Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | April 27, 2011

The Birth Certificate: Obama as Strange as We Thought

Now that President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate, the question isn’t the tactical one: “Why not during the campaign next year?”  It’s the one about his character:  “Why not during the campaign in 2008?”

Birth in the United States is one of only two three constitutional requirements for the office of president.  There is nothing excessive or overly diligent about Americans demanding that a candidate’s birth on US soil be demonstrated to their satisfaction.

Once it was clear that John McCain would be the Republican Party’s candidate in 2008, there was a flurry of choking sounds from the left-wing blogosphere about his birth in the Panama Canal Zone.  There was never any dispute about the facts in that case; McCain was born in 1936, and the US law conferring citizenship on the children born to Americans stationed in the Canal Zone was passed in 1937.  Elaborate briefs were written on why McCain was ineligible to be president, but the whole issue was arcane and unclear.

The Senate passed a resolution in 2008 declaring McCain’s eligibility.  But as the numerous articles and posts about the topic indicated, it remained a question in the minds of many.  McCain, however, was forthcoming and explicit on this matter.  At no point was there a concern that the public did not have all the facts.  The Panama birth issue had arisen during the 2000 campaign as well, and public knowledge of it went back at least that far.  The general sense about McCain’s candidacy was that the reasonable-man approach would consider him to meet the constitutional requirement.

Now, as it happens, I have always thought that if Obama had been born in Kenya, but brought to the US by his American mother as a baby, the reasonable-man approach would deem him eligible for the office too.  Men like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came to the US as an adult, are obviously excluded by the constitutional requirement, which was intended to prevent the accession of presidents with divided national loyalties.  But while there would be justifiable rule-of-law objections to a loose interpretation of the “natural-born citizen” requirement, it is not at all unreasonable to recognize that a person brought to the US as a tiny baby and raised as an American cannot be assumed to have divided loyalties based solely on the geography of his birth.  This reality is one we should deal with in law, even if it didn’t apply to Barack Obama.

The peculiar thing about Obama, however, is that he didn’t see fit to simply release his long-form BC in 2008.  I can’t say I know much about the whole birther narrative or what all the points of evidence were supposed to be.  But some were categorical; e.g., that his paternal grandmother had said he was born in Kenya.  Hawaiians reported that birth certificates had been issued in the early 1960s, shortly after statehood, to babies born overseas.  It would be one thing if these questions were raised about an irrelevant aspect of a presidential candidate’s life, but they weren’t.  They were related to a constitutional requirement.

Nothing justifiable was to be gained by not putting this issue to rest in 2008.  It doesn’t matter why it wasn’t done.  What matters is that it wasn’t done.  Obama has been a uniquely secretive political official; his critics had no basis on which to judge in favor of his bona fides when the BC issue was raised (by the Hillary Clinton campaign, lest we forget).

The right thing to do was to release the long-form BC in 2008.  The public had the constitutional right to have its questions satisfied.  The simplest of good faith and respect for the prerogatives of the people would have led to Obama to take this action – not as a means of silencing critics, which is how he has couched it this week, but as a measure of statesmanship: of setting an example, of doing the right thing.  He has owed us this all along, but it took him until now to do it.

J.E. Dyer blogs at Hot Air’s Green Room and Commentary’s “contentions.”  She writes a weekly column for Patheos.


Responses

  1. the right thing to do is not to continue with this crud.

    it’s as much about your character as anyone else’s if you want to cluck your tongue about….nothing.

    • Sorry, Fuster, but you’re talking about my sister – you don’t appear to have the slightest idea what character is. As the father of a boy who loves green frogs, I have at least some sympathy, but maligning character is beyond the pale – stick with the facts and the subject. If you disagree with something, articulate your point of view, but don’t attack the person. That’s how a civilized world remains civilized.

      • Thanks, frere.

        • sorry kids, but when one questions the character of the prez (or others), often and over matters trivial as well as large, over years, and usually without merit, the character of the complainant is not out of bounds, sib or no.

          • Sorry, again, Fuster, but the character of the complainant should generally be out of bounds. And your approach is how a civilized world becomes uncivilized. Disagreement doesn’t have to be disagreeable, but that appears to be what you are attempting to make it. Presumably you can articulate and identify, with specificity and accuracy, the questions of the “character of the prez (or others), “often” “over matters both “trivial” and “large,” “without merit,” (since it is “usually” so, those are the ones I’m most interested in, and they will undoubtedly roll off your tongue) that have been proffered here.

            It is so much more useful to stick to factual information and reasoned opinion about ideas than to simply do kindergarten name-calling. If you disagree with a point, you disagree – but you don’t have to unnecessarily hurl invectives to do so. Simply articulate why you disagree – no real need to lob personal attacks.

            • frere, you can go all the way back to the time when contentions was allowing comments from the readership and find that sis was even then offering psychological analysis of Obama, not dealing in facts.

              (I tried oblique rejoinder back then.)

              I’m not destroying civilization any more than is she, but sometimes the enemies of civilization must be confronted and confounded in order that the multitude thrive.
              It’s not to late, and if you care for her as much as I, work with me to save her and our world.

              • BTW, what namecalling????

              • Sorry, yet again…having an articulate opinion isn’t the same as trying to beat someone over the head. “What namecalling????” – maligning character (“it’s as much about your character”) is, by definition, namecalling (“the use of opprobrious designations to win an argument or induce rejection or condemnation “)…”enemies of civilization”….no name-calling there…

                May you, I, and the multitude thrive.

              • frere, much as I would like to agree and end this thing, I can’t possibly let you go with saying that questioning character is, by definition, name-calling.

                ask sis if she agrees that every time she raises questions about character she’s name-calling.

                last word is yours or hers.
                pace

  2. I’m so glad we can get back to the serious discussion of the budget, with the unspecified funding for green energy, tax hikes, and wild accusations against Paul Ryan’s plans to throw autistic children and senior citizens out on the street.

