The only thing weirder than the Birthers are the quasi-Birthers who suggest that “anti-Birthers” are the real conspiracy theorists by refusing to call for President Obama to release his birth certificate. Those are the double-nutburgers, soaring in the outer reaches of the solar system.
What’s next…calling the moon-landing “believers” conspiracy theorists for not calling on Obama to investigate the “faked” moon landings. You know…just to put the whole faked moon landing thing to rest. (As if any such investigation could do any such thing.)
“But, but, but, but ALL Obama has to do is release the long-form birth certificate,” I hear Mr. Joseph and Lou Dobbs protest. The statement simply dismisses the fact that Obama has released a birth certificate that is fully valid for all legal purposes.
The “long form” birth certificate offers more information about the medical circumstances of the birth, but adds nothing relevant to any legal question of whether or not Obama is a natural born citizen. I mean, seriously, Obama’s citizenship is neither strengthened nor falsified by the physican’s name or the start date of his mother’s last menstrual period prior to the birth. The constitution does not specify a minimum birth weight or crown-heel length to hold the office of the President. All the information required to establish citizenship is on the “short form” birth certificate that was released by Obama.
Let me say it again: eligibility to be President is a legal issue. All legal questions about Obama’s eligibility are fully addressed by the birth certificate that Obama has provided. Nothing is left to “faith” or “belief”. People calling for the long-form certificate are either (1) unaware of the legal issues or are (2) basing their calls on irrational, emotional needs, not legal ones.
But, according to Mr. Joseph, I’m the conspiracy theorist because I don’t buy into the (1) ignorance or (2) emotional angst. Whatever, dude!
And now I want to take this post in another direction. Joseph and many birfers suffer from fundamentally misunderstanding birth certificates. I find the misunderstanding both ignorant and annoying. For example, Joseph states:
Release the original [birth certificate] and let’s be done with this madness.
During the last campaign, John McCain faced similar questions and promptly responded by releasing his original birth certificate.
Both of these statements are incorrect. Obama cannot release his “original birth certificate” and McCain did not release his “original birth certificate”. Both Obama and McCain released certified copies of their birth records. The “original birth certificate” is a document that is possessed by the legal entity responsible for maintaining vital records (typically a Registrar of Vital Statistics). All “birth certificates” that we possess aren’t birth certificates. Rather, they are certified reproductions of the birth certificate or certified copies of the information contained in the original birth certificate.
For example, I was born in Santa Maria, CA, just a month and a few days before Obama’s birth. My parents were originally given a Notification of Birth Registration. This only showed that the “Certificate of Birth” had been legally filed. It states, “a certified copy of the birth certificate may be obtained from your Local Registrar of Vital Statistics”
I have what is probably the first certified copy of my birth certificate. It cost my father $2.00–he paid by check about two months after my birth. The document has white print on black background, and is a photographic reproduction of the original (possibly duplicated from microfilm). There is a piece of paper attached to the reproduction that says, “This is to certify that the attached is a true and correct copy of the vital record which is on file in this office and of which I am the legal custodian.” It is signed and sealed by the Santa Barbara county health officer.
Let’s call this the “long form” certified copy of my birth certificate.
I also have a later certified copy of my birth certificate that was issued in 1992. This one is printed on fancy certificate paper with a blue engraved border and a red serial number. The document is titled, “Certification of Vital Record, Santa Barbara County.” In the middle of this very beautiful form is an ugly photographic copy of some of the birth certificate, this time black printing on a white background. The 1992 certified copy is missing a bunch of information that was found in the 1961 version, like my mother’s birth history, length of gestation, my mother’s last menstrual period, my birth weight, my length at birth, when prenatal care began, check-boxes to denote any congenital anomalies, injuries, complications of deliveries, “operation for delivery,” etc.
Huh…so that makes the 1992 certificate a “medium form” certified copy of my birth certificate. I wonder if birfers would accept a similarly abbreviated image for Obama? (I can only imagine: “Only God and Obama have no known weights or lengths at birth.”)
While I haven’t ordered a recent certified copy of my birth certificate, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to receive something without the image, but with the relevant legal information printed out. This is because some jurisdictions computerized their vital records, and did so in an era were computer data storage was expensive. Rather than scanning all original birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc. certificates as images (leading to big storage issues), they entered the relevant legal information into the computer as text. From there a certified vital record could simply be printed, which is is much easier than pulling out the microfilm, slogging through it to find the proper record, and then printing the record onto the certification form. Whence the modern “short form.”
But legally, all three forms—short, medium or long—provide the information necessary to establish citizenship.