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The question of Mr Obama’s American status

I have a sense that, if what writers such as Roger Kimball of Pajamas Media say is correct, that it will become more politically palatable for parts of the mainstream media to address the sensitive issue as to whether Mr Obama actually is, by the usual tests required of a POTUS, American.

“So now Chris Matthews isn’t the only one experiencing a little thrill when he thinks about Barack (omit middle name) Obama. The recent revelation that from the early 1990s until the day before yesterday—or, to be more accurate, until Obama made his decision to run for president—a biographical pamphlet circulated by his literary agents described him as having been “born in Kenya” has been setting the world of Twitter atwitter. What should we think about that? An agency spokesman who claims to have been responsible for the “born in Kenya” wheeze has publicly said that it was a mistake, a typographical error, a slip of the pen that just went “unchecked” for, um, sixteen-seventeen years. I can understand that. She meant to write “Hawaii” and wrote “Kenya” instead. Could happen to anyone. They look and sound enough alike, don’t they, that no one noticed. You meant to write “there” and you wrote “their” instead. You meant to write “cup” and you wrote “floccinaucinihilipilification” instead. No one—no one at the literary agency, not the author himself—could be expected to notice. You understand that, right?”

The article then goes on to address to the extent to which various records about Obama (medical and college stuff,) have been sealed. And one commenter on the PJM site had this observation:

“The curious thing isn’t so much that these things are all sealed, but that the sealing is so effective. If this had been any Republican, or any ordinary Democrat, these things would all have been on Wikileaks years ago. The CIA can’t keep secrets this well. Not even the Mossad.”

But in the end, how much of this stuff about “Who is Barack Obama?” matters. He’s been in the job for four years. Although his period of office coincided with the very welcome disposal of Bin Laden, I cannot really think if a single serious positive accomplishment by Obama during his time in office, although I suppose his greatest might be his unintended one: the birth of the Tea Party movement, and an associated invigoration of the small government, libertarian strain within the Republican Party (well, even that might be debatable). Whatever doubts I might have about Mitt Romney, I just cannot go along with the idea of “to save the village we must destroy it” point of view, nor do I think we can finesse the situation if Obama wins, as argued by Tim Sandefur recently. (I don’t share Tim’s fear that we will see a dramatic loss of freedoms to the religious right, although I suppose anything is possible).

51 comments to The question of Mr Obama’s American status

  • Richard Thomas

    The tea party was founded in the tail end of the Bush presidency. Just saying.

  • Richard Thomas

    Before someone points it out, Wikipedia doesn’t support me on this. So I’m likely misremembering but then again, the naming isn’t necessarily the same as the birth and there were definitely serious rumblings by the time of TARP.

  • mdc

    I assumed they wrote that because it made Obama sound more exotic and more appealing to the sort of people who buy books because they are written by and about African-Americans. A white lie that was almost true, and that no one would bother trying to disprove for an obscure author.

    Claiming it’s a typographical error makes it sound far more suspicious, not less, though I still think a poor attempt to cover up mild marketing fraud is more likely than that Obama has pulled off a coup d’etat with the complicity of large numbers of state officials.

  • the other rob

    A recent article in Reason (Link) argues that, as in the Elizabeth Warren case, is was a matter of what one might call “expedient bullshitting”.

    As for who he really is, that seems to be clear – just another Chicago gangster politician.

  • The objection to Obama is not where’s he’s from, it’s what he’s been doing in and to the USA.

    Besides which, what could be more quintessentially American than being born in foreign parts, and then coming to America and hitting the big time. I just wish Obama had done the usual and made a stack of money, instead of going into the worst sort of politics.

    I doubt all this “where’s he really from?” stuff will make much impact on regular voters, even if the MSM do finally get around to reporting it. All it does is flag up that Obama’s Republican opponents really don’t like him, whereas last time around they weren’t that bothered – i.e. sufficiently bothered – about him.

  • Alsadius

    Frankly, the birther stuff made a modicum of sense in 2008, but today the man is President, and has been for several years. You cannot oust him on a technicality, because that would probably lead to a civil war at this point. Judge him on his record, and if you’re really worried just get around to passing the 28th Amendment that everyone’s wanted for decades already.