  3. Hope your Comments problem with Word Press has been resolved!

    I’m with you 100 percent on this one, OptiCon – the right & decent and STATESMAN-like thing to have done re the Birth Certificate was to have produced it forthwith and without fuss in 2008. But, as we’ve come to see, know, understand and disdain, Obama is none of the above. He’s an insecure, narcissistic, empty suit – one of the greatest frauds perpetrated on the American people. And when he’s finally out of office, more & more details of his pathetic early life will be revealed. Actually, we may not have to wait that long: Jerome Corsi’s book will be full of factoids and, perhaps, irrelevant crap, but crap that is TRUE, nontheless. Corsi pokes into every nook & cranny; and although sometimes it seems like a National-Enquirer type of investigation, more often than not, he’s got all (or most) of his facts straight. How important any of this is, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. I tend to believe some of the rumors I’ve heard about his drug-filled life at Occidental & Columbia, the false IDs & strange Social Security number, etc. And a life “enhanced” by handouts and unearned privileges. OK, so this isn’t the crux of our national problems; but the fact that our “leader” is driving this disaster compels one to ask, “What sort of person would want to destroy this country?” And we look to past behavior to possibly explain current actions.

    Yes, Fuster Buster, “crud” is indeed what this is all about – but it didn’t start with OptiCon…

    • it certainly didn’t start with the opticon, and I believe that she knows better than to join in the braying.

      why she dips her toe in the pollution mystifies.

  4. His initial decision — to refuse to release the long-form in 2008 — was a strange one. Some combination, I would guess, of arrogance and the Chicago hardball, “why should we.”

    His subsequent decision to spend a million bucks or so fighting the lawsuits was even stranger. Mostly arrogance — being President had already gone to his head.

    His recent decision to release was pure politics — he was getting killed in the polls.

    I agree with Fuster — no need to worry about his birth anymore.

    But the voters do have a right to know more about his college and law school career — particularly where he and his supporters constantly tell us how brilliant he is. It’s like John Kerry telling us what a hero he was — time to check the record. Also, it was fun to learn that George W did better at Yale than Kerry. And what about that missing thesis from his days at Columbia — you know that he did a paper on nuclear disarmament. It will only be “found” after he’s left office — part of his legacy, don’t you know.

    But the most interesting records to which we voters have a right to see (or at least have a group of conservative and liberal media folks look at) are his medical records. Last time, all that Axelrod allowed us to have was a note from Barry’s doctor. This is wrong: Tom Eagleton’s mental health history was relevant; so was Paul Tsongas’s cancer.

    Now why would a 45 year old man, who appears to be in the peak of health, refuse us any information about his medical records? I’d speculate that there are two possibilities. One is sexually transmitted disease. No big deal, by the way, but Barry might think that the rednecks he rules over might have a bit of a problem with that. A second possibility is some mental health history or use of anti-depression meds. Again, maybe it’s neither and just his arrogance. I really don’t care why he’s hiding them — I’d just like to know.

    By the way, I think Trump, useful idiot that he is, might just be able to pressure Axelrod and Barry into some show and tell. Win the future, Dude-in-Chief!

    • Right on the money. Definitely your best argument to date.

      Obama should be barred from running for re-election because he hasn’t proved to your satisfaction that he hasn’t VD.

  5. I was born in Australia and for years assumed that I was therefore prohibited from being the President. However, I think that as a naturalized citizen I CAN be POTUS (14th Amdt). However, I became a citizen not in any state but in Washington DC! Cities are are not mentioned in the 14th Amdt, only states are. Would my citizenship therefore be legally invalidated for Presidential purposes?? Axelrod could probably find a way!

    At the time, dad had to renounce my citizenship on my behalf to any “foreign potentate” because in order to become a US citizen one could not hold a dual citizenship. That’s changed now though I think.

    So, Ritchie F. Emmons for 2012? Think I have a shot?? I’d say it’s a good a shot as Donald Trump.

    • Better than Donald Trump, but until you clarify that “F” I’m still thinkin’ “iffy”

      • “F” is for “Franklin.” Are my chances still iffy?

        • why didn’t you release the information about the middle name long ago and without my having to press the point?

          has it always been Franklin and where’s the proof?

          what are you hiding and how can we trust you to keep us safe?

          have you ever unexpectedly shot a friend or are you a liberal?

  6. I let all of the first fumes settle before answering this for a while.

    1. If the State of Hawaii is certifying that this copy (and there are only microfiche copies available for older Hawaiian births now…) is the actual BC of BHO… case closed. That is it. Finito, which has been the assertion of most “Birthers” since the beginning. The issue should have been ended by following standard procedure; writing the state, paying whatever small fees, and have the certified actual copy out. Gee, that was really hard. It would have taken no more than a week without the powers and capabilities granted to the Office of the President.

    2. Whether the paper original of the fiche copy is doctored, changed, altered, or otherwise tinkered with, is impossible to prove, and impossible to register any disputes about. The One was adopted, then he wasn’t if those events occurred the record (paper before this stuff was transferred to microfiche) would have been changed once or twice … but the net result is a child born to a mother in a Hawaiian hospital.

    3. Paternity is irrelevant. My surmise is that something “hinky” happened with Barrack Obama, “Sr.” and Stanley Ann Dunham was largely a single mother in August 1961. She could have named the baby Fred Dunham, if she had wanted to. But she didn’t and the story might or might not ever really be admitted to. It was 1961 and there were lots of different social/moral issues of that time.

    4. The “Birthers” continuing the “Natural Born” track are wrong… and seem to be more than willing to waste time, money, and gas pursuing something that they don’t understand. As noted by Mark Steyn this afternoon on the Rush show. The phrase and designation relates to the term Natural Born Subject of the British monarchy. Natural means unencumbered by parental diplomatic status. It is where we get “birth citizenship” and this has been solidified by the 14th amendment. Frankly that argument is a dead dog that don’t hunt much, and never did. Obama could have been born in the US to two illegal alien parents and VIOLA!!! He’s an American. You’d think that no one in the Birther movement ever heard about Anchor babies…

    5. The entire thing that bugged and still bugs me about this is the basic fundamental dishonesty of Barrack Hussein Obama. He lies, obfuscates, prevaricates, shades, nuances, hides, projects and deflects at every turn. He is fundamentally dishonest about his life, and that is a serious flaw. This nation is paying dearly for having chosen a Liar to lead us.

