A visitor to Obama Conspiracy Theories asked:
So Dr. Conspiracy we can encapsulate this whole problem by Obama just releasing his long form birth certificate. Why doesn’t he just do this simple thing and put this to rest once and for all and blow all the conspiracy theorist to pieces but instead he spends a million dollars to hide all of this. I asked my 10 yr. old son and he said the same thing.
This is a very frequently asked question.
First the premise of “millions spent” isn’t true. Mr. Woocher, Obama’s lawyer in California told Politico.com that he was working pro bono (for free) and that this talk of millions spent is false. Many of the lawsuits aren’t directed at Obama anyway, but at state officials, so no Obama expense there either.
“This suit, like all of the others that have been filed challenging Obama’s qualifications for the Presidency, is frivolous,” he said in an email to POLITICO, adding that he is, in fact, working pro bono. “There is absolutely no truth to the stories about the untold millions supposedly being paid to us,” he said.
Culture of conspiracy: the Birthers – Politico.com
But it doesn’t really matter how much if anything Obama has spent, because the heart of your question is why won’t Obama release the certificate and “make this all go away”.
As part of my research, I read blog posts historically going back to 2007 on Obama eligibility questions. In early June, 2008, bloggers were crying “just show us a birth certificate and we will be satisfied”.
You can argue about COLB’s until the cows come home, but the indisputable fact is that if you go to the State of Hawaii web site, and fill out the form to apply for a “Birth Certificate” (not a COLB, or a CEOLB or a CNOLB), just a “Birth Certificate”, and send it in, you will get a document like Obama’s (assuming you were born in Hawaii). So Obama posted the “usual” document on web sites and let a respected fact check organization look it at and photograph it up close. (See: Factcheck.Org – Born in the USA). Newspaper birth announcements corroborated; Hawaiian Officials corroborated.
Was anybody satisfied? Did it do any good? Was the controversy resolved? Did it “all go away?” I’m sure that everyone here knows that it did not satisfy a damn thing. I respectfully submit that if all that didn’t make it go away, nothing will. (It said “African” instead of “Black”, it said date something when it should have said date something else, it was only a “certification”, anybody can get a Hawaiian Birth Certificate, the crease can’t be seen, the stamp is the wrong size, the certificate number is too high or too low, it’s invalidated because it was altered, it’s an obvious forgery, Polarik, Techdude, Lines, it cites some Hawaiian law on the bottom, there’s a space missing in the date, it’s not suitable for the Hawaiian Homelands Program and on and on). A whole cottage industry has sprouted up finding bogus reasons not to accept a document that for every other Hawaiian citizen is proof of birth in Hawaii, and proof of US Citizenship.
Reason tells me that if Birth Certificate Mark I caused more problems than it solved, then Birth Certificate Mark II would likely do the same thing.
But let us assume by some miracle of miracles Birth Certificate Mark II rather than creating more cries of forgery or official misconduct miraculously convinced the whole world that Barack Obama was really born in Hawaii; does it solve the eligibility question?
No, it does not. First there is the whole lost citizenship in Indonesia/Travel ban to Pakistan thing. False, but pervasive. That and the Selective Service registration argument.
Further, students of Obama Conspiracy Theories know that birther arguments are falling out of favor among the nObamas, who today only want to talk about redefining “natural born citizen” because Obama’s father was a British citizen.
So you see, nothing will be resolved by releasing a birth certificate, or anything else. Not a single lawsuit will be satisfied by a birth certificate.
Editorial note (February 21, 2012):
Two years after this story was written, Barack Obama did indeed release his long form birth certificate. While a significant number of doubters were satisfied, the birther controversy did not go away, and indeed intensified, spinning new and even more fantastic reasons to ignore the evidence for President Obama’s birth in Hawaii.