    Also, I’m just going to point out that the pamphlet might have gone un-proofread for 16 years, but it also lasted through four years of birthers without being noticed either. That makes it sound pretty obscure to me.

  • The main takeaway for me is that the birther thing used to be in the dominion of HAARP, lizards and fake moon landings, but now (like Common Purpose) has moved across into the mainstream blogs.

  • RRS

    Refocus everybody!

    Not who is he?

    But

    What is he?

    And if after what has probably been the most conspicuous, disastrous, expensive and ineffective on-the-job training program in political history, his what is not overwhelmingly superior in all respects to the what of an opponent, the choice should be clear.

    Thus, every effort will be spent on turning people away from asking of themselves:

    What is Barrack Obama?

  • Ernie G

    “The main takeaway for me is that the birther thing… has moved across into the mainstream blogs. ”

    To the blogs, yes. To the people who still don’t get their news from the internet, this is still like the tree that fell in the forest. Recall the correspondents’ dinner, and the number of people who didn’t get the dog-eating joke. Barack Obama could stick up a liquor store and we’d never hear of it. Come to think of it, maybe he already has.

  • John K

    Whilst I was initially uninterested in the birther thing, I now rather take the view that the Big O probably was born in Kenya. The “birth certificate” on the White House website is photoshop job, flight arrival records for the week of his “birth” in Hawaii have gone missing, none of the records about his student status have been released, it’s all building up into a pretty coherent picture.

    Of course, none of this is to doubt that his mother was a US citizen and his father a Kenyan. Whether the fact he was born in Kenya rather than the uSA means he was ineligible to become US President is a matter of constitutional law, and to me the Constitution seems a bit vague on the matter. It might well be that he was eleigible to stand anyway, but the cover up, and that’s what it looks like, makes the supine passivity of the MSM all the more contempible.

  • Ernie G

    John K, you’re right, only it’s not Adobe Photoshop, but Adobe Illustrator, a sister program that was used. Illustrator is for documents and advertising copy what Photoshop is for photographs. The White House posted the birth certificate in a format that could be downloaded and opened as an Illustrator document. (I’m sure they have changed it by now.) A YouTube subscriber with the screen name orangegold1 walks us through this process:

    There are three more related videos in the account. The most damning thing about the document posted by the White House is that it is organized in layers, which is the tool Photoshop and Illustrator use to edit images. Normally when one is finished editing one uses the Flatten Image command to remove evidence of layers from the final product.

  • M. Thompson

    My question has long been why should I vote for a quasi-academic who was elected from an infamously corrupt jurisdiction?

    And does he hold any ideas in common with me? Apparently, Mr. Obama’s conception of the United States and what it means to be a citizen is rather different than mine, or many Americans.

  • Laird

    RRS is certainly correct that the “what” of the man is more important than the “wherefrom”. Still, that doesn’t make this little side issue unimportant or unworthy of attention. I agree with Alsadius that even if it were proven tomorrow that Obama had in fact been born in Kenya, he wouldn’t be removed from office on that account: the effects would be so severe that the courts would find some excuse to paper over it. But it would keep him from running for a second term. There is already noise from some states (notably Arizona) about excluding Obama from the ballot in November if he doesn’t produce a legitimate original birth certificate. If that were to happen (even if Obama were able to force reinstatement via a lawsuit) it would certainly elevate the issue to a level which the MSM and the average, apathetic man-on-the-street could not ignore. And excluding him from even one ballot, even in a state which Romney is going to win anyway, would be huge, if only because it would free up resources which would be expended there for other uses. But even more importantly it would awaken everyone to the fact that the issue is real, which could affect some undecided voters. Romney is right to be focusing on the more pressing issues of the economy and foreign policy, but having others (not directly connected with his campaign) working on this one is no bad thing.

    If Obama loses in November, once he’s out of office and the issue has become essentially moot I predict a flood of releases about his background (birth certificate, school records, etc.). But not until then. And if he should win re-election I doubt that information will ever come out, since he’ll have another four years to sanitize the records (and perhaps even entrench himself as dictator).

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Keep in mind that this latest kerfuffle isn’t about where Obama was born but the fact that an incurious (I’m being kind) MSM failed to vet him thoroughly enough to uncover a fairly obvious source. The questions that source raises might have been easily answered, but they were not asked.

