Apparently, President Obama decided that the Donald Trump Birther Circus was becoming enough of a distraction that he wanted it dealt with, so this morning he released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii:
Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on at any given day and I've got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.
And so I just want to make a larger point here. We've got some enormous challenges out there. There are a lot of folks out there who are still looking for work. Everybody is still suffering under high gas prices. We're going to have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future but also get ahold of our deficit and our debt -- how do we do that in a balanced way.
And this is going to generate huge and serious debates, important debates. And there are going to be some fierce disagreements -- and that’s good. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. And I am confident that the American people and America’s political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have.
But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.
And of course, who should step up and claim this as a glorious moment but the Carnival-Barker-in-Chief himself:
"Today I'm very proud of myself, because I've accomplished something that no one else has been able to accomplish," Trump said, adding, "Our president has finally released a birth certificate."
However, he said he would have to check out the certificate himself and wondered why the president didn't do this "a long time ago."
Of course, Obama actually released a birth certificate back in 2008 -- but it wasn't enough to satisfy nutcases like Trump and his political adviser, WorldNutDaily's Joseph Farah.
Trump has nothing to be proud of: Indeed, he owes the president an apology -- for smearing his name and casting doubt on his birth and citizenship.
Not that we'll ever get it. After all, Being Republican Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry.
Ari Melber has a great piece up at The Nation about the naked racism that lies just beneath the surface of Trump's attacks on Obama:
Even respected liberal commentators have given Trump something of a pass for the racial tension animating Birtherism. Hendrik Hertzberg, the authoritative essayist, argues in this week's New Yorker that Trump's appeal to birtherism is "part of a larger pattern of rejection of reality" by Republicans, like denying the science of global warming, or believing that "contraception causes abortion."
I think that a loose relationship with the scientific method surely helps conspiracies spread, but Birtherism draws on passions that depart substantially from greenhouse gasses. It is a putatively non-racial, vaguely constitutional way to challenge the legitimacy of the first black president and appeal to racists without sounding officially racist. Sure, there may be plenty of GOP tenets running counter to reality nowadays, yet none evoke the suppressed fury of the Birthers. They won't go away. They are an audience-in-waiting for any amplified race-baiter, from Lou Dobbs to unserious presidential candidates. Indeed, Politifact, the fact-checking site for politics, says its article about the issue, (with a link to the certification of live birth!), is the most read item that it has ever published.
And really, does the White House honestly believe that releasing this piece of paper will satisfy these nuts? Already, here's the headline over at Fox, via ThinkProgress:
They're never going to stop. Now they'll just move into another phase.