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Blog buzz: Obama addresses birthers

The blogosphere erupted with reactions to the White House’s release of President Obama’s so-called “long-form” birth certificate today.

Liberal blogger Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly doubted the disclosure would discourage conspiracy theorists who believe President Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

If there's one thing right-wing voices have made clear, it's that reason and evidence are irrelevant. They didn't come up with a birther garbage out of sincere concerns; they came up with this to cast doubts on the president's legitimacy and make him out to be The Other in the eyes of the mainstream.

I don't necessarily blame White House officials for wanting to end this nonsense once and for all, but if they're expecting the hysterical right to move on, they're likely to be disappointed.

John Aravosis at the liberal AMERICAblog suggested the move is too little, too late.

There doesn't appear to be anything more on this form than on the other one they released three years ago.  Why didn't they just release this then and be done with it?

Blogger Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast also asked why Obama waited so long, and assailed the media for not putting more pressure on the Obama administration for providing the long-form certificate in order to give the birthers the material evidence they were calling for.

I think this should have been done long ago. Because a president has to put his public responsibilities before his pride and his privacy. That's the price of the job - to defuse or debunk conspiracy theorists or just skeptics with all the relevant information you have.

It's also the job of the media always to press for more information, not less. But so many spent their energy arguing that Obama need do no more and piling on the Birthers. They still seem to think they are gatekeepers, possessors of the power to decide what is or is not legitimate for citizens to ask of their public officials.

Get over yourselves, MSM. And do your job - not defending the right of people in power to protect themselves, but scrutinizing them relentlessly, with every fact and document you can get. You don't defuse conspiracy theories or end legitimate doubts by telling public officials they need not provide clear and available evidence to rebut them. Yes, some will still suspect. But many will walk away. That's worth doing.

Meanwhile, Tanya Somander at the progressive blog Think Progress noted that Donald Trump said last week that he would release his tax returns when the president released his birth certificate.

Of course, now that Obama has officially put this issue to rest, the secretive billionaire may find another excuse to avoid releasing the potentially damning documents — like demanding Obama’s college records, his SAT scores, college thesis, and on and on…

In fact, conservative blogger Erick Erickson at Red State wondered if the president would now also release his college transcripts, adding that the release of the birth certificate confirms “what most of us have always known.”

Of course, once the birth certificate issue is dispatched, will he release his college transcripts? That’s the issue for me.

When the birth certificate is reviewed and we can see what most of us have always known — that he was born in Hawaii — we can move on. For some, moving on will be to wonder what religion the man is.

He can’t win on this. Not that I care.

Jonah Goldberg at the conservative NRO noted what he views as the irony of President Obama decrying this episode of “silliness” just before engaging in, as Goldberg sees it, frivolous pursuits.

[Obama] railed against “distractions” and “silliness” that prevent us from grappling with our very serious problems.  Then, he left to go tape the Oprah Winfrey show and hold a fundraiser. No word on when his next tee time will be.

Goldberg’s NRO colleague Daniel Foster predicted that this disclosure would not assuage the hardcore “birthers.”

Here’s the long-form birth certificate, so birthers can get to work on explaining why we now need a photograph of President Obama’s parents standing in front of Kapiolani hospital with a copy of the August 4, 1961 edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser in one hand and a complete genome in the other.

Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey at Hot Air said the news is actually a lost political opportunity for President Obama, as he tried to paint the issue, and those pushing it, as a distraction, relatively early in the election cycle.

Some of those who pushed this issue over the last two-plus years are now crying foul, saying “Why did he wait this long to release it?”  Why would Obama have wanted to release it?  After all, it made for a perfect way to paint his opposition as lunatics.  Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t wait until after the GOP primaries.  He could have used the bump more then than now.

Morrissey also said the issue dissipated “whatever credibility [Donald] Trump had.”

Who gets hurt worse by the White House release of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate?  If you think that it might be the man who practically made it his campaign platform, think again.  Donald Trump says he totally had Adonis DNA on the issue, or something… He won in the same sense that Charlie Sheen is #winning! by getting canned and then embarrassing himself on a national tour.