    So far, the MSM response has been either to cast it as a ‘birther’ issue or to ignore it. We should be clear that it’s a matter of MSM failure-to-perform and not let them distract us.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    In defense of Mr. Obama, he has delivered on one election promise, that of providing the most transparent administration in history.

    Well, OK. But ‘obvious’ is almost as good as ‘transparent’.

  • John Blake

    BHO’s origin in Kigali, Kenya (see the monument erected there), plus his status as a naturalized Muslim citizen of Indonesia from age six in 1967, are significant because both relate to his legitimacy in office. Very strong evidence, not to mention his years-long coverup, indicates foreign birth to a non-American parent; but even stronger evidence attests that he remains an Indonesian national.

    In fact, in logic, and in law, it is not for plaintiffs to “prove a negative,” but for BHO to supply verifiable proof positive of his contested bona fides. Absent such proof, his every official act from January 2009 is ipso facto rendered null-and-void. No provision of his Administration whatsoever has any force of law, because all are illegitimate at root– enacted in bad faith, under false pretenses, by a usurper knowingly emplaced by force and fraud.

    Spare us the outraged protestations: If after all these years BHO can produce documentary historical that he is “natural born” plus a re-naturalized U.S. citizen, by all means let him do so. The parsimonious conjecture is that he won’t because he can’t. But truth will out, and what will Cock Robin do then, poor thing?

  • momo

    I don’t have a real interest/hope in Obama being born outside the US.
    What I do have an interest in is rare or un-loved portions of the Constitution being called into effect.
    The most interesting things are:
    (1) Would McCain or Biden would become President? Biden is the duly elected VP but McCain would have been the eligible candidate with the most Electoral College votes.
    And let us be honest the idea of Biden as President is hilarious. We haven’t had a VP with this much comedy potential since Dan Quayle.
    (2) In either case, Biden’s VP election would stand is he is both eligible and got the most VP votes.
    This could mean that the President & VP are from different parties.
    (3) All laws signed by Obama would become null & void.
    (4) All Obama appointed judges and bureaucrats become turfed out, as they were not nominated by a legitimate President.
    (5) All Obama-era regulations may or may not become null & void. It depends on how the courts view the process by which each Reg came into existence. Did the Reg need the approval of Obama or an Obama-appointed bureaucrat?
    .
    Sadly we all know the SCOTUS et al would never allow such a wonderful hilarious reset of the last 4 years to occur.

  • Myno

    Can he not pardon himself?

  • Paul Marks

    On TARP and Tea Party groups – the first rally events may have been in 2009 (in response to the the CNBC man’s attack on some different antic), but the ground work was indeed laid in response to TARP.

    I.E. in opposition to BUSH Administration policy.

    As for Birthism – I have two problems with it.

    Firstly it was pushed (in an underhand way) by the Hillary Clinton campaign – and they are shameless liars (of course so are the Obama people). The blurb from a book is about as reliable as the “native American” status Dances-with-lies who is running for U.S. Senate in Mass (it looks cool and ethnic to have a bool blurb say you were born in Kenya).

    But my bigger problem is this.

    Where is the evidence that the MOTHER was in Kenya in 1961?

    How can someone be born where their mother is not?

    As for the ability of birtherism to cling on….

    It is the “alien” factor – the feeling that their is something strange about Barack.

    That he is ACTING.

    And of course he is.

    Barack is no more an American patriot (what he pretends to be) than his mother was really a “farm girl from Kansas” – the women was born in Kansas (but as for the rest of it…).

    Barack Obama is a Marxist – he is utterly opposed to the basic principles of the United States, he would like to see “capitalist” America destroyed (“fundementally transformed”).

    But that does NOT mean he was born in Kenya.

    After all was Bill Ayers born in Kenya?

    He is just as alien to the West as Barack Obama is.

  • veryretired

    It’s a meaningless distraction, which pretty much sums up most of the commonly reported political news in the msm.

    All that matters is what he has done while in office, and his probable course if re-elected.

    Little or none of either period is appealing to me as a citizen.

    As much as I find him woefully incompetent, the activities of various members of the regime have been actively hostile to the well-being of the nation, as have some of his decisions or abstentions.

