Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For Inauguration Day: A Birther Platonic Dialogue

Birther: "Oh why won't Barack Obama release his birth certificate? If only he did that simple little thing, we could put this whole matter to rest. And it would only cost him ten dollars."

Rational Person (RP): "Didn't you see the birth certificate he posted online?"

Birther: "Anyone could have Photoshopped that. In fact, I saw an anonymous guy on the internet claim that he could prove it was faked. He's an expert in 'instructional media.'"

RP: "You do realize that 'instructional media' doesn't have anything to do with document analysis, right?"

Birther: "Regardless, it's still fake. If Obama truly had nothing to hide, he'd release his long-form birth certificate, not this computer printout."

RP: "How should he release it? If he simply posted a scan online, wouldn't you accuse it of being faked?"

Birther: "Oh, certainly. Anything he produces shouldn't be trusted unless it's reviewed by a competent authority, like a judge."

RP: "So if Obama obtained his long-form birth certificate, published it, had a judge review it, and then the judge announced that it was legit and he was born in Hawaii, that would be enough? You'd give up arguing that his election is illegitimate, stop filing lawsuits, and concede that he's eligible to be President?"

Birther: "Hardly. For all we know, Obama's parents could have lied to Hawaiian officials, and claimed he was born in Hawaii, when he was actually born in Kenya. Or Canada. For all we know, Hawaiian officials themselves might be in on the cover-up."

RP: "What if it can be proven beyond a doubt that the birth certificate is real and accurate, and that he was born in Hawaii. Let's say there's a video of John F. Kennedy himself playing midwife to Ann Dunham. Would that settle the matter?"

Birther: "It'd settle the matter of where he was born. But that doesn't mean he's a natural-born citizen and eligible to be President."

RP: "Why?"

Birther: "Because before he was born, his mother married a British citizen. That means she gave up her American citizenship even before he was born. And Obama can't be a natural-born citizen if neither of his parents were American citizens."

RP: "So you're begging Obama to release his birth certificate, even though you admit it won't actually stop your complaints."

Birther: "That's right."

RP: "Well, what if I can show you that American citizens don't give up their American citizenship when they marry foreigners? Will that put this to rest?"

Birther: "Oh, no. Even if I accepted that he was born in Hawaii, and that his mother was still an American citizen, his father was still a Kenyan and British citizen, and that means Obama inherited dual citizenship and thus wasn't a natural-born citizen. So he can't be President."

RP: "I see. For the sake of argument, then, let's say that I could show you that there's no requirement that a natural-born citizen be born of two U.S. citizens. Would that satisfy you?"

Birther: "Sorry, but no. Even if the birth certificate proves he was born in Hawaii, and he could show that his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born, and that his father's citizenship didn't disqualify him, there's still the matter of Indonesia."

RP: "What does Indonesia have to do with anything?"

Birther: "When Obama's mother married Lolo Soetoro, she gave up her U.S. citizenship, and by proxy, Obama's U.S. citizenship. So he can't be President."

RP: "No, it doesn't work that way. Didn't we already cover this with her first marriage?"

Birther: "It doesn't matter. Even if her marriage didn't invalidate his citizenship, when Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, he ceased to be a U.S. natural-born citizen. So he can't be President."

RP: "A minor child can't surrender his U.S. citizenship that way. Besides, there's no evidence that he was adopted in the first place."

Birther: "Even if that's the case, he's still not in the clear. Because when he traveled to Pakistan in 1981 on his Indonesian passport, he gave up his U.S. citizenship."

RP: "Apart from the fact that that wouldn't have sacrificed his citizenship, do you actually have any direct evidence that he in fact did use an Indonesian passport?"

Birther: "Not direct evidence. But American passport holders weren't allowed into Pakistan in 1981."

RP: "Do you have any evidence that that is actually true about travel to Pakistan in 1981?"

Birther: "No."

RP: "I see. OK, if you put aside the passport, would you concede that he's eligible to be President?"

Birther: "Still no. When Obama was adopted, his name was legally changed to 'Barry Soetoro.' There's no proof he ever changed his name back, but he ran for President as 'Barack Obama.' And that violates election law. I will never accept his Presidency until I see the documentation where he changed his name back to Obama."

RP: "That's impossible. How can he possibly produce that documentation, when he never changed his name away from Obama in the first place? What proof is there that he was ever legally adopted or changed his name? And even if he was adopted, what possible reason would there be to legally change his first name to a nickname?"

