Obama 2012 Campaign Lays Trap for Birthers, GOP

Releasing Birth Certificate Sets Up Wedge Issue Between Establishment GOP and Its Wingnut Base

Pres. Obama's long-form birth certificate
Pres. Obama's long-form birth certificate
In reporting that Pres. Obama released his so-called long form birth certificate, Ben Smith at right-leaning Politico.com gives voice to the inside-the-beltway conventional wisdom that the president and his team bowed to pressure from birthers like Donald Trump:

Seeking to put an end to the “birther” conversation — and, incidentally, elevating Donald Trump on the day of his trip to New Hampshire — the White House says it has convinced the State of Hawaii to make an exception to state policy and release a copy of his long form birth certificate, the holy grail of obsessives.

It’s possible that Smith and some of his cohorts in the D.C. press corps actually believe that the White House was “seeking to end” the birther conspiracy, but it is highly unlikely that anyone in the White House political shop or the Obama 2012 campaign is that naive. For the sake of the future of our republic, let’s hope not.

A more realistic, albeit cynical, view is that the Obama campaign is using the controversy about the president’s birth certificate as a wedge issue — that the release of the document is intended to drive birthers batshit crazy, prompting them to escalate their conspiracy theorizing to new levels of absurdity — which in turn will force establishment Republican pols, including GOP presidential candidates, to take a position for or against a key segment of their wingnut base.

The Obama campaign is banking on the fact that the release of the long-form certificate will resolve any doubt about the president’s birth origins among level-headed swing voters. Settling the issue among independents, the constituency that will decide the presidential race in a close election, will put the eventual Republican nominee in an awkward position. He (or she) must have both the GOP’s wingnut base and sensible independents to win next year.

If you think the release of Obama’s birth certificate will put the controversy about his birth to rest, here are two words to consider: “grassy knoll.” Just take a gander at the comments on Ben Smith’s post at Politico. For every voice of reason from liberals, as shown in the first example, there are about two from birthers howling at the moon.

A lonely voice of reason:

Right… Like this will end it: Why can’t the media just accept that a good plurality of conservatives in this country are clinically insane? Their brains have been rotted by 20 years of nonsense AM radio and Republican hyperbole. Once upon a time, it was just the communists that lurked under every bed — since 9/11, it’s become Arabs, Muslims, and ever since the dixiecrats gravitated over the Republican party – the blacks, too. Why is the 80% of the country — some liberal, some moderate, some actually even NON-crazy conservative — are forced to play games with the stupid 20%? I’m not advocating for any sort of quarantine or worse – I’m just asking why can’t we ignore them? When Republican politicos kowtow to them because they know they need the crazy vote to win, why can’t we just call them out and shame them? Why does our nation need to deal with millions of people that are just too stupid to deal with? Let them stand on their streetcorners – both virtual and real — ringing their bells of crazy, wearing their sandwich boards of crazy, and shouting their crazy nonsense. Ignore them. Look the other way. Don’t give them their loose change. Don’t talk to them – lord knows they’ll just follow you home, yammering nonsense about secret Muslim FEMA camps hellbent on bringing gay atheist socialism to America, stealing your guns, your bibles, and whatever idiotic tripe pops into their diseased heads.

Here’s a sampling from the birther chorus:

STILLnotTHEoriginal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: The signature at the bottom of the page says this could be “an abstract.” Under race of his father, it says “African.” Is that what they would have said way back in 1961, or would they have said “Negro.” HHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMM


DJ: According to BHO you cannot get the state to release the ‘long form’. That’s why it was not released. Lets see, apparently this same thing could have been done before the election. So is BHO lying then or lying now? I bet he could also have his applications and grade released from college- or is the Trumpster right about his poor grades- and are others right about his use of Kenya to get accepted and welfared for tuition? I know lets release them all now!! Or does it take 2 years to get them marked up right before you let them out!! Here go bloggers, examine carefully, remember CBS Dan and Mary and the job you guys did on that phony- well maybe again or confirm and put this to bed so he can lose on turning America into a 3rd world Euro paradise.

Toxic Avenger: 4 years of “dithering”. When will he unseal his grades and papers?


Lucinda10: Or did they finally find a way to get someone to “make” one in Hawaii. Public servants (even of the state of Hawaii) can be moved to do things for the “greater good”. Oh, did I imply Chicago thuggery and corruption??

Carolyn: I’ve seen long form birth certificates of other people born in Hawaii. I’m not buying his story that the state would not give the person a copy of their long form without making it the “exception”. I’ll reserve judgment until someone examines it to make sure it isn’t a fake. Since the president is a fake.

