Today, the White House released President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate in an attempt to silence not only Donald Trump's ridiculous, at times Islamaphobic cries about the President's place of birth and background, but also to squash a wingnut conversation that has somehow been buzzing about in the national conversation now for far too long.
Given how much of a distraction the birth certificate issue has been, particularly in recent weeks when the main focus should have been on passing a national budget, I understand why the President felt he had to present proof of his birth, which occurred on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. But that doesn't make it any less sad and pathetic that being required to address this cockamamie garbage was at the top of the President's to-do list this morning.
Addressing the release of the birth certificate to the press earlier today, President Obama said:
Normally I would not comment on something like this ... I've got other things to do. But two weeks ago, in the middle of the drawn-out debate over the budget ... the top story was about my birth certificate.
He went on to list the "enormous challenges" we face as a country -- people still out of work, high gas prices, and the fact that we have to make a series of difficult decisions about investing in our country's future and getting a hold of the debt.
He's completely right -- we do not have time for this "silliness," and we cannot be distracted by "side shows and carnival barkers." That's all this birth certificate conversation has been. And that's why it's particularly disheartening that Obama felt like he had to dignify this ridiculous fable, this runaway inflated lie with any kind of response. Not to mention ... the President truly, desperately does have bigger fish to fry!
But the pros of releasing the certificate outweighed the cons. I also appreciate that it seems like the President has been able to maintain a somewhat sunny (well, as sunny as you can be when you're the President) outlook:
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.
Sadly, I'm not confident. It feels as if our country is more divided than ever, and all we do is point fingers and, as the President said, "vilify each other" and "make stuff up" (cough Jon Kyl cough). I would hope that the release of the birth certificate could actually serve to clear the air and allow us to move onward and upward to slay actual, imperative, and time-sensitive issues. But when the country and its government look and sound like a kindergarten classroom filled with bullies and big babies, I'm increasingly unsure that we'll be able to do it.
Are you pleased that President Obama released his birth certificate? Do you think we can hopefully move on and deal with all of those bigger fish we have to fry now?
Image via WhiteHouse.gov