The Obamian Candidate

Layers!!11!

Birtherism is the right-wing fever-dream that won’t die. For Democrats and independents, it’s long gone from being puzzling to hilarious – especially since the President released his “long-form” birth certificate in April 2011. The theory? Usually it comes down to Obama being a secret Muslim, Kenyan-born, Manchurian candidate, set up since birth in 1961 by a communist cabal intent on destroying the United States. Like the Romney campaign, this wing of birtherism still lives deep in the heart of the Cold War. 

Less insane birthers claim merely that Obama can’t be a “natural-born” citizen because under the law as it stood in the 18th century, one could not be “natural-born” if one’s father was not a citizen at the time of birth. Of course, that’s not the law in the United States. The 14th Amendment confirmed that any person born on American soil is automatically and by birthright a natural-born citizen. So, that theory’s out the window. 

The less inventive birthers insist that Obama’s certificate of live birth wasn’t proof of anything, despite the fact that writing on the document itself indicates that it is “prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding“.  So, to shut the thing up once and for all, the White House released the long form birth certificate, pictured above. 

Of course, these people immediately accused the White House and/or Hawaii of falsifying the birth certificate, analyzing the PDF version of it for “layers”, (as if the PDF wasn’t merely a scanned image in a particular format of a physical document). The “layers” theory was handily debunked here

There are still dummies all over the internet claiming that Obama is a foreign-born usurper and that everything is phony. In the most tea-party prone state in the Union, Arizona, a whopping (sarcasm – ed.) 1,200 emails were sent to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, (who – totally coincidentally – is also the Arizona co-chairman of the Romney campaign), to demand that Hawaii confirm Obama’s eligibility before the President is allowed to be listed as a candidate on the November ballot there. 

The emails between Arizona and Hawaii are utter comedy, but ultimately Hawaii did send a verification to Arizona, which you can see here. It seems pretty legitimate to me, even if it is a PDF and likely has LAYERS!

But for some reason, the Romney campaign has not yet answered claims that the likely Republican nominee is, in fact, a unicorn.  You see, Arizona was chasing down Obama’s eligibility, and claiming to Hawaii that it had a duty to do so. It would therefore follow that they had a duty to chase down Romney’s eligibility.  After all, Romney’s father may not have been born in Kenya, but he was born in Mexico. But Arizona hadn’t contacted Michigan, and had no plans to do so.

So, if a mere 1,200 angry, xenophobic, conspiratorial emails can get Arizona’s Ken Bennett to conduct a birther investigation, then certainly 15,000 emails will be more than persuasive for Mr. Bennett to conduct an investigation into the shocking, un-contradicted claims of Romney’s alleged unicornhood

The Republican rush to appropriate and placate the tea party is going to start coming back to haunt it – the tea party, which is at its core little more than a reactionary movement that facially opposes “spending” but never really coalesced for some reason until 2009. I wonder what that reason might be? 

After all, here’s a chart that shows a comparison of the growth in government spending between the Obama administration and other recent Presidents. (It starts with 2010, because the 2009 budget was passed in 2008 under President Bush). 

If conservatism is about smaller government, shrinking the federal budget, and lower spending, it would perhaps seem as if our political labels may be, quite frankly, reversed. The deficit? It wasn’t caused by spending – it was caused by a dramatic reduction in revenue during the 2008 downturn

But the longer we blama Obama for outrageous “spending” and for not being “natural-born”, the longer we’ll just keep going around and around, not really solving any big problems, but instead punting and making them worse for future generations. 

Email me at buffalopundit[at]gmail.com

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34 comments

  • Didn’t Obama release the long form in April of last year? I recalled it being done in the week leading up to the White House corespondents’ dinner at which he so deftly dispatched Donald “birther” Trump’s fledgling campaign (while simultaneously sending Navy Seals to dispatch Osama bin Laden). Multi-tasker.

  • BlackRockLifer

    I have always wondered how the Obama team was able to go back in time and place the phony birth notice in the newspaper. I think it is reasonable to surmise that Obama is an alien from space with superpowers. It is obvious he is “not one of us” and “isn’t a real American” or he would have used his superpowers to fix the economy.

    •  Agreed.  Given Obama’s obvious supernatural powers, I think it would be best for people of all political stripes to stop making him angry.  Although Obama clearly possesses super-human levels of patience and tolerance, you can only push him so far before he turns his powers against America.

