On August 6, 2013, Ted Yoho, Republican representative from Florida, told followers that he would support a bill to investigate President Obama’s place of birth. ( HuffingtonPost.) ThinkProgress reported that the Republican Congressman from South Carolina, Jeff Duncan, came out as a birther. (You can see the tape with Chris Mathew on MSNBC.) The HuffingtonPost reports that on August 8, tea party protesters stood outside the Hilton Orlando as President Obama’s motorcade pulled in with signs like “Kenyan go home.” There are literally thousands and thousands of events like this going on all over the country and even more discussions in the right wing media.
On August 12th (Washington Post) Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) told supporters at an open house that there were probably enough votes in the House of Representatives to impeach President Obama but the Senate wouldn’t support it. The whole birther movement just hasn’t gone away. If anything, it’s getting worse.
Let me tell you what I did when I heard, for the first time, the clamoring for Barrack Obama to release his birth certificate. It was simple enough. I went on line and Googled “Obama’s birth certificate.” One of the sites that came up was Barack Obama’s site. I clicked on the site, looked it over and found that he had posted his birth certificate. This was before the election. Nevertheless, I had to listen to the demand, repeated over and over, for him to release his birth certificate. For years, I had to listen to this crap. I had to listen to it all the way into his re-election campaign. After the first couple of months, never once, in all that time, did I hear a single person in the media reply to the request that President Obama release his birth certificate: “Ah, actually? He did release his birth certificate.”
Of course, releasing his birth certificate convinced no one. Including me. As I looked at it on line back in 2008, my thought was that even I could have produced a fake birth certificate. All I would have needed was a copy from someone born in Hawaii. Certainly, being from Hawaii, he should have been able to pick one up pretty easily. Back then, I had never heard of Barack Obama. I had no particular reason to believe him and started thinking about how to determine whether or not the birth certificate was valid. My thought was that the place where the interest was probably the most intense was Hawaii. I Googled Hawaiian newspapers, found out the largest two and went to their websites.
The largest, the Honolulu Advertiser, had the headline “State Department of Health declares Obama birth certificate legal” on the article that appeared on October 28, 2008. (Subsequently, the Honolulu Advertiser merged with the Star Bulletin and they became the Star Advertiser.) Click here (Star Advertiser) to see the posting. Apparently, the pressure got so bad that the Governor sent the commissioner of health to check it out. The Governor, at that time was Linda Lingle. She was a Republican and helped campaign for John McCain. The commissioner, called Director in Hawaii, was Director Chiyome Fukino, M.D. Governor Lingle sent the Director over to Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital to determine whether or not Barrack Obama had been born there. I worked for a commissioner and I know that when the governor sends a request like that, the Director brought the State’s foremost experts with him when he went. The Health Department’s website has this statement:
“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.
“Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
“No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawai‘i.”
The Department of Health Website addresses a number of other issues related to President Obama’s birth certificate. This whole issue has been a real problem in Hawaii, where those who are determined to throw mud at president go to get it. The Hawaiian Health Department actually had to put in effect a policy saying that the hospital didn’t have to talk to the people who call asking about President Obama’s birth certificate. You see, the Hospital has patients to treat.
A few days later, the Honolulu Advertiser had a follow up story. The head line was “Officials verify birth certificate of Obama” And the story was “The state health director said yesterday she has personally seen and verified Sen. Barack Obama’s original birth certificate in an effort to address numerous requests for the document.”
Let’s review. The Hawaiian Governor, who campaigned for John McCain, sent her appointee along with the world’s foremost expert on Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital medical records to examine Barack Obama’s birth certificate “in suti.” She pronounced it genuine. Maybe, if this was done after Barack Obama had been sworn into office, after he gave the CIA the assignment to go into the hospital in the middle of the night and modify the records, they could have been fooled but I doubt it. Certainly, there was no way in hell for Barack Obama himself to have done anything that would have fooled these experts.
In all of the media discussion, I have never heard anyone talk about this issue. The real experts, the experts on what is going on at the hospital Barack Obama was born in, saw and pronounced judgment. Basically, its case closed. Nevertheless this had no impact whatsoever on the birther movement.
