gone out of their way to imply that what FactCheck has posted is the 1961 original.

    Dave, here is Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, trying to fool the American public into thinking that what he ahd FactCheck have posted on the internet is the original. And here as well. And here is GIbbs (at 55:47 of the video) claiming that he doesn’t know the “exact hospital” where Obama was born and refusing to verify that Obama wrote a letter to Kapiolani Hospital earlier this year saying he was born there, even though to the hospital posted (and then took down) that letter on its website (full story here).

    So there’s been a substantial amount of deception and gamesmanship on both sides of the issue. And, of course, there’s the meme the Obama so successfully pushed during the campaign — that everyone with sincere objections to he policies was a racist. Too bad that you’re parroting it, Dave.

  31. LP says:

    Well, Northeast Elizabeth, I thought you were a reasonable person, but this convinces me otherwise:

    Because I despise Obama and want him destroyed by any means possible, preferably by a lurid scandal that will drive him out of public service forever. I would prefer an adultery scandal, but If there’s some information in the original birth certificate that shows that he’s lied about his background.I would be content with that as well.

    Dave is right, this is exactly like the anti-Clinton hysteria of the 90s. It didn’t matter WHAT the issue was, as long as an issue could be found to bring him down. Of course, you’d think in retrospect, we had better things to worry about as a nation in the late ’90s than whether he was messing around with an intern. But certain slash-and-burn Republicans seem to care only about bringing down the Democrat, by any means possible, no matter how bogus that is.

    And these are the same people who claim to love their country.

    Disappointing.

  32. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    It didn’t WHAT the issue was, as long as an issue could be found to bring him down

    Both sides do it to the exact same degree. Don’t kid yourself.

    At the time Clinton was brought down, I objected to that sort of politics of personal destruction. I was a Clinton supporter, but now in retrospect I wish he had never been elected. Now I just don’t care about anything but the result.

    I do love my country. I think that Obama is in the process of destroying it forever. And I imagine that if Palin ever becomes President the first thing you’ll be calling for is a DNA test for Trig and Todd’s business partner’s divorce records.

  33. LP says:

    I personally will not be doing that, I can assure you. She would be defeated on the merits unless we become a nation of half-wits, in which case we get what we deserve.

    Interesting that you feel obama is “destroying”the country and wish that Clinton had never been elected. I’d take the state of the nation after Clinton’s two terms over the star of the nation after Bush’s 100 times out of 100. What can obama possibly do to the country that GWB didn’t do!

  34. Dave says:

    NE, if you have sincere objections to Obama’s policies, state them and engage people on the issues. “I despise Obama and want him destroyed by any means possible” indicates something more than sincere objections to someone’s policies.

    And then there’s the “I do love my country. I think that Obama is in the process of destroying it forever.” Obama is ever so slightly to the left of Bill Clinton, yet you were at one point a Clinton supporter. What exactly is Obama doing that’s destroying the country forever?

    Is there any Democratic president (and I mean a real Democrat, not Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller) who you wouldn’t want “destroyed by any means possible”?

    This is actually kinda fascinating.

  35. Dave says:

    Also, you admit that you only want to see this long-form birth certificate because you want Obama “destroyed by any means possible,” and then you expect people to take seriously your concern that the administration’s handling of the issue “reflects … poorly on them.” Mmmkay.

  36. Dave says:

    Also, straight cites to World Net Daily tend not to reflect well on the intelligence or mental competence of the person making the cite.

  37. Marleyfan says:

    Gotta watch out when someone says, “I am not a conspiracy theorist”. It’s akin to a state mental hospital patient saying “I’m not crazy”, or most of the people in jail “I’m not guilty”. I just happen to get all my news from Fox and Rush.

  38. LP says:

    “I would prefer an adultery scandal…”

    Do you not see how ludicrous this statement is?

  39. Scotty says:

    I hate to say this — believe me, I hate to say this — but Lane, you were right about Ms. Northeast. If there is any confusion as to why I feel this way, see comment #14. It does sadden me that we can’t, as a nation, seem to be capable of normal (as defined by rational) political discourse.

    Elizabeth, how exactly do you think Obama is destroying our country forever? He’s certainly not as liberal as FDR or LBJ (in terms of the social programs he supports). Or is it that he’s too conservative (I get that, I’m a total Marxist)? Is it that he’s just not the right person to drive us out of the W. ditch. Or did you think that W. was on track? If so, that’s fine. I can live with that. I just don’t get the destroy by any means necessary thing.

  40. Scotty says:

    39: do you mean because Michelle is so smokin’ hot?

  41. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    My primary objections to Obama are his massive spending (which he falsely calls “stimulus”), his attempted government takeover of healthcare coverage (which he falsely denies attempting despite videotaped statements to the contrary) and his pro-choice policies (although he’s done mercifully little on that front yet). I also think he’s naive on foreign policy, although I do credit him with courageously continuing to prosecute Bush’s two wars and torture policies. Since he’s not interested in honest debate on most of these issues and just wants to cram the legislation through unread, there’s not much point in launching a campaign against him on the merits of the substantive issues.

