Birthers’ dubious boast

by Walter Olson on September 1, 2009

Some believe the Obama camp has spent a fortune in lawyers’ fees responding to far-fetched “birther” lawsuits, but John Bringardner at Legal Blog Watch is skeptical about that claim. Speaking of which, don’t you wish more conservatives would keep their distance from the site WorldNetDaily? [Jon Henke]

{ 27 comments }

1 Jack Wilson 09.01.09 at 10:55 am

I am not a lawyer but I am a frequent reader of both overlawyered and worldnetdaily. Orly Tait may not be the most telegenic representative of the birthers, but ridiculing her credentials and approach merely avoids the issue of Obama’s birth certificate or lack thereof. I also know from personal experience that what Obama has presented would not get you a passport or into Little League.

2 John Burgess 09.01.09 at 10:58 am

Not to belabor the obvious, but somehow Obama did get a passport! It seems that whatever credentials he’s presented in the past were sufficient unto the cause.

And yes, conservatives should stay as far away from WND as they possibly can. The RNC should pull their advertising dollars from that site as well.

3 Jack Wilson 09.01.09 at 11:24 am

What country issued his passport? I would like to see it. For a guy with 2 autobiographies, he is the most mysterious president we have ever had. This birth certificate controversy is only one of several – he’s the first president whose religion is a mystery (he claims to be a Christian but referred to his Muslim faith in a TV interview) and the only president with an alias (Barry Soetoro).

I know if I get pulled over by a cop and he asks for my drivers license, and I can’t produce one, the burden of proof is on me, not the cop.

4 Jack Wilson 09.01.09 at 11:43 am

Challenge to Overlawyered: Hold a mock trial between Birthers, those who are sceptical of Obama’s credentials and Believers, those who believe that what Obama has presented is legit.

This is a serious proposal. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t have a horse in this race. I just would love to see how 2 competent lawyers battled this issue out.

5 Jim Collins 09.01.09 at 12:10 pm

I am more interested in this subject from a security point of view. I have held a military security clearence in the past. In order to obtain that clearance, I had to undergo a fairly detailed background check. During this process It was found that my Father wasn’t my biological Father, I was adopted. My adoption certificate wasn’t good enough, they had to investigate my biological Father’s background too. This created problems in my family that took years to resolve. Obama has to have a security clearance in order to be President. As he probably has a much higher clearance than I held, I find it funny that there are still issues over his place of birth. The results of my background check are a semi-public record, family issues and all. All I want is for Obama to be held to the same standard that myself and thousands of others have been held to. Plain and simple.

6 Del Percilla 09.01.09 at 12:29 pm

I suppose I can now let everyone know, Obama passport was issued by the New World Order. We are located in a feed and seed store in Attapulgus, Georgia. We finally have all of the death camps ready so no harm in releasing this information.

7 Richard Nieporent 09.01.09 at 12:56 pm

Why are some Conservatives so concerned about the so-called Birthers? Is their delusion any worse than those who accuse Sarah Palin of not being the mother of Trig? After all, the person behind that lunacy is not just an obscure Left Wing nutcase, but none other than Andrew Sullivan. Should Liberals be embarrassed by his ranting? However both of these accusations pale against the 9/11 conspiracy theorists who think President Bush was behind 9/11. Can there be a more deranged group than those Left Wing nutcases? So why should conservatives have to apologize for the Birthers? When it comes to conspiracy theories the Right cannot hold a candle to the Left!

8 John Burgess 09.01.09 at 1:57 pm

Jack Wilson: Since he’s been President, he’s certainly traveled on a US passport. Yes, even Presidents have to present passports upon entering foreign lands!

So, somewhere in there, at least in 2009, Obama had a US passport in his possession.

This fact might provide a new legal essay at challenging his citizenship. Perhaps a suit (with attendant discovery) could be filed claiming the illegal issuance of a passport. This has the less loony advantage of not going after a sitting president, focusing only on some stooge working for the Dept. of State!

