I’m actually sympathetic to Barack Obama when it comes to the Birthers. The President published a perfectly acceptable certification of live birth, with which any American can get a passport, a driver’s license, or any other kind of official documentation he or she needs, in response to an unrelated question during the 2008 campaign. Furthermore, the state of Hawaii has twice confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu, and contemporaneous birth announcements also provide confirmation. Whether one likes Obama or not, he was clearly born in the US and therefore eligible for office.
However, the birther contretemps suits Obama, because it allows the media to dismiss all of his critics by painting them with the Birther brush (which is why so many of us are frustrated and disgusted by the small coterie of people who continue to indulge it). Obama could put an end to it at any time by simply releasing his original birth certificate from Hawaii, which only he can authorize. Why doesn’t he do it? Because the Birther movement suits his purposes.
So when he made this complaint last night, it’s not just amateurish, it’s completely disingenuous:
“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.
Er, he hasn’t spent any time with a birth certificate plastered to his forehead, and purposefully so. We understand why, and it makes some strategic sense in the most cynical manner possible. It allows Obama to nurture that microscopic collection of fools to distract attention from his own failures. But if one plays that game, then one gives up the right to whine about it later.
Update: As Twitter follower RobRob points out, this was also a non-sequitur response to a question about Obama’s faith. He’s trying a little too hard with the Birther dodge these days.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!