MJS: Just to keep the controversy going there is a discrepancy. On World Net Daily today there is an article about Hawaii not issuing long forms anymore. In the article is a copy of someone born at the same hospital the day after Obama; the certificate number is 61 10637 for this person. Obama’s birth certificate number is 61 10641. Obama’s birth certificte number is higher even though he was born the day before the other person. Is this a simple issue of the forms not stored in order or something more? Was Obama’s number out of place or the other persons. I don’t care because we should worry about his policies not incidentals but I did want to be the 1st to point this out.

bubbabgone: How come it doesn’t look like the C of LB that’s been floating around for a couple of years? This one actually looks typewritten whereas the other one has what looks like it uses the Calibri font.

This ain’t over. Not hardly. It’s just getting started.


  • Kewalo
    April 27, 2011 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    What really gets me is that when Obama was asked for his birth certificate he did what anyone from HI would do who had lost their BC, and that was to get a copy and release the legal BC. The long form that he released today is not supposed to be used for anything legal.

    You know darn well this won’t be the end of it. And I wonder where the birthers are going to go from here.

  • Robin
    April 28, 2011 - 2:47 am | Permalink

    Where the birthers will go is seen darkly in the above article. I think the nominally out of sequence numbering will drive them batsh*t crazy. After all, it feeds into their warped worldview. It’s obvious that it is the fact that he is part black that they can’t get their brain around and they know it not a valid thing to scream so they find something like this to scream about.

  • Chris
    April 28, 2011 - 7:21 am | Permalink

    This is like arguing with End of the World Predictors, or 9/11 Truthers, or JFK Assassination Theorists. They’ve got their mind made up and they will suspend whatever logic they have to suspend in order to continue to justify the views that they’ve spent so much energy cultivating over the years.

    There was a very good article on this phenomenon of human behavior posted last week: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

  • April 28, 2011 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    OMG! Obama broke Hawaiian law in releasing his birth certificate! He must be impeached!

    So far, the best one I’ve heard is “Hawaii wasn’t a state in 1961.”

    Still, I do love how this will play out by creating more and even greater schisms in the Republican party.

  • Chris
    April 28, 2011 - 7:29 am | Permalink

    Dan, I’ve been monitoring the comments sections on a few conservative websites, and some of them are far more idiotic than the ones posted in this article. Many of them are referring to Hawaii as a “territory” now. I guess Hawaii isn’t a state anymore? Ooookay then.

  • April 28, 2011 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    It’s not the facts that are concerning to Teabaggers (as they originally coined themselves), but it’s knowing deep down their heart of hearts that Obama is a secret muslim atheist kenyan from the philipeens who has no respect for the common decency of white supremacy, culture. Those of you who guessed ‘one hour’ before they shifted to screaming for his school records, step on up and claim your prize.

  • Mark
    April 28, 2011 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    I think The Onion is spot on with where the “birther” movement will go next

    And I agree with Chris’s comment – nothing will deter these people. You could build a time machine and take them back to witness his birth and they would just claim that you obviously already used the time machine to get his mother to give birth in Hawaii instead of Kenya.

  • actor212
    April 28, 2011 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I posted at my blog yesterday that I had my suspicions that this release may have been part of a dance between Obama and Boener, where Obama would get a budget deal he could live with, and Boener would get some breathing space from the nutcases he’s married himself to.

  • Ken Adams
    April 28, 2011 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Great article, but you missed out on two important parts of the trap:

    1) Donald Trump is suddenly very credible in the eyes of the Tea Party. Obama just made them their hero. Now the GOP has to quash hopes of a Trump nomination in their base, at least until Trump emotionally devastates them by announcing he won’t run after Celebrity Apprentice ends.

    2) NO ONE is talking about the timing of this and how brilliant it is. Right now the GOP is desperately trying to put out the fires started by Paul Ryan’s Budget of Doom, with Reid and the Dem Senate about to make them choke on it again. The last thing they need right now is another fire to put out. And all of this when they still don’t have a frontrunner.

  • April 28, 2011 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    The Associated Press has an interesting interactive birther time line dating from 2008, when the issue first came to the fore: http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/wdc/obama-birthcertificate/index.html

  • Joe Schmoe
    April 28, 2011 - 10:36 am | Permalink


    You said “(as they originally coined themselves)”.

    This is complete & utter BS. The original name of the TEA Party was based on Rick Santelli’s exclamation on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, and then backronymed into “Taxed Enough Already”.

    It was the mass media, NOT the TEA Partiers themselves, that chose to use a homosexual slang term, which refers to the act of rubbing one’s testicles on a partner’s mouth and/or face.

    What political movement have you ever heard of that would take something like “teabagging” for its own name? Why not “Blue Waffles”, then? Or “Alabama Hot Pockets”? (Don’t know what those mean? http://www.urbandictionary.com is this way —> )

    Wow. Way to buy into the liberal bullshit 110% lock, stock, & barrel.

    • April 28, 2011 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

      No, Joe Schmoe, it’s you who have bought brain-dead Dittohead Fox/hate radio propaganda “110% lock, stock & barrel.”