9 Jim Collins 09.01.09 at 3:20 pm

Uhhh. What delusion? Proper documentation of Obama’s citizenship should have been taken care of when he started his campaign. So far it hasn’t been. The requirements for becoming President are spelled out in the Constitution. How hard would it be to send a lawyer to court with the proper document and resolve this in about ten minutes? I don’t care how much Obama is spending to fight this, the fact that he is spending anything IS the issue. Why are the Courts covering for him? This crap about not having standing to bring the suit to court is nothing more than a smokescreen. Any registered voter in the country should have “standing” to question this. As far as Obama having a US passport goes, so what? Naturalized citizens are entitled to a passport. I am NOT claiming tha Obama is not elegible to be President, I am claiming that there is something being hidden.

10 w. p. Kelpfroth 09.01.09 at 3:24 pm

As usual, neither side in this argument examines the underlying problem. That clause in the constitution saying that the President has to be a native born citizen was put there specifically to exclude Alexander Hamilton, who is long gone. If we held closely to the letter of the constitution, neither Barry Goldwater nor John McCain would have been eligible to run for President. Chaim Weitzmann and Golda Meir both seemed to do a credible job as leaders in Israel without being native born citizens. It’s time for the native born clause to be dropped.

11 Benji 09.01.09 at 3:49 pm

Is it possible that someone already checked the documents and cleared Obama along with all other candidates? Or do we usually just take their word for it that they’re eligible to be president? Maybe Obama’s already convinced the people that matter that he’s native born, and doesn’t want to establish a precedent of taking time out of fixing the nation to address every questionable rumor the internet can throw at him.

12 Bob Lipton 09.01.09 at 4:06 pm

Right. Hillary Clinton could have been president, but she decided to say nothing. McCain could have been president, so he decided to say nothing. Does anyone here want Joe Biden to be president? Because if Obama is ineligible, it’s him.

Given the large number of people with an interest in seeing some one else president, surely some one in a position to push the question would have said something before the election. This is like the nutjob leftist Bush-AWOL-in-the-National-Guard ranters during the last administration. The only diffierence is that this is a conservative Blog. Ted, Walter, there’s nothing to be ashamed of in the positions you espouse , but, like all of us, sometimes your allies must make you doubt your own sanity.

Bob

13 Jack Wilson 09.01.09 at 5:32 pm

I’m not going to push the issue anymore here but until proven otherwise, I will consider Obama to be the first Kenyan born Muslim president of the US. Given the lack of documentation and the preponderance of evidence, I cannot conclude otherwise.

14 zOlOft 09.01.09 at 8:10 pm

This is the first time on this site that some of the commentators have shown themselves to be severe trolls. Giving any credence to right or left wing nutballs does nothing to help the US out of the mess it is in right now.

The challenges to Obama’s eligibility have no grounding in evidence. Courts across the country have summarily rejected the birther movement’s theory — that Obama can’t be a citizen because his father wasn’t —as a misreading of US law; and Hawaii officials, along with contemporary birth announcements, affirm that Obama was in fact born in Honolulu in 1961.

With the internet being the depository of humankind’s vast knowledge , you have no excuse to be ignorant. Don’t trust just one site to give you the answer, check as many as you can.

I suggest the you trolls get to Googling.

15 John Burgess 09.01.09 at 8:31 pm

Jack Wilson: At least you won’t be alone…

I do wonder, though, what’s the correct mass-plural of follie a deux.

16 Paul 09.02.09 at 4:22 am

Why won’t he just show his records and shut everyone up? :) it would seem like the easiest approach

17 Jack Wilson 09.02.09 at 7:28 am

World Net Daily does a nice job of countering Henke, who is the one with some explaining to do:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=108590

18 gitarcarver 09.02.09 at 8:27 am

While I wish that Obama would put this whole thing to rest, and I wish that the law would be clarified to prevent this from happening in the future, this comment by Bob Lipton caught my eye:
Does anyone here want Joe Biden to be president? Because if Obama is ineligible, it’s him.

