I’ve made a couple of comments referring to an individual I call “Deep Birther“. This person sends me stuff, like the Washington Post poll that became the subject of a recent article, the Obama/Arizona cartoon and the WND PR sign in Times Square. He seems to be a big fan of WorldNetDaily and stays pretty much up on the “dark side” of the issue.
I have another friend, whom I will call Lil’ Birther (LB), that I spoke with today. LB is not a nut case, or a racist. He had just gotten the impression that Barack Obama was born in Africa. Now LB knows a heck of a lot about birth certificates, even more than I, and he knew all about out of state registrations. Anyhow I wanted to understand where he was coming from.
What I found is that his belief that Barack Obama was born in Africa came from two basic points. One: that Obama’s grandmother said he was born in Africa. Of course, this would be pretty important if it were true, but it isn’t. This was covered fully a year ago on this blog.
The second reason, and this one surprised me, was “perhaps Obama’s birth was an out of state birth registered in Hawaii”. So I said: “you know what out of state certificates look like. They say ‘certificate of out of state birth’ not ‘certificate of live birth'” and he replied “I know that, but I don’t know what Hawaii does.” (An email from Janice Okubo with the Hawaii Department of Health does confirm that it is not a COLB.) I then mentioned that the out of state birth registration law wasn’t passed until 1982, 21 years after Obama was registered. He asked what the law was before, and I explained that I had the 1955 statute in force in 1961 and there was nothing in it allowing out of state registrations. The law was new in 1982. Lil’ Birther knows a lot about vital records process and I mostly just had to remind him of things he already knew.
I said: “there are long lists of plausible sounding arguments all over the Internet that make it look like Barack Obama was born in Africa; they only sound good, but they are really not true.”
Did my little bit of personal evangelism do what was thought impossible, change a birther mind? Maybe and maybe not. Perhaps I did get a Lil’ Birther thinking.