    I believe it would be best to remove this group, including those in the background who fund and support him, from any positions of power.

    As I have said of many pols, it makes no sense to elect someone to a position of power and authority who could not successfully manage the afternoon shift at any local fast food establishment.

    The leader of the current regime, regardless of all these maybe’s regarding his birth, certainly falls into that category.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The problem is: what are the laws of the land? The laws should be abided by, otherwise they are a joke.

    And if Obama proves not to fulfil the conditions to be president, then he has violated those laws and should be persecuted to the appropriate extent. Regardless of whether he has done the job or not, regardless of his approval ratings. He could have been the most wonderful president in US history, with an overwhelming majority – it matters not.

    Not if he didn’t fulfil the conditions of being president of the US, as the law was written, in 2008.

  • @Alsadius:

    Judge him on his record, and if you’re really worried just get around to passing the 28th Amendment that everyone’s wanted for decades already

    Although it may make a certain amount of sense for the US to institute a 28th amendment to allow non-US born American Citizens from achieving the White House, it would also have vast technical difficulties.

    How would you stop a sleeper from insinuating himself (or being insinuated by others) into the Presidency? It would be to allow “The Manchurian Candidate” to happen in real life.

    Much better to keep things as they are, if that means that the US ends up with more of this ‘birther’ bullshit then I don’t think that is really a problem.

    I’m more annoyed that Obama has been elected on the basis of being ‘black’ (for a certain value of ‘black’) rather than on the basis of being competent. Equally, he is an out-and-out Marxist.

    Coming back to the 28th Amendment thing, do we REALLY want President Schwarzenegger?

  • Julie near Chicago

    I just spent a bunch of time writing a detailed agreements with various people above…then I went back to re-read the whole comment stream. And I agree with almost all of everybody’s points. So I will just say that the circumstances of Its birth ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT regardless of who first brought up the issue, because of the necessity to retrieve whatever tatters of the Constitution remain*, and even though–

    –Nothing is more important than to dump this creature in November (and his whole gang–good point!!), no matter who the Pubs nominate and no matter who the nominee picks as VP. And I almost gag saying that. And, as Laird points out, if we could somehow show that It isn’t eligible, that would mean It’s out for November.

  • Julie near Chicago

    *I’ve heard of dangling participles, of course, but never dangling asterisks. Plizz to forgive. :>)

  • Paul Marks

    In politics (and in the investigation of crime – hey it is almost as if the two subjects are linked……) “who benefits” is a vital question.

    Who benefits?

    Who benefits from raseing the “Birther” issue?

    BARACK OBAMA benefits – for the ridicule this issue will dump on those who push it (or the media say is pushing it – for they will try and link “birtherism” to Romney) will help Barack Obama be relected.

    Let us say that Mitt Romney is a good man who wants to roll back the state – Perry thinks that is absurd (and I more than half agree with Perry), but let us assume that Mitt Romney is a good man who wants to roll back the state.

    Let us say that he does NOT idenify the state (the collective) with “the people” and “the people’s business” – and does not get the catch in his throat when he talks of the collective that intellectuals (and I am talking about English speaking intellectuals) have had since the cult of Frederick the Great in the late 1700s (not the first tyrant – but the first tyrant to get a good press among intellectuals).

    O.K. Let us say that (perhaps because of his Morman background) Romney does not worship the State – most likely (as Perry has pointed out) he DOES worship the state (worships power – as the “intellectuals” do), but let us say he does not.

    Could even a good and decent Mitt Romney turn things around?

    Most likely not – as things (the process of economic and CULTURAL decay) has “progressed” so far.

    Even I woke up on the 20th January 2013 and found (in violation of the “natural born citizen”) I was President of the United States – I doubt (I very much doubt) I could turn things around.

    It would be the same for Romney – only harder (because he has been establishment man all his life – it is easy to think “out of the box” if you are a security guard or a gate warden, much harder if you are busy businessman or State Governor, in this way [although I have paid for it with wreaked physical health] I have had things less tough than Romney has).

    So Governor Romney if he becomes President Romney will find it tough (very tough indeed) to turn things around – even if he is a good man who wants to turn things around.

