This just in--Speaker of the House (and most powerful Republican in Washington) John Boehner has asserted that he believes President Obama is a U.S. Citizen. So it's finally come to a point that Boehner even has to address this question. Will that be enough to convince the birthers that this wasn't some elaborate cover-up concocted by Hawaiian officials?
Probably not. The birthers, simply, are nuts. Having my own criticisms of the President I have been sympathetic to many of his other critics--Tea Partiers, libertarians, that guy on the subway--even where we won't agree on other things. But any Obama critic with an ounce of sanity should stay far, far away from the birther nuts.
The birther theory goes like this--Barack Obama, who may or may not be a Muslim despite being a longtime member of a Christian church, was actually born overseas (maybe in Kenya, maybe in Indonesia, depending on which birther you ask). Because this would render him ineligible for the presidency, his poltiical allies in Hawaii faked a birth certificate to claim he was born there. Once the coverup is exposed, he would resign in disgrace and bring us to a bright wonderful world of President Joe Biden.
(As an aside, I wondered this during the Clinton impeachment of the late '90s--do Republicans in Congress really want to vote a lame-duck Bill Clinton out of office which would make Al Gore the President and give him a bigger edge in the 2000 election? Did anyone think this through???)
Here's two good reasons why this very question should be dismissed:
1) The Secret Service does background checks before the President takes office. If there was anything inadequate in his eligibility to take office, they would have discovered it as they have better resources and access than the birthers do. I'll accept that the Secret Service--the George W Bush Secret Service--was not in on some Obama conspiracy.
2) Lest we forget, Obama won the Democratic nomination after a brutal, long, dragged out fight with Hillary Clinton who was well funded and well willing to dig up dirt to destroy Obama. Her camp initiated the "secret Muslim" theme and the "pals around with terrorists" theme. If there was anything solid in this "fake birth certificate" theory, Hillary and her team would have used it back then.
So if there's nothing to this "Obama not being a citizen" theory, what is left for disqualifying him from the presidency? There are still a few avenues left:
a) Obama is not actually 35 years old or older. Sure, we have the dates he graduated college and law school, but he easily could have entered at a young age, Doogie Howser style. And friends and family members who remember him being alive pre-1974 could easily have been duped with a "fake Barack" secret older brother!
b) Obama did not live in this country for 14 years. It can be demonstrated that during his years at Harvard he was actually commuting each day from the Kenyan consulate, where he rented a room, and that he flew to his jobs in Chicago from a cabin he got a great deal on. A cabin in Ontario! It had to be a hell of a great deal, since he needed to spend quite a bit on helicopter flights to work.
c) Hawaii was never actually ratified as a state or even a territory of the U.S., since the Congress at the time of ratification was not using their official gavel. So even with this birth certificate, it does Obama no good.