    This all went away in the Spring of 2008 when a desperate Hillary!!! NLN campaign (through a patented Clintonian ally whispering source) and Philip Berg, who was and is a Democrat / 911-Truther, filed the original lawsuit. Whatever dishonest game that Obozo decided to play, well it could have been over in May/Jun 2008.

    Yes, time for this to go by the wayside, as a warning about with whom we deal. A man completely incapable of telling the most basic truth.

    The Regime must end in 2012-2013, or I fear this nation most assuredly will soon thereafter.

    r/TMF

    • They would settle much more quickly if you took your medication on time.

      All these “lies” and “dishonesty”?

      The only “lies” I can think of is the ‘lie’ of him being half-black, a Democrat, and daring to win the presidential election. Can’t think of any others……….

  7. As Fuster presciently observed in a previous post: you “know a bit about religion, but nothing about law”. So true…..

    Nor, may I add – about graciousness. The long-form certificate adds nothing to, or takes nothing away, from the short-form certificate which is the normal currency in these matters. Instead of trying to squeal and squirm and drag in the irrelevancy of the (completely different) McCain issue, you might simply have said: I and all the other conspiracy-theorists, fringe elements, and political dinosaurs who are unable to swallow a president who doesn’t look like the people usually seen in our neighbourhoods, – “were (yes, it hurts to admit the truth) wrong”. In accordance with your usual form, all we got were weasel-words and lame excuses and trying to say that the hated “leftists”, or “liberals”, are really to blame for this concocted controversy. The fact is that the people who are lawfully charged with running our presidential elections cleared Obama on the basis of the same information they cleared every other presidential candidate for 50 years. You need to take a serious look at yourself and ask why this particular controversy arose in realtion to this particular president. Nothing to do with his skin-colour or the fact that you and all the other conspiracy-theorists etc. hate him? Of course not….

    There was in fact very little controversy about McCain’s birth-place. It certainly never reached the cacophony level of rage and hate that attended the allegations as to the president’s birth-certificate. The issue about McCain is a very different one. Hawaii is a state in the US, just like Maine, Texas, and California. It was a state when Obama was born there in the 60s. The form of birth-certificate that was deemed sufficient for all those other presidents, says that he was born in the US state of Hawaii. End of story.
    John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. The PCZ is not, nor has it ever been, a state of the United States. It has a legal relationship with the US, but it is not part of the US. The issue which I saw discussed in learned legal journals (as distinct from right-wing tabloid-rags, or the rage-o-sphere of right-wing blogdom) was whether ordinary legislation could effectively override the Constitution by declaring as having being born in the US someone who was manifestly born outside it. You might note that the Constitution refers to “birth”, NOT “citizenship”. You might further note that people born in the PCZ who are not born there of a US parent are not even considered eligible for US citizen-ship as of right – let alone eligible to be president. It is these questions (Whether the McCain legislation is constitutional, or whether it purports to amend the Constitution other than by the particular means set down in the Constitution itself) that have divided legal-academics along lines which have nothing to do with party-affiliation.

    The only way to deal with the McCain issue is by constitutional amendment in the proper way. Such an amendment would bring the eligibility of US citizens to run for the presidency into line with the realities of contemporary America. I would suggest that it should include, not only people born in the US, but the children of US service-personnel and the diplomatic-service born abroad while a parent was serving abroad – and perhaps, even, any US citizen who has been an exclusive US citizen for more than 25 years. That would put the McCain issue beyond challenge. Of course none of this is relevant to Obama who was unquestionably born in the USA.
    May I add, any provision of our Constitution which would prevent a person such as John McCain with a long and distinguished record of service to the US is no longer justifiable.

    • Ps. Small correction. I notice I incorrectly said the Constitution does not mention “citizenship” (In the context of Art 11):

      The Constitution of course mentions “birth” AND “citizenship”. The phrase, if I remember correctly, is “natural born citizen”. These words are not alternatives. The issue which was discussed was whether mere legislation can create artificial categories of “natural born” citizens who are in fact born outside the US. The majority opinion is that it probably can, but that the provision should be updated and clarified before it is challenged in some future presidential race with unfortunate consequences to the democratic process.

    • Graciousness seems to be a struggle for many of us. Here’s a brief summation of a Webster’s definition:

      “marked by an attractive or pleasing character; characterized by grace in quality, traits or nature; marked by a pleasing demeanor, kindness, tact and courtesy; markedly considerate of another’s feelings or predilections.”

      I used the term “graciousness” because you invoked it in your petite diatribe. Before we start lobbing grenades, it is probably (and at least remotely) wise to check our own arsenals to see what we’re lobbing. I only mention this because the “graciousness” in your dialogue seems to be hauntingly lacking…or maybe I’m just a “political dinosaur”…Cheers, and best wishes.

      Is it possible (just, going out on a limb, remotely possible) that I could disagree with Obama for any reason other than that I hate him or his color (or “colour”) – like maybe I don’t agree with his policies? Possible? Or am I simply one of the “non-rational” with whom you painstakingly parry.