Why would that be the case? The vote was for President, not vice President. If the President is fraudulently elected (and I am NOT saying that is the case, this is a hypothetical) why would his fraudulently elected running mate not be affected by that?

A book several years ago tried to fictionally raise a similar issue. It started with the premise that a candidate who was elected was then accidentally killed before the votes from the electoral college were cast. His running mate was a clod, and therefore the question raised was “who is the next president?” Do the electoral college votes go to the ticket, the dead man, whomever the voter wishes?

Apparently the laws on electoral college voters are somewhat jumbled on the matter.

As I said, I would like to see the resolution of this controversy resolved as it is a distraction and the law clarified for the next election. The eligibility requirement has been outpaced by the expansion of the country as well as technology.

19 Bob Lipton 09.02.09 at 9:12 am

Anyone who bothers to Google Obama Burth Certificate and clicks on the image option will have lots of choices. Here’s one link.

http://trueslant.com/donovan/files/2009/07/obama_birth_certificate.jpg

You can also write to the Hawaiin government for one, although which department to contact is something you’ll have to figure out on your own.

That is, of course, assuming you really wish to check for yourself and not simply rant about your insane conspiracy theories.

Bob

20 Richard Nieporent 09.02.09 at 9:39 am

Bob, please do not try to disabuse them of their idée fixe. It has become the raison d’être for their existence.

21 Benji 09.02.09 at 9:52 am

@#16: The problem is that, even if Obama did show the requested records, it probably still wouldn’t shut everybody up.

22 Jack Wilson 09.02.09 at 10:51 am

#19 – try to get a passport with a document like this that doesn’t show the hospital or physician.
1961 is still modern history- has anyone tried to interview nurses or doctors involved with Barry Soetoro’s birth? That is, once they have settled on which of the 2 hospitals where he was born (there is some confusion about this).

23 Bob Lipton 09.02.09 at 11:06 am

Richard Nieporent wrote

Bob, please do not try to disabuse them of their idée fixe. It has become the raison d’être for their existence.

I don’t know what I was thinking of.

Bob

24 GregS 09.02.09 at 11:40 am

Putting on my conspiracy-theorist hat, I had this idea that the whole “Birther” movement is in fact a creation of the Democratic party as a way of discrediting the conservative opposition. The technique is simple: create some wacky conspiracy theory that you know the more credulous members of the opposition will enthusiastically embrace, and that you also know will make them look like nutjobs to ordinary, sober-minded people. Then you can use their belief in that conspiracy theory to discredit the entire opposition. Under this scenario, Obama’s alleged reluctance to “show the records” becomes part of the strategy of feeding the conspiracy theory.

I don’t actually believe this, but the idea of it was suggested to me by that episode of South Park from a few years ago, in which the 9-11 conspiracy movement is revealed to be a conspiracy created by the Bush administration itself.

25 Jack Wilson 09.02.09 at 3:35 pm

… idée fixe. …the raison d’être for their existence…

Mon dieu!

The liberal sprinkling of French phrases in that post has convinced me of my intellectual failings in wanting to see a simple document!

26 gitarcarver 09.02.09 at 6:50 pm

Bob Lipton,

Thank you for the link. The image of the re-issued birth certificate is the one that the Obama campaign floated out as the original birth certificate.

Clearly it is not. Hawaii even says it is not.

Do I believe that someone changed the data base of Hawaii’s birth records to add Obama to it? Nah.

But yet I wonder why the President represents this document as one thing, when it is actually another.

27 Bob Lipton 09.02.09 at 7:48 pm

I would assume that some one was unaware of the subtle difference between a birth certificate and this particular sort of document. Or perhaps was even unaware of the existence of this sort of document, as was I until this thread.

Bob

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