Well, I’m certainly glad this happened the day before I left the country on vacation.  CNN and pretty much everyone else is abuzz with the news that Barack Obama and the White House have tired of playing with conspiracy theorists and will release the long-form birth certificate after all:

The White House released President Obama’s original birth certificate Wednesday.

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

Haven’t seen the actual form yet, but I’ll be sure to add it when I do.  So far, news outlets are only showing the CoLB that they’ve had for almost three years, but we should be able to see the original shortly.

The big question is this: will it make any difference?  The conspiracy theorists have long speculated that the state of Hawaii’s law that allows parents to get a birth certificate after having a child abroad (true) gives them the option to declare Hawaii the birthplace (not true).  Others insist “natural born” means born of two American citizens, which is not only not true but would have disqualified Michael Dukakis in 1988, whose parents were both Greek immigrants. I’m going to guess that this will only shake off those with minimal or moderate attachment to the birth certificate issue, and that the industry will somehow muster onward after this bleak day.

Update: Ah, CNN has the PDF here.  And here’s the image:

Note that the long form doesn’t have any mention of religion at all, which was one theory as to why Obama was supposedly “hiding” it, nor does it list anyone else as Obama’s father, another speculative bit of nonsense peddled by the birthers.  The place of birth box is checked as within city or town limits, signed as thus by the attendant to the birth.

This conspiracy theory should have died three years ago.  Now, maybe we can focus on all the ways Obama is failing as President.

Update II: Some of those who pushed this issue over the last two-plus years are now crying foul, saying “Why did he wait this long to release it?”  Why would Obama have wanted to release it?  After all, it made for a perfect way to paint his opposition as lunatics.  Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t wait until after the GOP primaries.  He could have used the bump more then than now.

You know who the biggest loser in this might be?  CNN.  They’re in the middle of their in-depth investigation of the birther movement, and now their unaired episodes are moot.