      The answer can “only be” one of the reasons you posited -wow – Much more prescient even than Fuster…

      “You know the answer” (as do you – you simply won’t admit it)

      And I quote (just to be sure I’m not overstepping anything):

      “All these “lies” and “dishonesty”? The only “lies” I can think of is the ‘lie’ of him being half-black, a Democrat, and daring to win the presidential election. Can’t think of any others……” “As Fuster presciently observed in a previous post: you “know a bit about religion, but nothing about law”. So true…..” “Nor, may I add – about graciousness…. Instead of trying to squeal and squirm and drag in the irrelevancy of the (completely different) McCain issue, you might simply have said: I and all the other conspiracy-theorists, fringe elements, and political dinosaurs who are unable to swallow a president who doesn’t look like the people usually seen in our neighbourhoods, – “were (yes, it hurts to admit the truth) wrong”. In accordance with your usual form, all we got were weasel-words and lame excuses and trying to say that the hated “leftists”, or “liberals”, are really to blame for this concocted controversy. The fact is that the people who are lawfully charged with running our presidential elections cleared Obama on the basis of the same information they cleared every other presidential candidate for 50 years. You need to take a serious look at yourself and ask why this particular controversy arose in realtion to this particular president. Nothing to do with his skin-colour or the fact that you and all the other conspiracy-theorists etc. hate him? Of course not….

       If you cannot accept the overwhelming evidence that he was born in the USA, or excelled at college it is probably because you are a racist or cannot accept the verdict of the electorate when it produces a result you don’t like.

       How else could a black guy possibly become editor of one of the most prestigeous legal periodicals in the world?

      o Obama must be the most closely documented president of all time. However, most of us have long realized that when you are dealing with birthers or alien-spaceships-in-Nevada conspiracy-theorists, all the evidence in the world will not actually change minds because you are not dealing with the rational.
      Face it Margo, Obama’s real fault is that you hate him. Whether you bear that hatred because he believes in the values of tolerance and inclusivity which underpin our great nation, and you don’t, or, that he is of a different colour from the folks in your neighbourhood, or whatever……. who actually cares?”

      o “I presume that for many of the Obama-haters the clamour over the long birth-cert was the hope that it would somehow reveal that he was a Moslem.

      So now Margo, the question you need to ask yourself is “what is it about this particular president (rather than one of his predecessors) that has given rise to all these concocted issues”? The answer can only be one of the reasons I posited above.

      So what is it about this president that makes the information which was perfectly adequate in relation to his predecessor such a cause of concocted controversy?

      You know the answer, (as do you – you simply won’t admit it) and your (self-contradicted) protestations as to the innocence of your motives don’t stack up.

      o Do you think for a moment that anyone who hasn’t a first rate academic record gets to be editor of the Harvard Review? People from relatively modest backgrounds don’t even get into Harvard unless they have shown exceptional academic ability in their graduate college. Of course all his peers at Harvard may have co-operated in a vast conspiracy to cover-up Obama’s grades. After all, how could a black guy excelled academically other than by fraud?

      o You still can’t accept that a black guy can achieve what Obama has achieved fairly and squarely.”

  8. What about those college records?

    • what about them?

      it’s not enough that he was never born?

      the diplomas are certainly fake and all the people working at Columbia U and harvard Law have all been replaced with Kenyan replicants to prevent the decent white people of America from finding out how bad it is.

      • You’re playing a good defense there–Obama’s supporters are going to have to do a lot of that over the next year and a half. I don’t think it will work, but I’m looking forward to watching it. Good luck with “if you don’t re-elect, you’re racist,” as a campaign slogan.

        • sorry, adam, but I don’t give a fig about whether people vote for him or against him. I assume that many folks don’t agree with his policies or approve of his party.

          crap about his birth, his grades, or his health records is something other than that and people who raise questions about them and attempt to fob off those question as being legit are full o’stuff that stinks.

          • According to your previous comment, the stuff that stinks is racism. But it has become commonplace that Presidential candidates release such records, and it is legitimate to want to see them, and make a point of the candidate’s refusal to accomodate. Was Obama a Marxist in college? Were many of his classes with Fanonian anti-colonialist professors? What was in his senior thesis? If he had well formed political views at the time, how did he come to modify, conceal and/or repudiate them? A Presidential candidate is within his rights, (admittedly recent) custom be damned, to refuse to accomodate such demands; and media outlets are free to remain uninterested, especially if the candidate in question (to echo our elite’s favorite charge against their “Others”) sounds very much like them. But just like people had very good grounds for wanting to see John Kerry’s military records, they have good grounds for wanting to see evidence of the political and philosophical formation of this President. I always thought that the stuff about the birth certificate was proxy for this other stuff, which is important. And I hope they keep up the drumbeat, because there’s lots of stuff Obama obviously doesn’t want people to know about him, and whether it gets known or he increasingly visibly keeps it hidden, should considerably weaken him going into 2012.

            • @adam

              According to your previous comment, the stuff that stinks is racism.

              nah, that was tangential. the thread us about stirring up stink over Obama’s life records and my comments have all been to the point of saying that there’s nothing there and that it’s gratuitous and cynical…except where it’s simply stupid and founded in murkier areas.

              it’s certainly not all racist. matter of fact there’s been a distinct effort expended in painting him as belonging to a religious faith other than the one he professes to belong and the stories, of course, paint him as a liar and a as liar adhering to a faith distinctly unpopular with reactionary American voters.

              so it’s certainly not all about racism. it’s about several sorts of bigotry.

              • gotta say that DAN’s lunatic VD charge was one that I hadn’t heard before.

                of course, it wasn’t much weirder than the charge of sexual deviance that I heard leveled at Ronald Reagan when I was a child.

                that one also was out there and I got a childish kick out of it to the extent that I wore one of the buttons.

              • Some very important distinctions there! Several murky areas, not just race. The religious faith he claims to belong to is Jeremiah Wright’s version of “Christianity,” is it not? OK–what do you have to believe to be a member of that church for 20 years? Obama has been presently as incandescentally brilliant, and yet there’s no evidence for it, except for a book he most probably didn’t write. He’s thoughtful, reflective, etc.–so, where are the signs of his serious thinking about society and politics–what have been his significant learning moments? When did he realize that, say, a view he held when younger was utopian or simply wrong?

                But I’m not really arguing here, I suppose–I’m just observing that more and more people seem to me to have these kinds of questions, which all come down to WHO IS HE, REALLY? And more will continue to have them, which means you will be, if you aren’t already calling a very substantial portion (close to a majority, I would say, for now) of Americans “murky.” And I’m heartened that this seems to be the best strategy the media formerly known as mainstream has.