      • Same Mike Chmiel that worked as a project manager on the Waterfront Healthcare addition back in 1993?

        •  Sorry, no.  I would have been about 21 then and most likely waiting tables at a hotel in Niagara Falls.

  • Your closing paragraph really nailed it, Alan. We’re assured that this superfluous spectacle will go on through November. Because of that distraction, no substantive progress will be undertaken in Congress on budget or tax issues. That’s a criminal abdication of the responsibilities they were elected to enact.  

  • A comment that was sent to me via email. I asked the sender to post it as a comment. He hasn’t yet, so I will. 

    Hey Buffalo Pundit,Are you content with lying to the one or two lost souls that read your blog?Or, do you really believe your Obama story?Or, are you a captivated Obama worshiper?Are you being paid to propagate Obama’s dirty work?I really don’t understand.You can write and use a computer. It seems you are of, at least, average intelligence.Help me understand your trust and attraction to Obama.Let’s have an honest bi-partisan discussion, or is this even possible?

  • The meme circulating now that Obama’s not a big spender is a complete lie.

    Here’s an analogy: Oh noes! Our house is on fire! Oh, not my fault, the last guy started it.

    PUT THE FUCKING FIRE OUT OBAMA.

    • Austerity isn’t exactly as hot an idea now as it once was. If it wasn’t for public spending on the Olympics, Britain would…oh, actually, Britain DID double-dip into recession. 

    • Yeah, Democrats have been cleaning up after Republicans for decades, nothing new here.

    • The fire Obama should have put out, but lacked the balls to do, was with regard to the insane Bush tax cuts. I will give you that much.

      But why is it so hard to understand why deficits skyrocket when a political party’s policies destroy an economy and reduce the government’s revenues?

      It is finally time to admit this – when you people voted for Bush -twice – you elected the worst president in several generations. The incompetence of that era is going to affect this nation for decades.

  • Also, which is it gonna be, Democrats?

    1. We have to spend spend spend because there are poor  people, hungry people, and oh yeah, businesses that need free cash, bankers that need to be bailed out, foreign countries to indiscriminately bomb (Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and on and on and on).

    So given that angle, spending is good and vital. Obama should spend EVEN MORE! (see: Krugman and Keynesian retreads everywhere)

    2. Obama’s not a big spender! Bush did it! (he did, but that doesn’t say anything about what Obama’s done, which is to blow our federal debt sky high so that none shall ever hope of paying it off.)

    In this angle, spending is Bad! But it’s not our guy’s fault! He’s just a victim!

    So which is it, guys? Is spending near 4 TRILLION A YEAR good or bad?

    • Heavens, rightwingers do like their false dichotomies, don’t they? For the reading comprehensionally challenged (that’s you, Jesse): pointing out that the previous administration bears far, far, FAR more blame for the country’s current fiscal mess is not inconsistent with the economic fact that austerity budgeting will lead to nothing but prolonged economic hardship (witness all those not-so-booming European economies that made austerity the rule of the day only to see their economies continue to circle the drain).

      So yeah, which is it, Jesse? Do try to think this through.

      Smarter trolls, please.

  • Jesus godamighty, how many Muslim babies does Obama have to pulp before people know he’s a regular natchul-born Merkin? He just appointed torture advocate John Brennan as his counter-terrorism adviser, who will be in charge of choosing which perfidious Mohammedans need to be drone-blasted into steak tartare. Meanwhile, the US Government is helping some delightful Salafists get established in Libya, Syria, and Lebanon, so that we can blast them in the future, too.

    • I’m so confused. Does Obama love “drone-blast[ing]” “Mohammedans” “into steak tartare”, or does he advocate “helping some delightful Salafists” in Libya, Syria, and Lebanon? 

      I haven’t seen too many articles that back up your assertion re: Salafists, except perhaps for the general sense that American support of popular uprisings against dictators in Libya and Syria have led to political vacuums that have been at least in part filled by religious extremists.

      I’m sure that’s what you meant. Also, bloodlust when all else fails.  

      • Dear Alan,

        I can tell you’re confused–let me help! You remember, right, that Osama bin Laden was one of the heroic mujahedeen fighting against the Russian occupation in Afghanistan, with US help, until he attacked the US, and became our excuse for invading Afghanistan and Iraq, attacking Yemen, etc. 