    Now think of how things will be if an EVIL (and I do not use the word casually) man who wants to totally destroy civil society (“capitalism”), is relected in a time when things are going to be on the verge of falling apart.

    Anything that helps the enemy of the West who goes by the name “Barack Obama” is something I will not touch.

    I will not touch it with a barge pole.

  • Alisa

    do we REALLY want President Schwarzenegger?

    That is even more disturbing than that Dion and Bieber idea…

  • norton

    I’m not suprised that Birtherism is making a comeback before the election. Fear of alterity is a cornerstone of the populist right, and the idea that Obama is a Kenyan born communist Muslim (a nonsensical combination I know, but these are birthers remember) is such a potent force to these people.

    However the average voter is turned off by this bullshit; libertarians and conservatives would do well to remember that a message of small government and liberty is negated, not amplified, if it comes festooned with racism and superstition.

  • @Alisa:

    Don’t worry – I think we are fortunate that Arnie is not only excluded by the Constitutional issue, but also the fact that he was exposed in the media for having knocked up the help (his housekeeper) and seems to be in the process of being divorced from his long suffering. The only thing keeping them married is her religion.

    Generally, sexual shenanigans like that don’t get you elected to the Whorehouse no matter what the constitution says.

  • Alisa

    Actually, I’ll take politician’s sexual shenanigans over fiscal and regulatory ones any time – but maybe it’s just me.

  • RRS

    The Paul Marks Organization has once again detailed the reason to refocus better than I.

    This issue of Who the person is;
    or
    Where the person came from,

    can be a diversion from what has been happening over these years of the OJT.

    It will be a diversion from questioning what those years have shown the person to be.

    Political tactics in America concentrate on creating perceptions.

    In the case of the person’s tacticians, concentrating public attention the perceptions of who and where from and the related technical issues is far better than dealing with the consequences of the what-s:

    What has happened during OJT?

    What has been the role of the person in what has happened?

    What is the nature of the person that has had effects on what has transpired, and is likely to have determining effects on our future?

  • JohnB

    The issue of where B.O. was born may not be an issue, or at least it is one that moderate, tolerant folk can overlook.
    It’s the possibility of a lie that is the killer.
    Nixon was trashed from office on lesser grounds.
    Where’s the outrage and moral high ground gone?
    Disappeared down the Journolist?

    But besides that I tend to agree with Paul Marks.

  • LLAMAS

    FTR, I think the whole ‘birther’ thing is just a glorious and rather-foolish distraction.

    What this latest discovery points out to me – and what his opponents should be pounding on for all they’re worth – is just how situational President Obama has been – and is. When it suited his immediate purposes for it to be thought that he was born in Kenya, he let people believe that he was born in Kenya. When it no longer suited his immediate purposes, he sloughed off the – let’s call it ‘misdirection’ – like I slough off a raincoat.

    The bio posted by the author’s agent is just tailor-written to appeal to the kind of person to whom such a book would be marketed in the early 1990′s. Never mind that the statement of Kenyan birth hits all the correct racial and political buttons, the statements that his parents were ‘an anthropologist and . . . a finance minister’ are also direct and inescapable misdirection. The President’s parents were both college students when he was born. His father was never ‘a finance minister.’ His mother would have been better-described as ‘a schoolteacher’ for the first 15 years of the President’s life. But the descriptions were ‘juiced up’ to make the President’s life and antecedents appears more cosmopolitan and add a veneer of his being of ‘the great and the good’.

    He tailors his story to the audience he’s trying to sell it to. When he needed black pastors to endorse him from their pulpits, he was against gay marriage, because balck folks are mostly against it. Now that he is at greater risk of losing gay voters (on the ‘what have you done for me lately?’ principle) than black voters, all of a sudden, he’s ‘evolved’.

    When he needed to repudiate the individual mandate, to get elected, nobody was more agin it than he. Once he was elected, he needed to embrace it, to get his plan through the Congress – and so he did.

    The message here is ‘all his life, he’s told the story he needs to tell to sell whatever it is he’s trying to sell. And when it suits him to change his story, he does. Whether it’s the story of his early life, or gay marriage, or the individual mandate, or taxes, or the national debt, he’ll tell you whatever he needs to you believe – whether or not it’s true. He calls it ‘evolving’, we should call it what it really is – ‘lying’.’