        • No Adam.

          If you vote against him you are exercising your exercising your electoral preference.

          If you cannot accept the overwhelming evidence that he was born in the USA, or excelled at college it is probably because you are a racist or cannot accept the verdict of the electorate when it produces a result you don’t like.

          Take your pick.

          • Where’s the evidence that he excelled in college?

            • the diplomas

              • Graduating = excelling?

              • adam, dude, getting through Harvard Law is close enough for you to stop lobbing the grenades.

            • As every birther knows, the person elected as editor of the Harvard Review is always the person whom the students consider the stupidest student of his year. How else could a black guy possibly become editor of one of the most prestigeous legal periodicals in the world?

      • Yup Fuster, all the people who say they worked with Obama on the Harvard Review are clones. The original folks were abducted by a shadowy Kenyan Islamic scientist, their brains were replaced, and cloned brains were grown from sheep embryos in the Saudi Desert.

        Therein we have the reason why the Long Form BC wasn’t put on the internet. Why bother? These nutters just can’t get their heads around the fact that we elected someone whom they hate and cannot accept. No matter what evidence exists – long, short, or somewhere in-between, they will still believe that Obama was born in Kenya/Indonesia/Mars etc., and being a black guy, he couldn’t possibly have gotten into our premier university (let alone, excelled there) other than by fraud.

  9. I got a certified copy of my Hawaiian birth certificate sitting on a shelf in my bathroom. It looks very official, green paper and all. Doesn’t every kanaka have one?

    • not indoors, no.

    • Do you keep it on the same shelf as your medication?

      p.s. I am unfamiliar with the term “Kanaka”. It couldn’t possibly be a term of racial abuse, could it?

  10. Well, one can certainly see the battle lines drawn here – all dressed up in fancy language and both sides weighing in on a troubling subject with lots of facts, but, of course, also lots of political preferences pretty much set out in neon.

    An earlier reference to Reagan in a Democrat, left-leaning home is no surprise – the Left’s drumbeat against Reagan was pretty loud & steady – even through his first term.

    My take on Obama and religion is that his first & main god his himself; as for organized religion, he’s been pretty lazy about it most of his life – whether Muslim or Christian – and still is. So, too, for many of us! Which inclines me to believe that his so-called “converstion” to Christianity in the Black Liberation Theology movement was done more for poitical, rather than “personal growth” purposes (after all, he had NO personal connection to the Black population of Chicago whom he first attempted to “lead” as an Alinsky-style “community organizer,” then as a legislator in the IL State Senate). In truth, of course, he was more white than black, and never attended a public school throughout his 18-20 year educational career.

    It will be interesting to see what Jerome Corsi’s blockbuster new book has to reveal about all areas of contention re BHO – and no doubt will provide endless discussion and arguments, probably more sound & fury, but leading to what? in the end.

    When they do the Obama opera – not the cheer-leading one recently staged in Germany, but more along the lines of Nixon in China – they (whoever attempts it) might come up with a more compelling figure in fiction than we currently see in the WH. “Empty suit” and “fraud” have been inextricably linked to him – much as “cowboy” has been to Bush 43.

  11. testing…

    • don’t stop the testing, Joy, till they find everything wrong.

      bon chance and bon sanite.

      • And YOU keep on testing, Feather Duster, ’til YOU get something right…

  12. I think the4re are some short memories here about how we usually vet candidates. We know Obama’s religion, it’s Rev. Wright’s. We are supposed to consider his academic record unnecessary because he went to good schools. But George Bush went to good schools and was considered a “village idiot” because he got mostly C’s. Obama’s early work as a lawyer and then as a community organizer is similarly hidden from view. Bush’s and Kerry’s early careers were open to the daylight. But about Obama we are supposed to assume the best.

    Sure, in a way this is water over the dam, since we now have ample evidence of Obama’s ideological blindness and administrative ineffectuality. But we don’t want it to become a precedent for future candidates. Obama’s early elections in Illinois featured a strategy of digging up all possible dirt on opponents by tactics like having confidential court records unsealed, while revealing a minimum about himself. This shouldn’t be acceptable to voters, and shouldn’t be allowed to stand.

    • Margo, if you think Obama has ideological blindness and administratively ineffectual, congrats on being a person who’s tracking good old traditional things and offers god reasons not to vote for him.

    • Poor poor Margo.

      If it isn’t his birth-place, then it must be his fraudulent academic record, or, then it must be that he is a covert Moslem, or, perhaps he is a covert commie, or…….. any other unsubstantiated allegation that you or some the other fringe conspiracy-theorist can dream up.

      Obama must be the most closely documented president of all time. However, most of us have long realized that when you are dealing with birthers or alien-spaceships-in-Nevada conspiracy-theorists, all the evidence in the world will not actually change minds because you are not dealing with the rational.

      Face it Margo, Obama’s real fault is that you hate him. Whether you bear that hatred because he believes in the values of tolerance and inclusivity which underpin our great nation, and you don’t, or, that he is of a different colour from the folks in your neighbourhood, or whatever……. who actually cares?

      • It’s rich, Paulite, to see you accusing someone else of being a conspiracy theorist.

  13. If the battle lines here are representative, then the pro-Obama forces are betting that those questioning Obama beyond simple policy disagreements (i.e., those who are focused on some aspect of the question WHO IS HE? and not just what has he done?) can be marginalized as racists, bitter clingers, etc., and used as an example to intimidate others, especially public officials, who might step over that line. Obama has been vetted by the academic, political and media elites, and anyone who isn’t satisfied with that is a mere crank, and maybe a dangerous one. It’s probably the best they have–they can’t, for example, defend Obama’s sophisticated and nuanced political and social thinking because there is no evidence of it–certainly not since he was elected, but not even, it turns out, ever. And as for his policies and their results–well, enough said. It’s a risky strategy, because if the sense that Obama has been deceptive in his self-representation grows, those deploying that strategy end up trying to marginalize many tens of millions of Americans–probably a majority, if we take into account those who just wonder, yeah what about that tape the LA Times has with Obama and Rashid Khalidi? But go for it, guys–this stuff is not central to me, but I believe in a comprehensive strategy for political warfare, and who knows where the holes in the enemies lines might show up? The more a vague sense of mistrust grows, the more objects it will find, the more Obama and his supporters will have to decide whether to demonize the opposition or release something and raise yet more questions, probably ending up swinging wildly back and forth between the poles, etc.

