Thursday, April 28, 2011

Obama's birther sanctimony

I've always thought that the whole birtherism conspiracy-mongering were truly loony. There are so very many reasons to criticize Barack Obama and to think that he was a terrible choice for president, why make up conspiracies? As far as I've been concerned, his mother was an American citizen and, therefore, her son is American. I realize that the Constitution says that the president must be "natural born Citizen," but no one apparently knows what that means. So I've never cared about the whole question.

So if the President's release of the birth certificate pushes those still muttering birtherism conspiracies further to the fringes, then that is a good thing. And if more people start seeing Donald Trump as the joke that he is, that would also be a good thing. I actually, for the first time, enjoy something that Robert Gibbs said. The former Obama press secretary told Politico that Donald Trump should now release his tax returns as he said he might if Obama released his birth certificate. I'm sure that there is a whole lot more embarrassing information in Donald Trump's tax returns than in Obama's birth certificate.

What is totally annoying is Obama's sanctimonious preening about why he finally released his birth certificate. He said in his press conference that he had to do it because it was distracting from the more important issues such as working on the budget.
The president said he was prompted to act “two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.”
However, as Jake Tapper points out, that just wasn't true.
According to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, that week the dominant news story was without question the economy.

The ridiculous claims about the president’s birth certificate actually was the No. 4 story for the week – receiving about one tenth of the coverage devoted to stories about the economy.
And Tapper further details that the President was so concerned about the birther issue distracting from important discussions about the deficit that he then jetted off to Chicago to tape an Oprah show and go to fund-raisers where he himself several times brought up the whole birtherism thing in order to make jokes about it. Even Jon Stewart had a lot of fun with the contrast between Obama's statement that he had to focus on the budget with his then flying off to appear on Obama.

I was struck by the contrast to another time when a president unwillingly decided that he had to do something to help the nation get over an ugly distraction and thought of Gerald Ford's truly brave decision to pardon Richard Nixon. That was a difficult decision that perhaps immediately doomed Ford's opportunity to win election in 1976. Read the speech Ford gave at the time and contrast that with Obama's dishonest posturing in his press conference yesterday.

And to get up at his self-praising podium to say that he wants to focus on the budget deficit is just ludicrous. He first decided to appoint a commission to look at our debt. Then he ignored their findings and recommendations. Then he submitted a budget that did nothing to address the deficit. Then he tried to take a mulligan and give a budget speech but then not submitting anything new to address the budget. Tell me that this is a guy who gives a hoot about reducing the deficit. He's right. This is much more important than birtherism. I just wish that the President was as serious about reducing our national debt as he is about fundraising for his reelection.

14 comments:

Opus said...

The one thing about the whole issue I find interesting and irritating is no one EVER mentions that this whole birth issue was started by Hillary's campaign during the primaries.

Jeff H said...

I realize that the Constitution says that the president must be "natural born Citizen," but no one apparently knows what that means.

It is most assuredly not apparent that "no one knows" what "natural born Citizen" means, in the context of the Constitution. Rather, it is apparent even to those who have not read the Constitution.

To explain:

"...all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also."

Eagle said...

when a controversy is wrong, they provide evidence. But when a controversy is right, they refuse to provide the evidence.

Eagle
http://eseaf.com

Skay said...

McCain had to provide evidence of his eligibility.

Why is Obama special?

If you are running for President you should provide the information needed.
Why would you resent the question?

We should not have to wait until after the election.

mark said...

Amazing that Obama is being faulted. A bunch of morons and racists (take your pick, Skay) took control of the republican party. After being duped into betraying our soldiers and then having a hissy-fit over a mosque near ground zero, Trump knew he had an easy way to make a splash and increase his viewership for his idiotic program.. He appealed to the worst elements and scored big. Congrats!

tfhr said...

mark,

I know it's important to you to cast those that disagree with you as either racist or moronic or both lest you have to actually deal with a debate on the substance of an issue, but if our soldiers were "betrayed", as you put it, why then is Obama continuing to "betray" soldiers and why aren't you condemning him?

mark said...

tfhr,
I've never said everyone who disagrees with me is racist and/or a moron. I've said often that there are many decent and smart repubs (I count Betsy as one. You - not so much). But yes, I do think all birthers are racists and/or morons, and the intelligent conservatives have, until it recently began to backfire, have winked at the idiocy.
Obama inherited the botched job of Bush in Iraq. He's moving in the right direction on that. He also inherited Bush's botched job in Afghanistan. I do fear that it is unwinnable, and Obama is wrongly prolonging that war and wasting the lives of soldiers just so he won't have to take the "blame". As I was wrong on the surge in Iraq, I hope I am wrong on that.

tfhr said...

mark,

It is rare when you don't preface a comment with an insult directed at the readers here and while that says far more about you than it does about the rest of us, I don't see how you can come to the conclusion that racism lies at the core of the President's decision to withhold his birth certificate from public review for so long.

