Obama Releases Long-Form Birth Certificate

Here it is.

Nothing to see here—nothing significant that wasn’t on the COLB that was released long ago. But it is the nature of such things that many people who staked so much on things not turning out this way will not change their world views overnight. When people declare that the world is coming to an end on May 4, 2010, and then it doesn’t, they typically do not say “wow, I guess I was wrong.” Instead, they are prone to revise. “Oops,” they say. “I forgot to carry the two. The world is actually ending on May 4, 2012.”

So expect to see the issue die down a fair amount, but for the truly hard-core birthers (and there are plenty of them) to continue on. They will claim that this document is fraudulent, photoshopped, etc. They will move on to other aspects of their story (say, that President Obama lost his citizenship when he lived in Indonesia). To understand all of this—why intelligent people buy in to such theories, you should check out my friend Jonathan Kay’s new book, Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground. It examines all of this, with regard to Truthers, Birthers, and such.

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16 Responses

  1. Logan says:

    “Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History” by David Aaronovitch is another good book about this stuff.

  2. If you forgot to carry the two, shouldn’t the world be ending on May 4, 2030, or May 4, 2210, or May 4, 4010? The ones place seems like the single least likely digit for a carry error to show up in. I could also see May 6, 2010 or July 4, 2010 or possibly May 26, 2010, but a carry into the years . . . no wait, I take it back. That does seem like the kind of math one would expect from millenarians.

  3. Brian Kalt says:

    James, the formula is much more complicated than you seem to think it is. It yields the number of days until the end, not the date itself. Don’t ask me how forgetting to carry a 2 can make a difference of 731 days. We don’t just give that information away.

  4. Joe says:

    Lou Costello explained how 13*7 is 28, so you just need to know the rules.

  5. Brett Bellmore says:

    What this establishes, at a minimum, is that all the people arguing that Obama wasn’t releasing the birth certificate because he couldn’t, were spouting nonsense. Of course he could, if he felt like doing so, and he has just proven that.

    I suppose the next step for the genuine fanatics, is to start checking records, to see if they can prove that the listed physician was actually someplace else at the recorded time of birth. That ought to keep them busy for a while…

    In the mean while, the question arises as to why stonewall for so long, and then release it. I suspect Obama has decided that it would be fun running against the likes of Trump, and wishes to encourage the notion among Republicans that The Donald has just beaten Obama at something.

  6. Shag from Brookline says:

    Stonewalling may have served to identify wannabe KKKers.

  7. Ken Rhodes says:

    “To understand all of this—why intelligent people buy in to such theories,…”

    Another possibility is that those people you thought were intelligent aren’t as smart as they seemed.

  8. Brian Kalt says:

    Brett, I suspect that the president didn’t want to dignify it with a response, but when it moved from the fringe and more into the mainstream, he felt the need to confront it.

  9. Brett Bellmore says:

    “Stonewalling may have served to identify wannabe KKKers.”

    In your fevered imagination, if nowhere else.

    Why should whether an officer of the government wants to “dignify” suspicions that he’s not constitutionally qualified for his office have anything to do with whether or not he’s required to provide proof? I suspect this had more to do with mooting Drake v. Obama, the only one of the ‘birther’ court cases to get past the standing issue, and have an actual hearing on the merits scheduled. If it’s not, as I suspect, about boosting Trump’s chances of getting the GOP nomination.

  10. Brian Kalt says:

    Why should whether an officer of the government wants to “dignify” suspicions that he’s not constitutionally qualified for his office have anything to do with whether or not he’s required to provide proof?

    Well, if someone thinks the president was born in Kenya, he can either ignore it (and pay the political price for doing so), or he can respond. Eventually—this week—he decided that the political price of not releasing it was high enough. But legally, there was nothing “requiring” him to release it (let alone the previously released COLB, which would be more than enough proof for any plausible legal purpose that I can imagine) this week or any other.

    I’m not sure what the Drake link you provided was supposed to prove, but Drake got dismissed in district court, and the 9th Circuit will surely affirm that. Again, there is no legal reason for the president—no court ordering him—to have released this document today.

  11. Shag from Brookline says:

    In response to Brett’s comment on my comment, I take advantage of this excerpt from today’s NYTimes editorial:

    “So it will not quiet the most avid attackers. Several quickly questioned its authenticity. That’s because the birther question was never really about citizenship; it was simply a proxy for those who never accepted the president’s legitimacy, for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race. It was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right, but mainstream Republican leaders allowed it to simmer to satisfy those who are inflamed by Mr. Obama’s presence in the White House.”

    Now what will the wannabes do with all those sheets? I suggest they sleep on them.

  12. Brett Bellmore says:

    “It was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right,”

    It was originally promulgated by the Hillary campaign during the primary battle against Obama. Is Hillary Clinton a fringe figure of the radical right?

    Again, the connection between this matter and “sheets” consists entirely of something strange, and not particularly savory, going on in your own head.

  13. Shag from Brookline says:

    And who nourished that “seed” that Hillary may have broadcast? Would it have taken root but for the nourishment (politely, fertilizer) provided by the fringe figures of the radical right who apparently have a problem with a color-blind society. Brett seems to be of the opinion that Hillary is the Johnny Appleseed of the birthers. Perhaps Brett has information inside his head that Hillary continued to push an inquiry during primary season beyond Obama getting the Democratic nomination.

  14. Brett Bellmore says:

    So, you’re admitting you were wrong about who originally promulgated this nonsense? Care to make that explicit?

    Sorry, Shag, your race card has been declined.

  15. Shag from Brookline says:

    Brett doesn’t know his cause and effect from his *** and his elbow. Who cultivated this nonsense from 1/20/09 to date other than the fringe birthers and their manure? Where were these birthers from the time Hillary dropped a dime prior to 1/20/09? Perhaps Brett is afraid to look in the mirror for fear that he will see the reflection of a birther. Brett chooses to gloss over this part of the NYTime editorial:

    ” … for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race. ”

    That was not Hillary, who, as presumably Brett knows, joined Obama’s Administration shortly after 1/20/09. Reality, Brett, reality, really bites. Compare Hillary’s solitary voice in 2008 with the chorus of wannabe KKKers from 1/20/09 continuing to date, a grain of sand contrasted with all of the beaches of Cape Cod. Brett may decline the race card for himself but not for the masses of birthers, unless he claims to speak for them.

  16. Ken Rhodes says:

    You guys are really off somewhere in the asteroid belt.

    Bill O’Reilly, seldom mistaken for an O’Bama fan, said this about Trump’s birther nonsense:

    His show had looked into the claims about Obama’s birth certificate. Once they found the two Honolulu newspapers which announced his birth, he said he “put [the issue] to bed,” since “that is impossible to make happen” if Obama was not born in a Honolulu hospital. O’Reilly labeled Obama’s mother a “hippie,” and scoffed at the notion that there was a “sophisticated conspiracy” to smuggle Obama into the U.S. and forge his identity.

    O’Reilly finally said he didn’t believe that Trump was serious in his skepticism. “It’s provocative, I think it gets a lot of attention, but I don’t think you believe it,” he said.

    I stand by my earlier comment–it’s about intelligence, or the lack thereof.