Calvin Freiburger

Hawaii Governor Revives Birth Certificate Wars Because He Wants to End the Controversy. Yeah, Right

Posted on December 28 2010 8:00 am
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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If this wasn’t enough to slay the beast, nothing will be.

Thankfully, TV and the blogosphere haven’t suffered any major Birther eruptions in a while, but Hawaii’s new Democratic governor, Neil Abercrombie, is poised to reignite the dumbest of Barack Obama’s scandals…in the name of putting a long-overdue stop to it. Abercrombie intends to settle the question of Obama’s citizenship status once and for all by releasing more previously-undisclosed birth records:

[T]he governor made clear in the CNN interview that he will push forward on this matter regardless of whether the White House is privately worried that it may bring more attention to the so-called “birthers” who continue to deny that Obama was born in America – despite evidence showing that he was.

“We haven’t had any of those discussions,” Abercrombie said of the White House. “It’s a matter of principle with me. I knew his mom and dad. I was here when he was born. Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already.”

Asked if one option is to ask Obama to waive his privacy rights so that a copy of his actual birth certificate can be released publicly, Abercrombie cut off a reporter’s question.

“No, no, no – it’s not up to the president,” he said.  “It has nothing to do with the president.  It has to do with the people of Hawaii who love him, people who love his mom and dad. It has to do with respect the office of the president is entitled to. And it has to do with respect that every single person’s mother and father are entitled to.”

All the evidence we have overwhelmingly indicates that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii and is constitutionally eligible for the presidency. The facts are on Abercrombie’s side, as far as the question of Obama’s eligibility goes, but his dramatic talk of standing up to “a political agenda not worthy of any good American” reeks of partisan posturing.

First, who exactly is Abercrombie calling out? Conservatives? Counterintuitive though it may seem, the Right’s biggest, most influential, and most activist names—the people and publications most likely to be egging on or participating in partisan smears of the other side’s candidate—have all come out against Birtherism. And as Allahpundit points out:

Hawaii’s records department received only 16 requests for Obama’s birth certificate in November, down from 50 or so a month last year. Higher courts have waved away multiple Birther petitions, and the court-martial of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin ended with him pleading guilty to failing to report for duty. This subject has no traction, in other words, either legally or in mainstream media, and thus had probably never been fringier when Abercrombie spoke up and decided to treat it as a problem that needs solving.

Second, if the conspiracy theorists who still peddle Birtherism were capable of being convinced, they would have been convinced by now. Chiyome Fukino, the Hawaii health director who vouches for Obama’s birth certificate, is a GOP contributor. If the testimony of a Republican that a Democrat president is on the level hasn’t shut these guys up, what does a left-wing Democrat and self-professed friend of the “brilliant,” “wonderful” Obamas hope to accomplish? To them, whatever Abercrombie comes up with will simply be disregarded as propaganda from one of Obama’s leftist pals.

A charitable reading of Abercrombie’s mission would be that he simply doesn’t understand that conspiracy theorists aren’t motivated by evidence, and that a handful of nuts talking nonsense among themselves isn’t some grievous injury to Obama or his parents’ memories. A more cynical take would be that he’s a typical left-wing hack out to score political points by resurrecting the narrative of Obama as a victim of right-wing zealots. I’m gonna have to go with the latter.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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