Seriously, was Hillary Clinton and her campaign for the presidency racist for raising the question? What about those people that claimed McCain wasn't an American citizen because he was born in a military hospital in Panama? Were they racists?

You - and so many liberal extremists these days - really need another default mode or fall back position other than to fire your "RACIST" shotgun blast into the crowd. It's tiresome and it immediately ends any possibility of a reasonable discussion. Why would you want to start any discussion by sounding tiresome and unreasonable?

As for your effort to discuss the more substantive issues you raised earlier, the "inheritance" excuse has expired. Nobody forced Obama to run for this job and he either has the solutions to the problems he wants to blame on others or he doesn't. He can pull the troops anytime he wants but thus far he has not ended our commitment to fighting this war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not? You wanted Bush to end the war and you demanded that he should. Where did that go? (Oh, it's different now. I get it.)

You suggest that people here "winked" at the birth certificate issue. I don't recall it ever getting much of a mention here - there are so many other issues to discuss regarding Obama's failure as a leader - so I would suggest that the "wink" you refer to was something of your own making. For some reason you need to vilify people that don't share your beliefs and like the hollow racism charge you use so, pardon the pun, liberally, you've decided to believe that we all "winked" at Donald Trump's mania. Whatever. It's just tiresome.

mark said...

tfhr,
If I'm that "tiresome" you might try ignoring me. That would be the sensible thing. But I've called you out for your lies, exaggerations and absurdities so many times that you can't help yourself. For someone with a distinguished military service who has been "recruited by three-letter agencies" competing for your talents, you sure do spend a lot of time here spouting off on just about every issue.

LargeBill said...

Betsy,

I'm no Trump fan, but when you mentioned that his tax returns could be embarrassing I had to laugh. What most likely would be embarrassing about Trump's tax return would be the amount of BS involved. Everyone who has "served" in Congress since inception of the income tax should be embarrassed by how complicated and easy to manipulate the nonsensical system has become. We need to enact a national sales tax. Crooks buy stuff and would pay that tax at the register instead of ignoring the current income tax nonsense. Warren Buffett and other Obama friends would pay the sales tax instead of using loopholes to avoid taxation.

tfhr said...

mark,

You've often accused me of lying here which is your way of saying you don't agree with me, but I've never seen you offer proof of any lies. Though I do understand that this is your way of responding when you can't back your argument up with facts, when you run around saying that someone has "betrayed" soldiers I'm not going to ignore it. You are essentially accusing (without any proof) someone, usually President Bush or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, of a crime. Considering that I was once a soldier - and still hold firm to those values - I cannot let such libel go unanswered. I reacted similarly when your favorites, Moveon.org, coined the phrase "General Betrayus".

You've often over-stepped on the personal attacks and used crude jokes to attack military service. Two examples that come to mind are your dead fish joke about American war casualties and your stated low regard for service members' post military career employment skills. I believe you once suggested that I would be delivering pizzas once I retired. This suggests that you have a blinding character flaw that allows you to insult people that handle your food, but more importantly, it shows that you have such disdain for people working to scrape together enough money to pay their bills that you believe that you can use them to convey what you intend as an insult directed at others. It's sad but revealing that a leftist, such as yourself, would look down his nose at people struggling to make ends meet but we've come to expect that from you.

Pat Patterson said...

mark has become surprisingly incoherent and predictable. A modern day version of Sid Sawyer. I'm still puzzling out the duped part.

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

I suppose it comes from having been duped himself - he voted for a guy that was going to shut down Guantanamo, end the war, try terrorists like KSM in civilian courts in the United States, reverse the Bush tax cuts, blah, blah, stop rendition, blah, blah, repeal the Patriot Act, blah, blah, transparency, blah, blah, blah....

After that Nobel Peace Prize all of this should have been a breeze, right?

Here's broken promise #221:
Double the Peace Corps
"Barack Obama will double the Peace Corps to 16,000 by its 50th anniversary in 2011 and push Congress to fully fund this expansion, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean."

mark was in the Peace Corps long ago. It has shaped his world view - so much so that he drew upon that experience when he compared American war dead to his own failed fish "crop" in Guatemala.

Anyway, here's a link to three pages of Obama broken promises, courtesy of the St. Pete Times.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-broken/

Pat Patterson said...

And that phantom new Army division?