This “birther” stuff is just getting beyond ridiculous. Following Donald Trump’s ongoing public questioning of Barack Obama’s country of birth (and thus, his eligibility for office), the President released a copy of the long-form certificate of live birth. But of course, we know that’s not going to satisfy the majority of people who were demanding it to begin with.
As a practice, the state of Hawaii normally releases the “short form” certificate of live birth when a birth certificate is requested. The President made a special request this week to Hawaiian officials to release the full “long form” version, in an effort to stop the ongoing public debate over the conspiracy theorist stance that Mr. Obama is faking his American birth.
This really shouldn’t have been an issue to begin with; numerous independent non-partisan organizations have confirmed that they have seen the full, original long-form certificate of live birth, and even top Republican leaders have said that it’s a non-issue and a distraction. Nevertheless, a recent CBS/New York Times poll shows 45% of Republicans surveyed said they believed Mr. Obama was not born in the United States, evidence be damned.
Count Donald Trump among them, allegedly… This is a man who hasn’t even announced his official candidacy yet, but he’s managed to keep himself squarely in the headlines (even if just so the media can mock him on this subject) by harping on the “birther” questions. And now that the President actually released the document (which I agree he could have, and should have, done long ago just to avoid the appearance of concealing something) Mr. Trump is gloating that he is “very proud” to have “accomplished something nobody else was able to accomplish” and that he hopes “it’s true so that we can get on to much more important matters.”
Bullshit. Without the “birther” issue to harp on, and to continue to get in the news about, what is Mr. Trump going to do to stay in the headlines?
Turns out it didn’t take Trump long to find a new made-up conspiracy to hone in on. Now, he’s challenging the path that Mr. Obama took to enter college, in an interview with the Associated Press. “I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? … I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records.”
He went on to explain why he was perplexed: “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard. … We don’t know a thing about this guy. There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”
I don’t know exactly what conspiracy he’s obscurely floating here, or if he’s just hinting at affirmative action in an attempt to rile up the conservative base, or if he’s just making vague questions and letting the nutty conspiracy theorists come up with their own craziness. Frankly, I suspect he probably doesn’t even believe any of these things, but is fanning the flames just to stay in the news.
Either way, I wish just give it a rest and get back to the “much more important matters” that he suggested he wants to focus on.