“Sort of” because without the original they can’t verify the embossed seal on the back, but everything else checks out. I’m happy to believe them just because I think this is a weak line of attack and am anxious to get it off the table, the various e-mails we’ve gotten about it over the past week or two notwithstanding.

The Hawaii Department of Health receives about a dozen e-mail inquiries a day about Obama’s birth certificate, spokesman Okubo said.

“I guess the big issue that’s being raised is the lack of an embossed seal and a signature,” Okubo said, pointing out that in Hawaii, both those things are on the back of the document. “Because they scanned the front … you wouldn’t see those things.”

Okubo says she got a copy of her own birth certificate last year and it is identical to the Obama one we received.

And about the copy we e-mailed her for verification? “When we looked at that image you guys sent us, our registrar, he thought he could see pieces of the embossed image through it.”…

And there’s the rub. It is possible that Obama conspired his way to the precipice of the world’s biggest job, involving a vast network of people and government agencies over decades of lies. Anything’s possible.

But step back and look at the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and your sense of what’s reasonable has to take over.

One of their newsroom colleagues also has a Hawaii birth certificate and that’s identical too. The irony of this argument is that even if it did prove fruitful and Obama was revealed to have been born in another country, all it would do is provoke a debate on whether the Constitution should be amended to allow naturalized citizens to run for president. I remember reading a law review survey a few years ago in which various scholars identified the natural-born citizen requirement as the very worst operative clause in the Constitution as it currently stands. To justify retaining it, the GOP would have to argue that there’s some salient distinction between people who were born here versus people who have been citizens for decades. If you can come up with one, more power to you; I can’t. As it is, I tend to think of this the way Newt thinks of the “inexperience” argument — a sure loser, and a waste of resources in how it distracts from Obama’s true weak point, his strident liberalism. It’s like Grover Norquist’s “Kerry with a tan” remark: Even if you think there’s nothing wrong with it, all it ends up doing is sidetracking you from more persuasive arguments. So let’s move on.