Birther: "A school application in Indonesia says his last name was 'Soetoro.' They take those applications very seriously in Indonesia, so this is solid legal proof that he was adopted and had a name change."

RP: "And the fact that the same application says he was born in Hawaii?"

Birther: "That was a mistake."

RP: "OK, so to recap, you wanted Obama to release a birth certificate, but when he did, you accused it of being a forgery? Right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And you say that if he simply shared his long-form birth certificate with the public, that could be forged too? Right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "So you want him to release his long-form birth certificate and to have that birth certificate reviewed by a judge, to satisfy his critics and answer the questions they're asking? Right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if the judge affirms that the birth certificate is legitimate and it says his place of birth was Hawaii, you say it might be falsified, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And even if he proves he was born in Hawaii, you claim he's still not a natural-born citizen because of his mother's first marriage, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if he then proves that the marriage isn't an issue, you claim he's still not a natural-born citizen because of his father's citizenship, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if he then proves that his father's citizenship isn't an issue, you claim he's still not a natural-born citizen because of his mother's second marriage, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if he then proves that his mother's second marriage isn't an issue, you claim he's still not a natural-born citizen because of his supposed adoption, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if he then proves that he didn't give up his citizenship via adoption, you claim that he's still not a natural-born citizen because of his 1981 travel to Pakistan, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "And if he then proves that he didn't give up his citizenship via passport, and even when you run out of citizenship arguments completely, you then claim his election is illegitimate because his legal surname is Soetoro, right?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "So you want to know why Obama won't take the simple measure of releasing his birth certificate, when you already have at least eight consecutive fall-back arguments you'll make if he does so, whereby you'll continue to insist that he's ineligible for the Presidency even after he proves that he was born in Hawaii?"

Birther: "Right."

RP: "Y'know, if I were Obama, I think I'd save my ten dollars too."


  1. The Intellectual Redneck said...

    detailed instructions on how to get an original vault copy of a Hawaii birth certificate. Of course Obama is President. He would not need to do anything but have someone pick up the phone. This is just to show you anyone can easily do it. Obama supporters spread so much untruth. :(

    'When requesting a certified copy of your birth certificate from the Vital
    Records Section of DOH, let the clerk know you are requesting it "For
    DHHL Purposes," and that you need a copy of the original Certificate of
    Live Birth and not the computer-generated Certification. If mailing in your
    request form, please fill in "For DHHL Purposes" in the "Reason for
    Requesting a Certified Copy" section. (See example on page 6.)'


    They even show a sample copy of the vault record for those so blinded by Obama they thought that document was a myth.


  2. Sums up perfectly my daily chore doing battle with that Bigot Ed Hale. And came full circle, sweet.

  3. Great job! The best parody of the insanity and inanity of the wingnuts' thought process (or lackthereof.)

  4. To "Intellectual" Redneck: So you're suggesting that the President lie and say he wants a long-form BC for "DHHL Purposes" when he clearly doesn't?

    You guys would have a real party with it if he did that.

  5. There was almost another issue - a few hours after this was posted. Obama didn't take the oath of office correctly - and so, the argument could go, he didn't become President.

    It turns out that Herbert Hooover also bungled the wording of the oath but that was never corrected.

    This issue, entirely created by President Obama withy the help of Chief Justice Roberts,
    Obama corrected by being sworn in again a second time. Still pictures were taken and an audio recording was made to prove it had really happened. They didn't really wsant to say that his assumption of office on January 20 at noon was invalid, so they didn't call too many witnesses there or have it videotaped but they did also want to prove it had happened.

    Of course you could still have the argument that since the second oath was not taken for one day, all his actiuons as President on January 20, 2009 were null and void and that means most Cabinet Secretaries were never properly nominated, and so couldn't be confirmed,, and never took office and a whole lot of actions bty the U.S. government since January 20, 2009 are not legally valid!

  6. Intellectual Redneck - that's a red herring.

    The DHHL is Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands. It handles the land trust for those who pre-1778 ancestors are indigenous to Hawaii. President Obama is not one of those people. The DHHL will also accept the new computer generated records like Obama provided the American people and even 'no-record certifications' for those whose ancestors were indigenuous to Hawaii but are lacking state issued/archived birth records.