  14. Poor me indeed. I just think that if medical records, school records, interviews with people who knew you when, etc. are all part of the presidential vetting process, they ought to be part of Obama’s too. Of course this must be a completely irrational impulse on my part, driven by drak hatreds. Or did I miss Paulite’s argument about why that information isn’t needed, and wasn’t needed in previous elections?

    • Yes, poor sad you indeed.

      You see Margo, health hasn’t been an issue with the older and obviously less fit and healthy presidents that preceded Obama. As you know, Obama’s doctor has been authorized to do what all the doctors of recent presidents have been authorized to do: release regular bulletins on the state of the president’s health, and release all health information to the public that might be relevant to the discharge of his duties. His doctor (as his predecessor’s doctor also did) is bound by this authorization. The insinuation about veneral disease by DAN rather says everything about the motivation and caliber of the Obama haters in this regard.
      As for the academic record of this former editor of the Harvard Review: His grades and achievements from high-school through to leaving the education system are better and more thoroughly documented than those of any previous president. His thesis (which you would know if you had ever undertaken one) is the property of his university, not of Obama. Ditto any papers written by George Bush in the course of his college education (which we haven’t seen either).
      Again, Obama’s place of birth was long established in the manner in which it was established for all recent presidents. In any event, he fully satisfied the authorities charged under the law of our nation to verify the eligibility of presidential candidates. I presume that for many of the Obama-haters the clamour over the long birth-cert was the hope that it would somehow reveal that he was a Moslem.

      So now Margo, the question you need to ask yourself is “what is it about this particular president (rather than one of his predecessors) that has given rise to all these concocted issues”? The answer can only be one of the reasons I posited above.

      • Here, from WikiAnswers:

        Barack Obama has not released transcripts for his grades from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law. He has also not released his SAT and LSAT scores. No explanation has been offered for not releasing them.

        Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_Barack_Obama's_grades_in_college#ixzz1L6aanf2P

        So, if you know his grades, Paulite, what were they?

        And do you honestly want to contend that, his thesis being the property of Columbia University, he is not permitted to release it? Anyone who has written a seniors, MA or PhD thesis will be very surprised to learn that they need their institution’s permission to publish such documents.

  15. Interesting take, Adam.

    I do find Paulite’s attitude amusing, and dismaying. She — I assume Paulite is purporting to be a feminine avatar, but if not, let me know and I will change the pronoun — leaps to her man’s defense. Leaps in a way that only an acolyte can.

    Paulite suffers from — dare I use the term — stereotyping us conservatives. To begin with, many of us don’t hate Obama. I find him very intelligent, I just think his judgment is abysmal. I’ve also been disappointed with how banal most of his analyses of policy issues are, but that’s hardly unique to him — rather, it just makes him ordinaire. I don’t particularly like his speaking style (I’m particularly put off by his faux-guy-standing-around-the-bar style), but acknowledge that he has been, on many occasions, very effective. Of course, I also didn’t particularly like Reagan’s speaking style — too pat for my taste. And, for the record, the one thing I think was particularly good about his election is that our country was able to elect an African-American. I think he conducted himself generally well in the campaign in dealing with the race issue, and I think the whole election tone was greatly helped by the proper approach that McCain took in refusing to get embroiled in any way in any racially-based attack.

    More importantly, Paulite misunderstands the source of the opposition of most thinking conservatives — and I count OptCon and most conservatives writing on this blog as thinking conservatives — to Obama. That is, we deeply oppose his policies and the policies of his party.

    Back, then, to my previous post. I really didn’t mean to suggest that there is any particular fact in his medical records. I just don’t know. And I have every right to know, given the power that we give to a person when we elect him President. BTW, Paulite, if you disagree with my assertion re having some evaluation of a candidate’s medical records, I would welcome a debate. I haven’t seen it so far from you on that policy question.

    And I think it is legitimate to say: why in the world would an apparently healthy person refuse to provide anything, and instead give us a “letter” from his doctor? Would we be happy with a “letter” from his college or law school that he was a good, or even great, scholar? I’m old enough to remember when JFK’s doctor gave us a load of BS about his health and drug regime.

    Now maybe it will turn out that there’s nothing in his medical records and he just doesn’t want to give them to us. Like Hussein pretending that he had Weapons of Mass Destruction, when he didn’t (and no, Paulite, I’m not claiming Obama is Hussein or anything else — just an amusing thought about how politicians sometimes unnecessarilydig themselves deep holes). Isn’t that refusal — and what it says about his attitude towards the voters — a legitimate consideration as to whether one should vote for him?

    But to go back to Adam’s point. Like him, I’m all in favor now of Obama refusing to release his school records and his medical records. It gains him no votes; it may actually provide a deciding factor for some independent voters to vote against him; and, as Adam points out, it increases his appearance of alienation from us, thereby undercutting support for him. I’m not trying to overstate this factor. But I have a feeling that it’s going to be a close election. And every vote against the continuation of his disasterous administration is welcomed.

    • Thank you for the amateur(ish) attempt at ‘profiling’, but I have no intention of revealing my sex, age, occupation, or location.

      You see, there is one problem with your protestations as to your motivation for your opposition to this president: Your actual obsession, as revealed in your posting are not the policies of this administration, but the actual legitimacy of this presidency.
      You give yourself away in your final paragraphs when you revert to form. As previously explained to “Margo” this president has already released the same (and then some) health, education, and other personal information as released by his predecessor. In fact, if you bothered to look at the facts rather than such discredited “sources” as Geller and Corsi, you would see that this is the best documented president in history.

