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StarBulletin.com

No doubt about Obama's birth


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POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birther noise seems to have reached its peak this week as Congress passed a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii statehood, noting that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Conspiracy idiots continue to maintain that Obama was not born in the United States so should not be president. They will cling to such nonsense despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

The birthers are loud but not numerous, comprising the distant fringe of the Republican Party. The noise they make is useful in recognizing the extreme right equivalent of the left-wing crazies who contend that the 9/11 attacks were "an inside job." We would begin to worry if either extreme became silent or worked in the shadows.

Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs does not expect the birthers will go away. "If I had some DNA," he said at a press briefing on Monday, "it wouldn't assuage those that don't believe he was born here. But I have news for them and for all of us: The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the Earth. He's a citizen."

That was well-established to skeptics during last year's presidential campaign. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the state health director, issued a statement in October that she had seen the "original vital records" that Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961. She issued a similar statement on Monday. Hawaii's archaic secrecy laws prohibit her from showing it in public, but Obama has posted an electronic facsimile on the Internet.

If any doubt is left, both the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and The Honolulu Advertiser included Obama's birth in vital-statistics columns in August 1961, available on microfilm in the main state library. Were the state Department of Health and Obama's parents really in cahoots to give false information to the newspapers, perhaps intending to clear the way for the baby to someday be elected president of the United States?

True to his audience, Rush Limbaugh has told radio listeners that Obama "has yet to prove that he's a citizen." CNN's Lou Dobbs said on his radio show last week that a caller's claim that Obama is a Kenyan "can't be discounted." A Dobbs substitute later said CNN had "found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace." We appreciate Dobbs' candor: His reputation as an anti-immigration fanatic is now firmly in place.

The Hawaii statehood resolution passed in both the House and the Senate without opposition. However, Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., has not withdrawn a bill that he is sponsoring that would require future presidential candidates to present their birth certificates. Estimates of the number of birther members of Congress range from nine (Politico) to 17 (Salon).