The Birthers and the President

President Barack Obama released the long form of his birth certificate recently and declared it was time for all this “Where was he born? Is he even eligible to be President?” nonsense to go away.  The President pointed out that with the Middle East situations, high gas prices, and high unemployment, it was time to focus on more important matters.

President Obama is absolutely right about this, and yet…

Here’s the part where I think he is absolutely right:  Where this President was born is not an issue.  Now, it would be to me if there had ever been a legitimate question here.  There are constitutional qualifications for who can be President of the United States, and we need to follow them or change the Constitution.  But I have said all along that if there were legitimate questions about where Barack Obama was born, I’m sure John McCain would have raised them.  McCain didn’t, so that was good enough for me.  It’s not that I’m overly enamored with McCain and would follow him anywhere; it’s that I know he really wanted to be President and wouldn’t have missed a chance to undermine his opponent.

So there’s nothing here, and I think the birthers have been wasting their time all along.

I also think the most famous birther of them all, Donald Trump, has zero personal investment in this issue.  He is a self-promoter, and he has found an issue that is helping him self-promote.  He’s a successful businessman–he’s had some setbacks but his overall record seems strong–but he has no chance of being the Republican nominee.  He has no reputation for being a social conservative, so his supposed candidacy is just a fleeting media sensation.

Back to the President, though, it isn’t really fair of him to lecture the birthers about wasting their time on this instead of focusing on more important things.  If he had released his records three years ago, the issue never would have gained steam.  Also, last month the President wasted his time filling out an NCAA bracket.  And when the Middle East was up in flames, he went overseas…to Latin America.  Was there any harm in either thing?  Absolutely not.  But the President is in an awkward position to lecture other people on the importance of time management when he takes the time for those things, and he could have made this controversy go away with a simple phone call to release his records.

By refusing to release the records earlier, the President made himself vulnerable on this issue when he shouldn’t have been.