        The US and its heroic democratic Sunni allies in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are now supporting the March 14 coalition in Lebanon, which includes Salafists like Shadi Al-Mawlawi–also, an admitted member of al Qaeda–in the hopes that they can be turned against Hezbollah, just as we earlier supported Saddam Hussein against Shia Iran. We’re also supporting Sunni fundamentalists against the Alawite government in Syria. And you know about the strong Salafi components of the Libyan opposition, right?

        For some alternative coverage of US support of Salafi Sunnis against Shias (in Iran, Syria, Lebanon), see Al Akhbar English, http://english.al-akhbar.com. And remember that the US also supported the Khmer Rouge against the communist Vietnamese government: politics makes strange bedfellows.

  • Dear Alan,

    Baby steps here–I’ll walk you through it. You expressed sarcastic incredulity at the thought that the US might support Salafists at one time and kill them at another. I provided you with the in-your-face example (OBL) and pointed to parallel flip-flops in the past: our support of/execration of Saddam Hussein, of the Khmer Rouge. The point, of course, was not to say that BHO was behind our support of the Khmer Rouge, but to show that an imperialist capitalist state like the US can be quite flexible in its affiliations as it pursues its interests.

    For Al Akhbar on Obama Administration support of the March 14 Coalition in Lebanon (which includes Salafists and Al Qaeda members),  see http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/jeffrey-feltman-leaks-again. All this is in the service of organizing against Hezbollah, the Lebanese party and military organization that had the audacity to kick Israel’s invading ass out of Lebanon, twice (2000, 2006). For that, we’re happy to pal around with Salafists.

    • My gosh, I’m so glad I have you to COMPLETELY UNSARCASTICALLY “baby-step” me through something. Heavens, I almost had a case of the vapours thinking that I might be remarkably confused by your erudite leavings. 

      So, let ME walk YOU through it. 

      1. I didn’t express sarcastic incredulity at the thought that the US might support Salafists at one time and kill them at another. I expressed sarcastic incredulity at your assertion that Obama so hates Muslims (not all Muslims are Salafist, at last check, BTW) that he enjoys turning them into meat, while at the same time so supportive of the Salafists in three specific countries you mentioned that he would support them – but ONLY TO KILL THEM LATER! It’s almost as devious a plot as planting a birth announcement in the Honolulu paper in 1961.  Almost. 

      2. So, in order to school me on my naivete, you brought up several non-sequiturs – remote in time – having nothing whatsoever to do with Obama, who is the subject matter of this post. 

      3. America is so imperialist that Cambodia is the 51st state, and Afghanistan the 52nd. Or perhaps they’re territories. Or colonies. Not sure, here. 

      4. Hezbollah is actually a Shia terrorist organization that is funded by Iran and not exactly any better of a regional actor than anybody else. Quite often worse. That it has found a place to operate in Lebanon – a de facto client state of Syria – is no surprise, given the geography and the country’s history. But I’d suggest that “kicking Israel’s invading ass” hardly makes Hezbollah – an organization about as fascist as they come – a good guy. 

      5. If the net result of supporting the defense of rebels attempting to overthrow – on their own initiative – a regime such as Assad’s or Qadaffi’s is that a power vacuum enables bad people to gain influence, or that the people of that country elect bad guys, perhaps that’s a short term ill taken to serve a long term good. 

      But thank you so much for schooling me. Gosh, here I just thought Ronald Reagan shat out a perfect world and Hitlery Klintoon destroyed it. 

      •  Dear Alan,

        How sneaky of Hezbollah  finding “a place to operate in Lebanon.” I mean, them being Lebanese and all, whoever would have expected that? Like you, I just hate it when Lebanese sneakily hunker down in Lebanon and try to expel Israelis just having an innocent Lebanese holiday in their Merkava tanks and Apache helicopters! And yes, of course, Hezbollah is a “Shia terrorist organization that is funded by Iran,” as Israel is a “Jewish terrorist organization that is funded by the United States,” and the CIA is “a Christian terrorist organization funded by the United States”–no double standard there, Alan!