    Romney is too honourable to do this. so others need to do it for him.

    llater,

    llamas

  • John K

    John K, you’re right, only it’s not Adobe Photoshop, but Adobe Illustrator, a sister program that was used. Illustrator is for documents and advertising copy what Photoshop is for photographs. The White House posted the birth certificate in a format that could be downloaded and opened as an Illustrator document. (I’m sure they have changed it by now.) A YouTube subscriber with the screen name orangegold1 walks us through this process:

    “>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s9StxsFllY

    Ernie G:

    Fair point, though these days “Photoshop” is more of a generic term like “Hoover”.

    The links are interesting. That the long form birth certificate is a fake seems unanswerable. I only assume that the Obama machine came up with this after years of fobbing people off as a way to forestall the Trump investigation. In this they succeeded, aided, as I said, by the comically supine media.

    I am not sure if BHO fails to qualify as a “natural born citizen”, given that his mother was, all accept, a US citizen. Equally, no-one doubts that his father was Kenyan, which means at the time of BHO’s birth, I think he counted as British. Thus, the only bone of contention was where BHO was born, in the USA or not? I am curious as to why this should matter so much, since he is just as much a US citizen (and indeed a British/Kenyan one) whether he was born in the USA or outside. I take the “natural born” test to exclude naturalised US citizens, but I don’t pretend to be a constitutional lawyer, nor even a wise Latina.

    I have a feeling that in the course of his freeloading career, BHO has used his Kenyan origins to play the system and get educational grants not open to US citizens, much as one might claim to be 1/32 Cherokee to gain tenure at Harvard. He has never had a proper job in his life, instead playing the system and using every affirmative action dodge to rise effortlessly to the top. One day this will all come to light, but not whilst BHO is the head of state, and his punk Eric Holder is in charge of the Justice Department. No-one in the FBI who values his career (and believe me, they all do) is going to take on the President of the United States, whether he was born in Kenya or Kansas. The only fact of geography that matters to them is that his arse is in the Oval Office.

  • chuck

    “alterity”, ROFLMAO. The death of intellect embodied in a single word.

  • Rich Rostrom

    What is really weird about thi:

    Suppose there was a conspiracy in 1961 to conceal Obama’s birthplace. (The birth notice in the Honolulu newspaper, etc.)

    In 1991, the literary agency says – either at his suggestion or with his consent – that he was born in Kenya – thereby blowing the previous success.

    Why?

  • Mike James

    John Blake refers to the importance of legitimacy, and he is correct. If it turns out that Obama is, in fact, foreign born, ineligible to hold the office of the Presidency, it would be disastrous to laugh it off, or to shrug our shoulders and say “Nothing we can do”.

    A stern, a frightening example would have to be made, not merely of Obama, but every last stinking individual Democrat who conspired to treat the Constitution as a joke, something to be gamed for their personal gain. If we were to let an actual case of this sort slide, they would have every incentive in the world to do it again.

    They would do it again. We can’t overlook it, not even once. Any who say that we can are flat wrong.

  • Sam Duncan

    “>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s9StxsFllY

    Hmm. I’m not sure I buy that. That guy doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. I’ve seen exactly that layering effect caused by automatic tracing of bitmaps into vector images. Exactly the same, including the different levels of anti-aliasing: what tends to happen is that the different levels of grey get put into different layers. If someone tried to tidy it up (as is clearly the case – the document has been “faked” in that sense, but it hasn’t necessarily been altered), one of the things they might do by accident is remove the anti-aliasing on some sections, but not others. And it would appear random… or, to the suspicious, suspicious.

    It’s interesting – and although the effect looks familiar to me I may be wrong – but I don’t think it proves anything.

  • The tea party was founded in the tail end of the Bush presidency.

    Not formally. Conservatives had for years been frustrated with Dubya’s liberal spending. TARP I touched a raw nerve with more than just conservatives. I suspect that the average anti-TARP sentiment (rightly) saw TARP as a very expensive duct-tape patch that ignored the root causes of the crisis.

    TARP II came along and ushered in 787 as the Second Cousin to the Number of the Beast, right around the time that Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade were being proposed.

    The juxtaposition of these events brought about what I call the Glue Factory Moment.