    So I’m fine with going after him on scandals. I’m honest about my intentions and I carefully and truthfully document the facts. Dave, you may certainly scoff at WND generally (I do), but with respect to the specifics of the birth certificate issues I’ve raised they’ve been accurate. I note that you haven’t contradicted any of my statements on the issue, any of the facts in the linked WND article, or any of my allegations about the dishonesty of FactCheck and the Obama administration on the issue.

    I don’t see any hypocrisy in announcing I want Obama destroyed scandal while simultaneously criticizing them for handling it “poorly.” I’m upfront about my intentions, and am not misleading people like they are.

    And before you go after WND again, let’s not forget the New York Times’ unsourced front page article about McCain’s alleged affair with a lobbyist (published right as he wrapped up the nomination), and its front page
    hit piece on his wife (couple weeks before the election). Remember how on the later article, the Times reporter secretly contacted all of the friends of the McCain’s underaged daughter by emailing them at their Facebook pages — ostensibly to “get an idea of what kind of mother she was”? (See here).

    As I said, don’t kid your self.

  42. Natasha says:

    If, as you are stating, this country is destroyed in the near future, I would conclusively deem it tributary the philoprogenitive in greed and corruption years of Bush (a simple fact of metapolitics.) However, you truly have the right to your opinion, only, it seems to me, that it is a predisposed opinion formed by years of diligent conservative brainwashing and backed by intolerantly sorted hyperbolized facts. I respect that. My days of snapping heads off people, who disagree with me on political issues are over. I also appreciate a good debate, but have a propensity to agree with the previous comments – emotional statements without any solid evidence cannot carry you far, once you outgrow the sandbox or a church congregation.

  43. Tiller's Ghost says:

    NE, were you glad when I got assassinated?

  44. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    emotional statements without any solid evidence cannot carry you far

    I’ve provided links and otherwise stubstantiated whatever factual statements I’ve made, and I don’t see that anyone has contradicted me on any particular point (it being rather difficult to argue with videos and the like). You may recall that my original, narrow point was that FactCheck never examined the 1961 long form birth certificate, refuting a falsehood that has been repeatedly endlessly for nearly two years. Whatever you think of my politics, I think that would have concede that that was an honest, constructive, non-emotional contribution to the debate.

    Not clear about your church reference, but whatever.

    NE, were you glad when I got assassinated?

    No. My anti-choice activities are limited to providing monetary assistance to pregnant women who are under financial pressure to abort. I also oppose the death penalty, but would not support or participate in the murder of the prison officials who carry out the executions.

  45. lane says:

    this is really cool . . .

  46. Tim says:

    I do credit him with courageously continuing to prosecute Bush’s two wars and torture policies.

    Bush, through these wars and his torture policies, has done more to “destroy this country” — through diminishing our standing in the world, running up the national debt, ineffectively addressing the issue of terrorism (in fact, stoking its fires) . . . oh, yes, and KILLING AND TORTURING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE — than any other president in the history of the US of A. End of story. I am extremely disappointed that Obama has done so much to extend these wars and policies.

    Moreover, Bush supporters didn’t seem to be too worked up about deficit spending until, oh, January 20, 2009, when suddenly it became alarming and outrageous. It’s like they collectively woke up that day to discover that we have a national debt of over $10 trillion. What was the national debt previous to 2001, you may ask? Well, not nearly so high.

    Plus, can we talk a little bit about “cramming legislation through”? Do you recall a little something called THE PATRIOT ACT? You might want to read up on it. Do you recall, also, the hundreds of “signing statements” that your favorite president also signed, even as he approved legislation? He single-handedly claimed “Executive Privilege” to IGNORE THE LAWS HE WAS SIGNING.

    Sorry to be so shouty, NE, but really, your trenchant critiques of crazy spending and dodgy legislating would have been appreciated prior to the Obama administration.

    Furthermore, nobody else has taken up LP’s suggestion of fun with cricket words on my post. Go show some love, y’all!

  47. lane says:

    god, i just love how the conspiracy theories and waves of paranoia wash over me reading your writing NE!
    has thomas pynchon found our little BLOG! (he has a book out and, obviously he doesn’t tour so maybe he’s surfin’ the blogs tryin’ on characters.

    . . . it COULD happen . . .

  48. lane says:

    seriously, i just keep thinking about the icy cold thrill of it all . . .

    SOMEONE out there SOMEWHERE has the answers! . . .

  49. lane says:

    ” but would not support or participate in the murder of the prison officials . . . ”

    oh good, thanks, really, thanks for making that clear . . .

    SERIOUSLY, You are a GIFTED writer! your style is so sharp and . . . great. I don’t care what your politics are. You have got to . . . turn all this into fiction, , ,

    i love your schtick.

  50. Scotty says:

    Whew! I disagree with Lane again. All is right in the world!

  51. Dave says:

    Sweet Baby Jesus I love the internet.

  52. Tim says:

    Waffle, Dave. Interwaffle.

  53. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    i haven’t promoted any conspiracy theories.