        Why, oh why, do you feel compelled to revert to the infantile Bush-era language of “good guys” and “bad guys” just because you want to defend Obama so much? Nobody I know of was so stupid as to say that Hezbollah, a conservative Islamist political, military, and social welfare group, was a “good guy,” but your “fascist” is pretty absurd. (For a group with some concrete ties to European fascism, check out the Lebanese Christian Phalange.) What I said was that the United States has labeled them “terrorist” precisely because they had the audacity to resist and defeat Israel, a US client state, during their imperial and colonial rampages in Lebanon. You don’t need to be a Stalinist to be happy that Marshal Zhukov won at Stalingrad, or a Sandinista to be happy they got rid of Somoza.

        But to get back to your man Obama: he is currently blowing up Salafists in Yemen (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninusula), along with any pain-in the-ass innocent bystander civilians who get in the way, while supporting the Salafists who help form the March 14 Coalition in Lebanon, and the Syrian National Council. And of course he is escalating the drone war. As Glenn Greenwald–whom I know you admire greatly–points out, Democrats had a hissy fit when Bush wiretapped people without a warrant, but they never risk a discouraging word when Obama blows them up without a warrant. Because he is, after all, their guy.

        • Actually, Israel is a nation-state. Hezbollah is not. 

          Actually, if both Hezbollah and Israel are, as you term them “terrorist”, why do you cheer for Hezbollah? 

          Actually, “fascist” is not absurd at all, as Hezbollah (like most fundamental Islamists) is totalitarian in nature over its subjects, and has merely substituted fanatical national or racial superiority for fanatical religious superiority. 

          Actually, you just got through telling me that Obama is helping Salafists in three countries, and now he’s blowing them up in Yemen? And I was under the impression that al Qaeda was founded by (and based on) radical Sunni Wahhabism. 

          Actually, Hezbollah is so forward-thinking, rational, and populist that it sided with Iran and Syria in their violent repression of public dissent. Not at all fascist, that!  They also have really enlightened views towards Jews. Not Israel (I mean the “Zionist Entity, if you prefer), but Jews as a religious population. Regardless of whether you agree with them being labeled “terrorist”, they’re hardly worthy of very much praise or admiration. 

          Actually, Democrats have a tremendous amount of things to say about warrantless domestic surveillance and blowing people up without a warrant. To pretend that they don’t reveals either ignorance or deliberate fabrication.  

          By the way, since we’ve pivoted into rule of law, I’d love to see Hezbollah’s warrant for, e.g., hijacking TWA 847 and kidnapping Terry Anderson. Thanks!

          • Wow, Alan, you say “Actually” a lot. Here you go, as briefly as possible.

            I think “terrorist” is pretty much a meaningless word. For most in the US government, it means “Muslims we want to kill.” I think Hezbollah has been guilty of some illegal and criminal attacks on civilians, as have the United States and Israel, in astronomically greater numbers.

            Yes, Israel is a “nation state,” but you may have heard of the term “state terrorism.” You don’t get a pass on blowing up babies because you’re a nation state.

            You say Hezbollah “has merely substituted fanatical national or racial superiority for fanatical religious superiority.” I think you mean the other way around (slow down!). And it has repeatedly declared its unwillingness to establish an Islamic state in Lebanon. But you’re speaking so vaguely that I’m not sure what you’re saying. Yes, Hezbollah has been wrongly silent on the Assad government’s murders of its citizens; the US and others have been wrongly silent on the Syrian oppositions murders of Syrian civilians (by car bombs, etc.).

            Wahhabism is a form of Salafism.

            You’ve misread: I said that Democrats have lots to say about warrantless domestic surveillance by Republicans, but when it comes to their man Obama’s warrantless murders, they take a powder. With regard to Obama’s illegal murders, all I hear from most Democrats (you, for instance) is denial and justification and celebration. Have I missed something? Happy to be proved wrong. I remember your earlier indifference to Obama’s murder of sixteen-year-old American boy, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

            I’m done. Have the last word.
             

          • I don’t feel I need to. 

  • Forget all the blather. Does anyone really believe that Obama is not a big spender?

  • So I guess Obama has not spent 5 trillion dollars?

  • Yike: 14th Amendment doesn’t address natural born citizenship, which is mentioned once and only once in the Constitution, in Article II Section 1 Clause 5.

    Red and learn: http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html

    • 14th Amendment, the very first sentence: “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” That overrides and supercedes the birther re-definition of “natural-born citizen” which would require the parents to both be citizens, as well. 

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