The "Obama Birthday Surprise"

It’s Barack Obama’s 48th birthday. While I do have some real policy issues with him (I fear a quagmire in Afghanistan, among other issues), those can wait. After all, it IS his natal day, wherever he was born.

OK, I jest, but that is my basic point. I think that too many people, including me, have gotten caught up with the various attacks on the President, from whether he’s a natural-born citizen of the United States to whether he’s a racist (Jeremiah Wright –I heard invoked by Glenn Beck just recently – to Skip Gates) to whether he’s a socialist (single payer health care). Or merely the Antichrist who wants to euthanize old people. What we’ve been missing, what I’ve been missing, with all those trees, is the forest.

I’ve become convinced that the proponents of these theories don’t need to PROVE the smears against Obama as unAmerican (by birth or by values). It’s merely necessarily to repeat them over and over. And over and over and over again.

Take the birthers, please. Jon Stewart pretty much eviscerated their points a couple weeks ago. The very next day, I get an e-mail that goes on and on and on about how the group (I won’t bother identifying them) will lead a campaign to “FAX All 50 State Attorneys General To Investigate Obama’s Birthday FRAUD”
According to published reports,[WHAT published reports?] Barack Obama’s legal team has been paid over one million dollars, so far, to STOP anyone from seeing ANY of his actual identification documents, or many other documents:
* Actual long-form birth certificate (NOT an easily-forged electronic copy of a short-form document that is not even officially accepted in Hawaii)
except by legal authorities in Hawaii…
* Columbia University senior thesis, “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament” – writing about the USSR; maybe he’s also a Communist? …
* Obama’s client list from during his time in private practice with the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Gallard Hey, yeah, and while you’re at it, reveal why the clients were there. But wait, wouldn’t that violate lawyer-client privilege?
* Baptism records
* Obama/Dunham marriage license
* Obama/Dunham divorce documents
* Soetoro/Dunham marriage license
* Soetero/Dunham Adoption records

But would even THAT be sufficient? Ask David Hernandez.
It’s a longer list, but it’s brilliant in its innuendo.

The point is that it does not matter what Obama does; he will be criticized. And not on legitimate grounds, such as the deficit, but over specious stuff.

Take the mundane example of the so-called “beer summit”. Obama was criticized for his choice of beer – Bud Light. But think about it: don’t you believe he’d be criticized for ANY pick he made? If he’d picked a German beer, he’d be criticized for not picking a domestic brew. (Is Anheuser-Busch still considered “domestic” now that InBev owns it?) Even a selection of Sam Adams would have been picked as blue state elitist, I’m willing to bet. There was never going to be a satisfactory choice.

So for the President’s birthday, we should vow to vow not to get confounded by the – dare I say it? – vast right-wing conspiracy – designed to make sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing. Let us hold this President accountable for the substantive issues, but ignore the politics of distraction. And distraction it is, though it has the capacity of being believed. The repetition gives some the belief that “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” except that it’s the same cabal blowing smoke.

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