I have not devoted much attention to the Barack Obama “Birth Certificate” conspiracy theories, because I have been bogged down debunking so many other conspiracy theories, like Andrew Sullivan’s Trig Palin birth conspiracy theory and the recent theory that the Bush administration “concealed” evidence as to ice measurements off the coast of Barrow, Alaska. There are only so many conspiracy theories I can handle in any given week.
I have made the point, time and again, that one of the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory (as opposed to a true conspiracy) is that the lack of evidence is used as evidence that the conspiracy was really, really good. It is like the claim that your watch does not run on a battery or mechanism; there is a secret Genie inside who is very shy, and turns into a battery or mechanism when the watch is opened. There is no way to disprove the theory, which is the pesky problem with rebutting conspiracy theories.
So the fact that not a single doctor, nurse, hospital staff member, or other person has come forward with evidence that Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig must mean that the conspiracy was really, really good, encompassing hundreds if not thousands of people, every single one of whom has kept their mouth shut. This has not prevented The Atlantic from providing a platform for Andrew Sullivan to make a fool of himself on the issue, and to give voice to the cottage industry of Trig Palin birthers on the internet.
And on the ice measurement nonsense, the fact that previously classified spy satellite images were released does not mean that anything was concealed, since ice measurements were taken for decades by scientists using personal observation, airplane flyovers, civilian satellites, and many other means, much of which is available on Google. And the Bush administration actually asserted that there was a decrease in the ice shelf off of Alaska, so one would have to believe that the Bush administration concealed evidence supporting its position. But this has not stopped prominent left-wing blogs, such as Think Progress, from touting the declassified photos as evidence of a Bush administration conspiracy.
Which gets me to the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory, to wit, the claim that Obama was not born in the U.S.A., despite the official Hawaiian record of his “live birth” and contemporaneous newspaper announcements. It is this latter evidence that seals the deal for me. Much like the craziness regarding Trig Palin and the ice measurements, to accept that 48 years ago someone had the foresight to plant newspaper stories in anticipation of Barack Hussein Obama becoming president half a century later just isn’t credible. As Obama himself has proclaimed, would anyone who wanted him to become President have given him that middle name? If they were so smart as to plant stories in the newspaper, why not give him a name like William Jefferson Obama or George Herbert Walker Obama.
I agree with the editorial at National Review Online:
Pres. Barack Obama has a birthday coming up, a week from Tuesday. We hope he takes the day off—or even the whole week, the briefest of respites from his busy schedule of truncating our liberties while exhausting both the public coffers and our patience….
One of the unfortunate consequences of this red-herring discussion is that there are plenty of questions about Obama’s background and history that we would like to have answered. In spite of two books of memoirs, there remain murky areas in his biography. And when it comes to those college transcripts, count us among those who’d love to know whether Dr. Bailout ever took an advanced economics class and how he performed in it.
Barack Obama may prefer European-style socialized health care. He may consider himself a citizen of the Earth and sometimes address his audiences as “people of the world,” as though he were born not in another country but on another planet. Like Bruce Springsteen, he has a lot of bad political ideas; but he was born in the U.S.A.
Who are the primary beneficiaries of the conspiracy theory? Not the people pushing it; they remain on the fringe. Not the Republican party.
No, the primary beneficiary of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory is Obama. He is running the country into the ground at break-neck speed, but the conspiracy theory has handed Democratic operatives like Media Matters, Think Progress, and all the left-wing blogs which jump when the whistle blows, a great way of distracting the public from the damage being done.
Don’t believe me, just look at the Memeorandum screen shot above right. The left-wing blogosphere moves in a group, and the group is pushing the same point: Beware the Birthers. The Birthers are not a threat to the economy, our national security, personal freedom, or our health care system — except to the extent they hand the Democrats a side issue with which to deflect attention from the real issues facing the country.
So stop looking for the birth certificate, and start reading the health-care-reduction bill, the cap-and-tax fiasco bill, the unemployment numbers, the national debt and deficit analyses, and the latest Obama speech apologizing for who we are. And contact your Congressman and Senator and demand they read legislation, and give the public opportunity for comment, before they vote on it.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has a post at HotAir making a similar point, posted just around the time I posted this. Great minds think alike, or a conspiracy of monumental proportions?