What I didn’t do at the time, but many others did, was to go to FactCheck.org. They ran an article on August 21, 2008 called: Born in the U.S.A.:
“In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document’s authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is “fake.”
“We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as “supporting documents” to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.”
FactCheck ran pictures, from the front, the back, the side, close up and from a distance, leaving no doubts. They compared the original to the then current lies and refuted them. Here’s how the lies got started. It’s embarrassing that I have to say this. Barack Obama didn’t actually post his birth certificate on line. No one can post a document on line. Documents can’t travel through wires. All that anyone can post on line is an image. Images can travel through wires. The image is acquired by scanning the document. The document has properties that the image doesn’t have- like embossing. Likewise, the image has properties that the document doesn’t have. FactCheck went through all this and explained it. In detail.
Another totally trivial argument hinges on the difference between “Certificate of Live Birth” and “Birth Certificate.” Again, the Honolulu Star Advertiser covered the difference quite succinctly: “Some states call their ‘Birth Certificates’ certificates of live birth while other states call their ‘Certificates of Live Birth’ birth certificates.”
On and on it goes, lie after lie and it works. A YouGov Poll (Page 26, Question 64), completed in May, 2012, showed that 63% of the Republican Party base believe this particular lie.
In the January/ February edition, Mother Jones magazine had an article on the various right wing lies about President Obama. They list 46 separate lies. Foremost among the lies, of course, is the lie that he wasn’t born in the United States. Another lie is that President Obama personally caused Hurricane Sandy. Seriously, that’s what Alex Jones has said. Another, equally as bizarre, is that President Obama is actually the Antichrist. Google shows over 2,300,000 hits on that one. See beforeitsnews. They have a recording of a CNN story about it. Alternatively, if you believe that he is the antichrist, go to Snopes. He takes the time to refute the notion. Public Policy Polling found that 20% of Republicans believe that President Obama is the Anti-Christ. PRNewsWire quotes a poll by Newsweek that 40% of all Americans believe in the antichrist but, apparently, only half of them are convinced that he is President Obama.
The Republican Party has devolved into the party of lies. Rush Limbaugh is the Prince of Lies but Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are just as bad. Michael Savage, Alex Jones and Glenn Beck are worse. The right wing is given information by a propaganda machine. The rest of us get our information through news organizations. There is a huge differences. One difference is that a propaganda machine repeats lies over and over until their audience accepts them. News organizations tell the news once. After that, it just isn’t news anymore. The repetition, apparently, is helpful. Say it often enough and listeners begin to believe that President Obama is in control of the weather.
The liars themselves, in the case of Obama’s birth certificate- Jerome Corsi, Andy Martin, Joseph Farah, Orly Taitz, Nick Walsh, Larry Johnson, Mickey Mathis, Ronald J. Poland, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Mario Apuzzo, Craig McMillan Jack Kelly, and Larry Klayman- they know that they are lying. The base may not know, but those who invent the lies, they know. I discovered all this information in a couple of hours. It isn’t possible that these people have been spending five years on the topic don’t know it.
Here’s another way to view what they are saying. Orly Taitz claimed to have found the ‘smoking gun’ in the birther movement: Barack Obama’s actual birth certificate from Kenya. It’s actually a photo shopped copy of an Australian man’s birth certificate from Australia (Salon.) Is it conceivable that Orly Taitz took her case, based on this phony birth certificate all the way to the Supreme Court without knowing it was fake? Or this. Salon sent a copy of the forged birth certificate to a member of the Kenya government. Here’s his response: “It’s a forgery. Kenya only became a Republic in December, 1964. Other arguments could also be marshaled, but they are not needed.” Is it possible that Orly Taitz didn’t look it up? Didn’t know that Kenya wasn’t a country at the time?
In any case, the liars have been quite successful. We have people in this country like Mon Valley Republican Party Chair Brent Kovac. He hung flags upside down on inauguration day because:
“…our president hasn’t proven himself a natural born citizen, satisfactorily to anyone yet, and is thumbing his nose at us by producing that laughable birth certificate that he came up with…”
I think the best way to describe his position is just plain stupid. “Satisfactorily to anyone?” How about to the Republican Governor of Hawaii? How about the foremost expert in the world on Hawaiian birth certificates?
