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April 27, 2011

Trump Presser: Now That Obama Has Released The Birth Certificate, Can The Media Please Now Ask Me About Something Else?

There is some truth to that -- the media is as obsessed with the Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theory as the Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theorists are, but for different reasons, of course -- but it's not as if the media made Trump push this in the first place.

He's claiming credit... for "getting rid of this issue."

"I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue," Trump told reporters, his helicopter sitting behind him.

Is that dumb? No, it's a smart way to address it, but it's not like it's going to work.

Let's talk about where Trump is definitely right: He said it was easy for Obama to release this, and it turns out, it was easy to release it. Therefore, Obama's refusal to do so was simply churlish or games-playing.

The media also got this wrong. Let me explain: For the past two months, the media has been increasingly pushing the meme that Obama can't release the birth certificate.

Their claim was that the birth certificate, by law, can only be released to someone with a "tangible" interest in it, and then they claimed -- astute legal observers they -- that Obama himself had no "tangible" interest in it, and so could not ask for a copy. All he could do, they averred, was inspect it at the Honolulu hall of records.

Bullshit. Always was bullshit. Today's release proves this to be the case (but don't expect the media types pushing this goofy claim to apologize or confess error).

"Tangible" does not have some arcane, term-of-art meaning in law. It means here what it does in real life. A real interest, a legally-recognizable interest, not some goofball on a fishing expedition in other people's paperwork. It's a vague word, and intended to be, that is, intentionally vague so that people can use common sense in defining it. It has no strict, black-letter-law definition. Facts and circumstances dictate a "tangible" interest; there is no long, complex caselaw on what a common English word means.

Obama always could request the certificate and release it himself. The media was wrong.

This is why people are skeptical of the media -- for every three things they get right they simply make up and swear to a fourth thing that is flat-out wrong. And people know they do this to make life easier on themselves and, more importantly, the political party they favor.

Of course Obama had a tangible interest in his own birth certificate, given a swirling conspiracy theory that he literally was not eligible to serve in the office he'd been elected to (and would seek to be re-elected to in 18 months). That's not a tangible interest?

Further, the media put on its Stupid Caps and pretended further that Obama, President of the United States, and Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawaii and friend to and champion of Obama, could not change the law, or at least its operative effect, with a mere signature.

Who would question if Obama formally requested the document, and the Governor said, "Under these circumstances, I find the President does have a tangible interest, as the law requires, and so I direct the Secretary of State (or whoever) to release the document per his wishes"?

No one would question that.

And yet the media insisted again and again that this was a legal impossibility.

And yet: We have the birth certificate now, which the media swore to us was an impossibility.

Any correction coming from the media on that point?

No, of course not.

Trump (and many Birthers) were suspicious precisely because it was so easy to disprove and yet he refused to do so.

There's an idea in law -- as in life, generally; it's common sense -- that if a fact is in dispute but under one party's exclusive power to prove one way or the other, and yet he refuses to do so, the fact-finder may make an adverse inference against him on that fact.

Now, I understand why people therefore felt comfortable making that inference -- it was fair to do so. It just was still wrong, despite being fair.

But the fact that Obama refused to take this simple action for two years -- when it was always easy for him to do so -- means that his reasons for withholding it were not, as the media swore (incorrectly) that he was bound by law, but rather simply he didn't want to.

And he didn't want to either because he's thin-skinned and thought this an affront or because he cynically calculated that driving some people batty would be good for his election chances.

Those are the only two possible reasons. The media's made-up, go-to "reason," that it's against the law for the President to seek his own birth certificate from his close friend and ally, the Governor of Hawaii -- is and always was false.

As Trump, ahem, is proud to have proven today.

Whose Distraction Is It Anyway? While Obama huffs and puffs, peevishly, about this "distraction"...

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama said. "We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do. We've got big problems to solve."

...I can't help but notice that the distraction existed precisely because Obama refused to place a two minute phone call to former Governor Lingle, and then, later, refused to place a one minute phone call to one of his oldest friends, Governor Abercrombie, and when I say "oldest" friends, I mean it -- Abercrombie saw baby Barack shortly after he was born, and they've been friends since Obama was a conscious, self-aware individual.

So, let's not get all huffy about "distractions," champ. You were willing -- nay, eager -- to let this "distraction" fester so long as you believed it was in your political advantage to do so.

The situation changed, and it became no longer clearly in your political advantage, so you finally did what had been long requested and even recommended by no less than Chris Matthews.

Let's not turn a long-delayed one-minute phone call into a Profile in Courage.

You Know... If we're going with a reality-tv star, can I just suggest Boston Rob?

Guy's cunning. Makes me laugh. Married a knockout.

Just saying.

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posted by Ace at 11:57 AM

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