      So what is it about this president that makes the information which was perfectly adequate in relation to his predecessor such a cause of concocted controversy?

      You know the answer, and your (self-contradicted) protestations as to the innocence of your motives don’t stack up.

  16. You sure are a one-note pony, Ms. Paulite: Everyone who questions you, or the Leader from the Rear, is a racist. But you’re missing the point: During the last compaign, Obama refused to permit reporters access to his medical records, unlike John McCain. Obama should not be given a pass again in the upcoming race.

    As reported on May 29, 2008:

    –Likely Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is in “excellent health,” according to a summary of Obama medical records released on Thursday. The 276-word summary was written by Dr. David L. Scheiner, the Chicago doctor who has been Obama’s personal physician since March, 1987. Obama has not had a check-up in more than a year. Scheiner described Obama as “lean and muscular with no excess body fat.” Obama is still using Nicorette gum to stay off cigarettes–he has quit smoking several times, his doctor notes.

    HIghlights:
    *Triglycerides of 44(normal under 150), cholesterol 173 (normal under 200), HDL 68 (normal over 40), and LDL 96 (normal under 130). Chem 24, urinalysis and CBC were normal, PSA was 0.6, very good. An EKG was normal.

    The Obama campaign decided to release this summary of Obama’s health status at this time to contrast with the long medical history of GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Az.). The McCain campaign last week allowed a select group of reporters to study McCain’s more complex medical history, complicated because of his skin cancer and injuries suffered while serving in the military and as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam.

    • No, I don’t presume that those who “question” me or oppose the President are racist.

      I question the motivations of those who are obsessed with the legitimacy of this president, or in impugning him on grounds which seem to have racism or inability to accept an election result with which they don’t like as their only basis. A good example is your own diatribe about VD.

      As for the matter of disclosure of health status: You have kindly acknowledged that both candidates made disclosure (As did GWB, Clinton, and GHB before them). As you have also illustrated, the disclosure in relation to a relatively young man and that necessary for an elderly man with a very complex medical history will be rather different in extent. Thank you.

  17. Paulite, I’ve written a thesis, and the hard copy is to be found in open stacks at my alma mater’s library. Ditto with dissertation also abstracted at DAI.
    Kerry’s and Bush’s grades were released–why not Obama’s? Both also released complete medical reports.
    Again, what is your argument for why the same standard shouldn’t apply to Obama?
    Maybe a clue to your thinking lies in the motives and biasses you impute to me. I see “RACE” in neon letters. Can it be that you believe Obama needs special protection from bigots like me? That he can’t stand alone on equal terms with other candidates and presidents? Your image of a bigoted America has already been disproven by his election. But the protection that people like you have given him has not necessarily been helpful. It would have been better for him to have faced these questions and eliminated them early, and at the same time to get in the habit of treating the American people with respect.
    Finally, before you play the race card on me personally, Paulite, you probably should know more about where I live, what I do for a living, and who my friends and neighbors are.

    • what are standards, margo? why are university grades a standard?

      I never had a prospective employer ask whether I pulled an “A” in symbolic logic or econometrics. have you?

      I once asked the opticon for a copy of her master’s thesis (I had one but wanted a signed copy) and she flatly refused to send one to me!!!!

      happily and completely brushed me off.

    • No point in arguing with conspiracy-theorists, Fuster. Now that the long BC has been released, it is his academic record that’s the problem. After that it will be something else. They just can’t get their heads around the fact that we had the temerity to elect someone they hate. Obama’s grades have of course been released. As you probably know, the copyright of masters and doctorial theses is retained by Harvard (and most other universities of which I am aware), and are not released to the public. The exception being where, with the permission of the university, it is to be adapted into book form and published as a book.

      • I actually published my PhD dissertation (in revised form) as a book, and needed no permission from my university. The very suggestion is bizarre, and this is the first time I’ve heard it. (Even your formulation is mangled–the copyright is not released to the public? What? Maybe there are proprietary issues with certain kinds of scientific work.) Is that really what you want to go with? (As Margo said, MA and PhD theses are made available by the university for anyone to read, so no one needed either Michelle Obama’s or Princeton’s permission to read her thesis–but, presumably, not seniors theses–unless Columbia is simply protecting Obama.)

        There are two simple reasons for the interest in Obama’s academic records:

        1) People, partly for the fun of it but also partly out of resentment at being lied to, would like the chance to puncture the myth of Obama’s luminous brilliance;

        2) More significantly, many people suspect that Obama is concealing far more leftist political views than he owns up to, and expect to find evidence of that in his academic record–his writings, the classes he took, the professors he worked with, etc. It’s a piece of the puzzle, like his decades in Wright’s church.

        Obama is free not to release such information, and we are free to assume he refuses to do so because he knows it would injure him politically and, furthermore, to draw the obvious conclusions from that.

        • Love to see your “book”.

          Can you provide me with a link?

          • It probably wouldn’t take too much work to find it, but I teach at a university, don’t have tenure, and would rather my politics not be known there.

    • To answer your question directly: Obama doesn’t need protection from bigots like you.

      I never said America is a bigoted nation. The bigots who cannot accept the legitimacy of our president are thankfully a minority.

      Obama has released everything that his predecessors have released (as well as complying with all the disclosure legally required of presidential candidates). As even Glen Beck has admitted: if Obama had anything to hide the Clintons would have unearthed it in the course of the primaries.

      Do you think for a moment that anyone who hasn’t a first rate academic record gets to be editor of the Harvard Review? People from relatively modest backgrounds don’t even get into Harvard unless they have shown exceptional academic ability in their graduate college. Of course all his peers at Harvard may have co-operated in a vast conspiracy to cover-up Obama’s grades. After all, how could a black guy excelled academically other than by fraud?

