The Birth Certificate Controversy–Should We Care?

Even in this narcissistic, Facebook-driven age, personal privacy is one of our most cherished assets. Millions of everyday, good people have gotten into messy entanglements, done dumb, embarrassing things, gotten too close the flame, whatever–but we learn from our private mistakes, and move forward. Even high-profile celebrities deserve a zone of privacy without the paparazzi (which includes the “political paparazzi “) going through their trash, literally or figuratively.

With the administration now saber-rattling about amnesty for illegal aliens, it is perhaps ironic to some degree that the citizenship status of the incumbent president continues, at least by some, to be called into question. Under the Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, a person must be a natural born citizen to be eligible for the office of the presidency.

Many highly respected right-of-center bloggers and pundits have dismissed the claims of the so-called Birthers. And maybe the claims are wholly unfounded. One thing we can’t get our brain around–is it really possible that someone could be so corrupt, so brazen, so egomaniacal, to mount a campaign for the highest office in the land while knowing full well that he or she was constitutionally ineligible? As a practical matter, it’s really hard to believe that in the digital information age, a scam of this magnitude could pulled off successfully.

And even taking ACORN vote fraud into consideration, as well as fundamentally disagreeing with the administration’s policies, most of us want to believe that the Obama presidency is legitimate under the law, even if totally misguided.

On the other hand, Obama and his handlers have apparently spent millions in legal fees to fend off Birther lawsuits around the country. Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply release the official, long-form birth certificate rather than throw away all that money on expensive ambulance chasers? There may be legitimate family (rather than constitutional) reasons why the actual birth certificate was placed under seal by Hawaii’s GOP governor Linda Lingle at Team Obama’s request, but it is odd, isn’t it?

Unlike most candidates for the presidency who have generally granted full disclosure to their papers, Obama has also sealed many of his other records such as his college transcripts, medical reports, and so on. Again, no one wants outsiders messing with our stuff, but when it comes to the presidency, why all the unusual secrecy?

Which brings us to Pastor James David Manning, perhaps Obama’s number- one foe on the Internet. Pastor Manning, who has his own checkered past, has become convinced that the Obama presidency is constitutionally illegitimate.  The pastor, whose church is located in Harlem NYC, is a powerful orator who as far as we can tell speaks without a teleprompter. His videos, which were thrown off of YouTube, are at times depressing, disturbing, compelling, totally off the wall, and (intentionally and/or unintentionally) funny. In addition to his opposition to all things Obama, he has also railed against Fox News for the network’s unwillingness to address the birth certificate issue, and he also claims that the Tea Party movement is missing the boat (no pun intended) by not coalescing around that issue. His latest hobby horse is that Obama never actually attended Columbia University, and that this is evidence of yet another cover-up. His videos can be found here.

For whatever reasons, the Obama-compliant media has given the Birther controversy a fair amount of publicity, but only from the standpoint of portraying the Birthers as conspiracy-obsessed crackpots. Maybe they are crackpots. Or could they be the world’s most eccentric whistleblowers?

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