Meanwhile, the whole issue is without significance. Barack Obama ran against John McCain for president. The right wing was screaming about Obama’s birth place the entire time. John McCain, on the other hand, was definitely not born in the US. No one even said he was. The New York Times has an interesting article on it but FactCheck has the complete answer. They show a Congressional bill, passed in 1790: Congress: “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.” This is what the so-called left has to say about John McCain’s eligibility.
Anyone on the outside can clearly see what is happening: the right wing leadership makes up lie after lie to deceive their base. What the base doesn’t know is the purpose. Lying by the right wing leadership is relentless and purposeful. They lie all the time. They deliberately fill the minds of their followers with lies in order to fill the hearts of their followers with fear, anger, and hatred. It has been very successful. Speaking to right wingers, you see that they come across as angry all the time. Here’s an example of how this is useful. It allows the right wing leadership to get them all fired up over reducing government regulation to help the economy. The anger that the base feels keeps them from remembering that this was a policy that Ronald Regan ran on. They forget that he de-regulated the savings and loan industry and it cost the American tax payer 500 billion dollars. George W. Bush ran on the same platform, deregulated the banking industry and then spent 5 trillion dollars bailing the banks out. The right wing talks all the time about big spending liberals and the base never remembers that George W. Bush spent nine trillion dollars in one year. President Obama never spent half that much in one year. It doesn’t matter. The hearts of the right wingers are so filled with hatred that they can’t think.
Here’s another- putting money in the hands of the “job creators.” Ronald Regan did that and caused the second worst recession since the Great Depression. George W. Bush ran on the same policy, implemented the tax cut to the rich and created the greatest recession since the Great Depression. The base doesn’t learn. What happened to all that money? Here’s an example: the right wing talks about the Koch brothers as a ‘small business.’ That’s a small business in that the number of owners is small. Rachel Maddow ran a piece on the company and pointed out how many jobs these ‘job creators’ created when they got their tens of billions of dollars in tax cuts. Actually? They laid off thousands of employees. And yet they own the Tea Party. The net effect of putting money in the hands of the ‘job creators’ was that the country was losing 750,000 jobs a month when President George W. Bush left office. So, what do the ‘job creators’ do with the money? They put it in off shore accounts. See the Huffington Post. There is at least $32 Trillion. How much is from Americans and American companies isn’t yet known. What is known is that Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney had millions in off-shore accounts. ABC estimated the amount at between $13 million and $30 million. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Republicans voted for him anyway.
There is something else going on. The rest of us do one of two things. Either we ignore the endless lies or we make up excuses for them. Over and over, I hear people in the mainstream talk about things that the right wing leadership says as though the statements reflected the speaker’s opinion. A lie is not an opinion, it’s a lie and we have to start calling it what it is. We also have to accept that these are not people with good intentions. In fact, the leadership of the right wing is endlessly evil. Their only motivation is the greed of those who pay them. And the right wing base likes hearing lies. The right wing base has listened to so many lies for so long that they are damaged goods. The lies help them accept the fact that their income is not going to go up and their benefits are going to go down. I call them the mindless minions of evil. Well, this is just one of the right wing Big Lies. We’ll be looking at others.
Just as I was posting this, Ted Cruz posted his Canadian birth certificate on line. He admitted that he wasn’t born in the US and he is a darling of the far right. Perhaps this will end the birther movement. Perhaps not. The right wing will have to convince the base that Republican candidates for president don’t have to be born in the USA, only Democratic candidates. Shouldn’t be that hard, the right wing base will believe absolutely anything.
This is what I have to say about the birther issue but I don’t spend all of my time on politics. I’m also a Celtic artists (the border is my work.) If you would like to see some of more my art work, go to my website theirishweddingtoast.com or that of my good friend, the author Doug Page.
- Ted Cruz’s Birth Certificate Through The Eyes Of A Birther (huffingtonpost.com)