I’d like to share briefly an anecdote from my college days. In English class we were assigned to read Bernard Malamud’s book, The Fixer. It’s the story of Ukrainian Jew falsely prosecuted for a crime, and the story ends with the man finally on his way to have his day in court. The book was based on a true story, and I was curious to see how the following historical events played out, so I went to library’s 19th century London Times microfilm reels for the answer. When we discussed the novel in class, I commented that I had done this research and disclosed the details of the happy ending. At that point the professor decided to move on to the next book. The historical vindication of right, the punishment of the prosecutor, and the financial windfall to the victim pretty much spoiled the story whose main interest lay in the tension of the false accusation.
In the birther business, there’s not much that is unknown to anyone who cares to look at the evidence. Still, for a time there was this question about exactly how President Obama’s long-form birth certificate was scanned and converted to the PDF file on the White House web site. Its contents were verified, but its method of production left an unanswered question. Thanks to the efforts of NBC and Kevin Vicklund (along with suggestions from others), we now know the process by which the PDF was created. And while this is important research, it does rather deflate what little tension remained in the story. It certainly removes any interest I have in discussing whether Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery of not. It’s time to move on to something else.
While President Obama has already won re-election, and his birth documentation is on a monumentally-firm footing, there still remains the issue of punishment of those who made negligent accusations. What does it mean to say that a birther image “expert” has been discredited, when they had no credit to begin with? No, what is lacking in the story, and what will most likely never be resolved, is the birthers acknowledging their folly; that is not in the nature of conspiracy theorists.