    Tim, I thInk Bush waterboarded like two guys. Talk about paranoia. And I think Obama put the chief of one of the torture camps, a guy named McCrystal, in charge of prosecuting the war in Afghanistan. So at least we’ll be kept safe for a while.

    Yeah, the Republicans maxed out our credit cards but I don’t see how populating the treasury with tax cheats who are going to max out a few more is a solution.

    I only object to really bad legislation that gets crammed through. The Patriot Act was totally rad. That’s why Obama is continuing the secret survelliance and is proposing detaining people even after they’ve been acquitted. Plus, he loves executive privilege as much as Bush, and rightly so.

  54. Natasha says:

    45: LOL, forget about the church reference! The word “whatever” perfectly fits into the sandbox one.

    Scotty, Lane is being sarcastic, I hope, or I agree with you.

    Fun times, fun times…

  55. LP says:

    Well, once we get into a general Bush vs. Obama argument, it will never end and no one will convince anyone, so… “whatever.”

    But back to the subject of the post: I do think it’s unacceptable to simply search for something – anything – to try and overturn the results of the election. Trust me, I wanted Bush out of office so much it made me cry. But I never would have thought it okay to dig / create / gin up fake controversies to get him out. Claiming Obama isn’t a citizen is bogus. Hoping he’ll get caught in some adulterous situation is bogus. Putting the nation through endless, expensive Whitewater investigations was bogus.

    Obama won. Deal with it. If you don’t like his policies, write your legislators and fight within the bounds of civility.

  56. Tim says:

    “The Patriot Act was totally rad.”

    Now I *know* you’re putting us on. I agree with Lane: great schtick!

  57. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    But I never would have thought it okay to dig / create / gin up fake controversies to get him out. Claiming Obama isn’t a citizen is bogus

    You had CBS gin up fake TANG memo against Bush in 2004 and the Times to gin up fake adultery stories about McCain (while not bothering to report the equally unsubstantiated rumors of Obama’s affair with his former campaign finance director Vera Baker). And you had the Times to send emails to the friends of his underaged daughter. Not mention Obama pal Andrew Sullivan playing the Trig angle and accusing Palin of adultery. So sorry, it’s anything goes. And az noted, I don’t deny that Obama’s a citizen. Just want to see if there’s some dirt in the birth certificate.

    oh good, thanks, really, thanks for making that clear . . .

    You apparently missed what I was responding to. Scroll up

  58. LP says:

    Ummm… I didn’t do any of those things. And if you think those things are not okay to do, you shouldn’t be doing a similar thing yourself.

    It’s a common mistake to believe that just because many of us here are Democrats, we automatically believe that the NYT’s reporting on John McCain was great. Or that all’s fair as long as it’s done to the other guy. I’m saying, this is a crappy level we’ve sunk to – and you’re right down there in it, wallowing proudly. Good for you.

  59. Scotty says:

    Anyone for a nice Cricket match?

  60. Dave says:

    57: Yep, and “he loves executive privilege as much as Bush, and rightly so.” I’m so sad; I thought she was real.

  61. Natasha says:

    It reminds me of the Phil Henry show characters.

    LP, that’s exactly what he/she under the name of NE is trying to do.

    Cricket sounds great! I’d rather be on Tim’s post.

  62. Scotty says:

    What I find somewhat compelling is the argument that Obama is destroying the country through fascistic means (and I know that this isn’t a word you used, NE) like cramming legislation through congress — never mind that congress is allowing this to happen, and that any executive would be crazy to not want his/her agenda approved by a legislative body — while on the other hand supporting (what I see as borderline, traditional-fascistic measures like) the Patriot Act. Isn’t there a degree of disconnect there? I apologize is what I just stated is unclear.

    And as for Obama’s foreign policy: what exactly do you see as naive? Is it his stated willingness to direct talks with some leaders that are less than cordial toward the US? (Isn’t this what the Nixon admin did when they entered talks with the USSR and China?) If we’re comparing him and Bush, however, the latter made some seriously bad moves that most of the international relations community (including all of the IR realists of note) saw as seriously flawed. The biggest fuck-up, of course, being the unnecessary (and illegal) invasion of Iraq. (Illegal in that it is clearly a “war of aggression, ” or a war without the clear justification of self defense.)

  63. Scotty says:

    Parrish is NE is a character you’ve created for this post, you are amazing beyond belief!!

  64. Dave says:

    I for one think the New York Times is basically a propaganda vehicle for elite interests. It’s also the best newspaper in the country, so I read it religiously.

    That gives me an excuse to link to this, which I hope doesn’t annoy Parrish too much. It’s funny if you followed the Bitch Ale kerfluffle or have been paying attention to the steady decline of the Washington Post.

  65. Jen Mandel says:

    Hey, looky here! It turns out that I wasn’t born in the U.S. either!

  66. Tim says:

    Darling! Does this mean you can get me a Kenyan passport?

  67. LP says:

    65: The decline of the Washington Post over the past several years is a source of great pain for me. It was once a truly great newspaper, but the buyouts of longtime reporters and editors, combined with a gradual swing to the right, has given us a paper that’s a shell of its great Watergate-era self.

    Interesting take here, by James Fallows (scroll down to item 3).