      I don’t intend to have you embarrass yourself by asking you to e-mail your “thesis” to me. (What was it supposed to have been on, anyway? We might be able to have an interesting discussion in your area of expertise)

      • “People from relatively modest backgrounds don’t even get into Harvard unless they have shown exceptional academic ability in their graduate college.”

        If Obama’s grades have “of course” been released (what was his junior year like–you can just provide a link) why do you need his acceptance to Harvard as proof of how good they were?

        You are really brazen. It’s impressive in a way.

        • What was you thesis subject, anyway?

          • I will disclose it as soon as I announce my candidacy.

  18. The standard I meant is simply the accepted custom of candidates releasing all sort of personal data during their campaigns–or reporters digging it up. I don’t consider grades a standard, but then I don’t consider a degree from Harvard a standard either, as others seem to.

    • Margo, the guy has been on the job for a while now. his grades in college and the other work from then don’t really matter much. .. and never did.

      we have a body of recent work to guide our vote and we’ll vote based on what we know, which will always be fragmentary and based on our exposure to info and our capacity to absorb, as well as on our own past experiences and personal quirks.

      so far, Obama’s administration is light-years better than the last one. Obama’s is mediocre rather than disastrous.

      and tonight it’s fitting to offer a “screw you” to all the Cheneys that went around crying that Obama wasn’t committed to the security of the US.

      Dick and his Liz will be joining up with Osama someday.

      • Killing Bin Laden is consistent with a concern for some notion of international law and security over and above specifically American needs, so Obama’s commitment to specifically American security, especially if it seems to be at odds with transnational progressive imperatives, is not clarified by this.

        People can choose to vote based on their own considerations of what’s important. You are certainly right that most people will base most of their vote on his performance in office, but the other stuff, including his college grades, etc., might have marginal effects, and maybe a bit more if something interesting turns up.

        • adam, people from my part of the country feel that bagging bin Laden had little to do with international law.
          where I’m from, we define murder as a crime against the state.

          • My comment wasn’t about you or your neck of the woods, but about Obama and his assumptions about what is and is not legitimate in the use of force internationally.

            • and even that is a bit off, adam. Obama during televised debate during the campaign asserted that we would go into Pakistan to capture/kill AQ with or without the consent of the government of Pakistan.

              that doesn’t NOT show much concern for the niceties/silliness of what is usually asserted to be international law.

              that he followed up on it ought to give you at least a moment’s pause in pursuing your counterfactual campaign against an administration that is pursuing a rather realistic and pragmatic foreign policy,

              • But it does respect the way international law is understood among leftists which does preserve a very narrow space for national self-defense based upon protection against and retaliation for direct attacks.

              • adam, there’s no point in arguing when you have no facts at all.
                there’s nothing about sending a raiding party into a country with which you’re not at war and with which you’re supposedly allied, sans their permission, and with knowledge of the raid deliberately withheld from them, in order to kill people (strongly) suspected of committing murders a decade earlier that accords with your assertion of a “leftist” view of international law.
                they just don’t roll that way.

                there’s comes a point when you’re just bulls#!tting rather than looking at things clearly and fairly.

  19. Paulite: you made an assertion — “Obama’s grades have of course been released” — which surprises me. But, if it’s true, I’d be delighted. Could you enlighten us all by providing a link? I googled “Obama’s college grades” and I got an “answer” on Answer.com. Now I don’t know if that’s a good site or not, but its answer, below, contradicts your assertion. So please, if you want to retain (or perhaps, more accurately, attain) any credibility for those who blog on this site, send us the link with the Dude-in-Chief’s Occidental and Columbia grades, and also the link for his SAT and LSAT scores. (Oh, and for extra credit, explain why Obama’s college thesis has gone missing.) Otherwise, admit that you lied when you made that assertion. And perhaps forebear from telling us that the reason you lied is because we’re racist. Whatever.

    By the way, a 3.3 GPA wouldn’t get many people into Harvard Law. Unless they had really aced the LSATs or unless they had some special help . . .

    “Barack Obama has not released transcripts for his grades from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law. He has also not released his SAT and LSAT scores. No explanation has been offered for not releasing them.
    “Per the Wall Street Journal September 11, 2008, “Obama’s Lost Years,” Obama graduated from Columbia University (to which he transferred after his first two years at Occidental College in California), with a degree in Political Science without honors, so had a GPA less than a 3.3. His roomate Sohale Siddiqi indicated Obama itially felt alienated, felt “very lost,” and used drugs to get high, which could have led to low grades initially. The roomate indicates that he then turned serious and “stopped getting high.” Obama transferred to Columbia because he was concerned with urban issues. Based on his overall undergraduate GPA of less than a 3.3, Mr. Obama’s admission to Harvard Law School may reflect affirmative action statutes, low grades early, then higher grades later (purely speculation) and/or other factors.

    “At Harvard Law School, Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude, which, according to the Havard Law School website, is awarded to the top 10% of Harvard Law School students.

    “Also at Harvard Law School, Obama was accepted as one of 85-90 Editors of the Harvard Law Review, out of an estimated 1,000 students from the 2L and 3L classes that might have sought this honor. Obama was also elected President of the Law Review, which according to a Harvard Law spokesperson is not based at all on academics, but on other measures as would occure in any club.”

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_Barack_Obama's_grades_in_college#ixzz1L92ahGtc

    • You do not get elected as editor of one of our prestigeous legal periodicals if the alumni don’t think you’re up to maintaining the standards they expect of the publication.

      You still can’t accept that a black guy can achieve what Obama has achieved fairly and squarely.

      “Unless they needed some special help” says it all.

      About you.

      • “our prestigeous legal periodicals” says it all…

        About you. Do I need a scaffold to scratch your nose?

        • you can go scratch yourself until you achieve proficiency and then ask permission if your ambition is to scratch other folks.

          • Pretty proficient at scratching myself, but have less than zero interest in scratching other folks, especially those of the amphibian ilk.

            • glad to hear it. the whole scaffolding thing seemed a bit of a reach.


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