    In Animal Farm, Benjamin the Donkey knew all along what the pigs were really up to, but he never tried to stop them, and he never tried to educate his fellows. One day his best friend Boxer the draft horse was injured. A van arrived at the Farm. The pigs said it was an ambulance, but Benjamin could read what was written on its side: “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler.” Benjamin explodes (in the Langston Hughes sense), desperately running after the van until it disappears.

    People don’t go into a political panic over growing problems (such as Medicare and Social Security insolvency) whose chickens-coming-home-to-roost moment is way off in the future. TARP II and pending cap-and-trade and health care rube-goldbergery were an immediate threat of unprecedented financial scope. The grassroots couldn’t sit by and just let things happen anymore.

    Benjamin was a wuss. He had a panic attack one day and then gave up. The Tea Party waged a war of the ballot box, fueled by Obama’s ability to whip up a decade’s worth of deficits in a single year – every year (vaulting $1.5 trillion as the First Cousin to the Number of the Beast).

    The main takeaway for me is that the birther thing used to be in the dominion of HAARP, lizards and fake moon landings

    HAARP and Sarah Palin are from the same state. Coincidence?

  • @Rich Rostrom:

    Suppose there was a conspiracy in 1961 to conceal Obama’s birthplace. (The birth notice in the Honolulu newspaper, etc.)

    In 1991, the literary agency says – either at his suggestion or with his consent – that he was born in Kenya – thereby blowing the previous success.

    To misuse an old phrase, if it comes to a choice between conspiracy and a scumbag politician lying, I think the latter is pretty much guaranteed.

  • The question of whether Obama is a citizen of a foreign country is really not relevant, at least legally. Dual or multiple citizenship is legal, many people have it without even realising it, and many holders of public office in the US have and have had foreign citizenship. If the holder of office actually takes advantages of the benefits of that foreign citizenship (holding a passport, voting in elections etc) then this would become a political issue, and it would then be relevant, but I am fine with allowing the voters to make the judgement here.

    My native country of Australia does forbid holders of dual citizenship from holding federal elected office, and from time to time this has led to people being disqualified from office after discovering that they had a citizenship that they were previously unaware of. On one occasion, the MP in question was disqualified from parliament and his seat declared vacant, a by-election was called, he then immediately renounced his (British) citizenship, stood at the by-election and was re-elected, a complete and costly waste of time. Plus there is the issue that some countries *will not allow* citizenship to be renounced, which could theoretically disqualify citizens permanently from office merely because their grandmother came from somewhere or other. (The courts have ruled in Australia that if you have taken “all reasonable steps” to renounce that foreign citizenship, you are then okay, but…).

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mike James has it exactly right!

    And if it turned out that Obama is in fact the illegitimate son of an actual American citizen (more likely Malcolm X than F.M. Davis??? I don’t think he looks anything like Davis–but then, I kinda think he looks a little like Obama Sr.), and actually was born in the middle of Waikiki Beach, then that fact also should be made known and well-publicized, along with the question of how we make sure no such unAmerican American can ever be elected again.

    I don’t see how to do that via the Constitution, myself–nor even less, by statute. I think it has to be done through education, that is, by spreading ideas and facts, and trying to teach the voters to recognize con-men and snake-oil and evil agendas when they see them.

    And, it’s vitally important to get the Constitutional requirements for eligibility clearly set out. I agree with Laird–I don’t think SCOTUS will touch this one. Maybe in a hundred years…. I think there should be an Amendment, but reached by the Congressional sponsorship/state ratification route, and DEFINITELY not via a Constitutional convention.

    But, returning to Mike’s point, even that will never fly unless we kick up a god-awful ruckus about it. Too many in Congress are happy to make a limp-wristed gesture at most and then go back to doing whatever they do when they’re not actively campaigning.

  • Alisa

    To me, the issue is not his citizenship or his place of birth – the issue to me is the lying and the covering up.

  • Kim du Toit

    “The objection to Obama is not where’s he’s from, it’s what he’s been doing in and to the USA.”

    …et al.

    Actually, place of birth is a BIG objection, because it happens to be the law of the land that if you want to be President, you have to have been born in the United States. If you think it’s okay to break a law (regardless of how reasonable or stupid you think the law is), then we are no longer a nation of laws.