      It wasn’t the liberal media who showed up at tea bagger rallies with tea bags stapled to their hats:

      And, as we noted in a story titled Tea Baggers Hate Name-Calling, Except When They Do It, last May, it wasn’t the liberal media or even liberal Americans who started calling participants in this pseudo-movement “tea baggers”:

      [The] most egregious fallacy here is that it was critics of the tea party mob protests who first referred to the phenomenon as “tea bagging.” As early as Feb. 12, 2009 — 22 days after Obama was sworn in — a group reserved the domain name teabagcongress.com, and launched the Tea Bag Congress website there.

      The term “tea bagging” in relation to the movement also appeared in the headline of a post dated April 1, 2009, on a website called America’s Re-Tea Party:

      April 1, 2009 | Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.

      Our founders have stopped rolling over in their graves. After months of tossing and turning, we have finally taken back the banner of hope that has been hijacked by the “do-good” saviors.

      Statist sympathizers call us cynics; those who complain without answers of our own. They call us “selfish,” implying that funding failure is altruistic. While America was founded on those who do, they ask us to submit to those who can’t.


      On December 16, 1773, the original Patriots put their lives on the line. With an envelope, a stamp, and a bag of tea, millions of Americans can send a peaceful message; our lives have value.

      On April 1st, our establishment will know that our freedom to succeed can no longer be sacrificed at the risk of our future.

      With sincerity and respect, we ask that you join us on April 1st, 2009, in sending the Oval Office a Tea Bag, in honor of the party in Boston on December 16, 1773, and in anticipation of its nationwide symbolic re-enactment in the summer of 2009…

      Follow the links to join us in Chicago or at Tea Parties all over the country and visit the forum to discuss and organize details with other attendees and organizers.

      Spark a Re-Revolution,


      Your own leaders came up with this awful branding. Blame them, not your critics, for the ridicule.

  • Joe Schmoe
    April 28, 2011 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Completely unrelated to the above, but I have to congratulate Obama on a brilliant maneuver.

    Why should people concern themselves with what’s happening with the Federal Reserve Bank, when you could throw them a tasty bone to pick on?

    Beautiful timing on this, just beautiful. Bernanke’s conference is totally eclipsed by this birth certificate drama.

    How many people aren’t even aware that there was a press conference? How many news channels will dedicate precious airtime minutes to the BC drama and completely ignore the continued decline of the dollar?

  • Chris
    April 28, 2011 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    @Joe Schmoe: LOL and very true.

    It was indeed well-covered on NPR but not sure what other media picked up the Fed press conference story. In fact, NPR spent all of 2 minutes on the Obama birth certificate story in yesterday’s evening report and gave attention to most of the day’s goings-on.

    It was a vast news day yesterday even beyond the birth certificate throwdown, what with the shakeups announced with Robert Gates leaving, ongoing international events, the F5 tornado that tore through Alabama, etc. etc.

  • Nickers
    April 28, 2011 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    What infuriates me about this non-controversy is that I was born in Canada where my father, a career USAAF/USAF officer was stationed; my mother, a war-bride, was from Scotland. Regardless of where I was born, I am an American, natural-born, by birth because my father was a US citizen; ditto for President Obama – his mother was a US citizen, and he was born in Hawaii. I really resent the implication by “birthers” that citizens born overseas are not really citizens. Sen. McCain was born in Panama. The President’s place of birth is a non-issue: his mother was a citizen, therefore his citizenship derives from her. However, this nonsense really riles every military brat born overseas. I, and many, many others, were born overseas, often raised overseas, and a goodly number of us have foreign-born mothers: French, German, British, Japanese, Filipina, and so on. We are good and loyal citizens by birth. Unlike me, however, the President does have a US birth certificate; mine is Canadian, and I have never had a problem with anyone questioning my citizenship for a passport, security clearance, or loyalty during my own 21-year Naval career. Birther ancestors gave PT Barnum the inspiration for the phrase, “There’s one born every minute.” Now, this way to the Egress . . . .

  • Kewalo
    April 28, 2011 - 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for clearing that up Jon. It just amazes me that the right cannot accept responsibility for anything. It’s really astounding.

    I came across a youtube today that is so wonderful I am trying to pass it on everywhere. I know everyone will love it. And while it really doesn’t belong here, I don’t think you’ll mind. And if you do please feel free to delete it.

    Wonderful World? sadnmad

  • April 29, 2011 - 5:30 am | Permalink

    Joe Schmoe…lying again.

    “Tea bagger” isn’t a homosexual reference…that’s just the mental queueu you respond to (you must think about everything through a homosexual lense). A male can teabag a woman…I know this for a fact.

    But if the shoe fits, call a spade a spade. The Tea Party drones are getting tea-bagged in the face by their corporate masters. So go out and stand up for your corporate teabaggers!

    BTW, I love when a person makes a critique of even the smallest kind, then they are automatically a muslin-terrist-athiest commie fascist wiccan.

    Find a new (and coherent) boogy-man to blame. We don’t fall for your scare tactics.

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