    But that’s not the point. Even if he IS found to have been born in Kenya, that particular bullet has onlg since passed through the church, and all we can do is ensure that it never happens again.

    More important is the reason why this is in the Constitution. Growing up in a society means that the tenets and mores of that society inevitably become part of one’s character, and if a society owes nothing else to itself, it is to perpetuate its basic culture through succeeding generations.

    Going from the general to the specific, it is painfully clear that whether or not Obama was born in the U.S. or not, he has governed as though he wasn’t. He is in truth America’s first Third-World president. Note that among his first actions in office were the churlish return of Churchill’s bust to the U.K. and the unbelievably insensitive gifts to Queen Elizabeth. These are not the actions of an American: as a nation, we value and cherish the “special relationship” we have to Britain, not the least because we share a common heritage and language, never mind shared values such as Enlightenment thinking, respect for the rule of law, appreciation of our Western classical roots and so on.

    Someone who has never been exposed to all those concepts through childhood will not have them implanted in their character — and I challenge anyone to show me that President Obama has NOT acted more like a Third World ruler (both in utterance and action) and not governed like, oh, JFK or Herbert Hoover.

    Everyone keeps talking about Chicago politics when they talk about Obama’s presidency and administration. (I lived in Chicago for ten years, and I know all about Chicago politics, believe me.) What people have missed is that “Chicago politics” is not American politics; it is Third World politics: the cronyism and nepotism, the kleptocracy, the corruption, the willful disregard for the law and cheerful ignorance of matters which do not affect the [tribe] directly.

    Third World politicians find allies not among the civilized nations of the world, but among other Third World nations — hence Obama’s closeness to thugs and filth like Venezuelan President Chavez, ZimPres Mugabe and SAfricanPres Mbeki.

    So once again: it really doesn’t matter anymore where Obama was born (other than from a legal perspective); it matters that all his actions have demonstrated that his perspective and his actions are not American, but Third World in nature.

  • Laird

    A very good point, Kim. I never thought of it in quite that way before.

  • Alisa

    Indeed. A Third-World Marxist in the White House.

  • John K

    Kim:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the law stated that the President of the United States had to be a “natural born” citizen, without actually stating he had to be born within the US. Does the child of a US citizen (and I think we all accept that BHO is that) fail to quailify as “natural born” if she happened to be outside the USA when she gave birth?

    Anyhow, we agree about the nature of the man. As to the birth certificate question, I do recall that before I could go to university, I had to send my long form birth certificate up to them first. They specifically wrote that short form certificate would not do. How come it seems to be easier to qualify for President of the USA than it is to get a place in college? Crazy old world we live in.

  • Laird

    John, you’re almost right, but historically a “natural born” citizen was one born to two US citizen parents (not just one), regardless of where the birth occurred. This article gives a good explanation of the history of the phrase (and, equally importantly, of the difference between “native born” and “natural born”, which most people confuse).

  • Alisa

    Laird, does this mean that McCain did qualify?

  • John K

    Laird:

    Interesting article. It seems amazing that Obama was ever allowed to run, given that there is no doubt that one of his parents was not a US citizen. How does this happen, who enforces this thing? As I suspected, the place of birth is less important than who the parents are.

    I rather suspect that BHO was born in Kenya, and his mother got him his certificate of live birth in Hawaii when she brought him back in the one week when all the arrival records have been “lost”. It seems it was only three years into his actual presidency that he needed to fake the full long form certificate, and now he’s the President, who’s going to pull him up on it? The FBI? Don’t make me laugh.

    I am sure that if we ever get to see his “sealed” college records, we will see grant applications based on his foreign status. BHO is a freeloader, and has sailed through life on the kindness of strangers. But if I had to show a long form birth certificate to get into a British university, what sort of entry requirements did Columbia and Harvard have? I think we should be told.

  • Ernie G

    Sam Duncan, you’re right, and I retract my previous comment. Nathan Goulding, at National Review Online, showed that converting a scanned image to an optimized PDF, generates numerous layers if the image is opened in Illustrator. He demonstrated this with an ordinary magazine cover. These layers are artifacts of the process, and not anyone’s doing.