Flipping around on the internet, I found a few more stories disparaging "birthers" for questioning Pres. Obama's legal eligibility to actually be president of the US.
Now, I know that some of these Birthers are pretty far off the deep end when it comes to conspiracy theories and so on. They've clearly got other issues and are using the "birther" controversy to support them.
On the other hand, a lot of people are honestly wanting to know, and not buying the official responses?
Well, let's go back to the presidential election. It was claimed that one of the candidates was not eligible to be president because he was not born in the US and was therefor not a "natural born citizen." The accusation was half right. The Democrats were correct in saying the John McCain wasn't born in the US. He was born in Panama. Rather than make a stink about it, though, due process was used. A couple of months after Obama was sworn in, I happened to catch a news article stating the court's conclusion. It was ruled that McCain, having had 2 American citizens for parents, who's military father was posted in the Panama, who was born in a US military hospital on a US military base, was legally considered a "natural born citizen" of the US. One does not actually have to be born in the US to be a US citizen.
No big controversy. No hiding of records or sealing of files. No angry and indignant rebuttals against the accusers.
Compare this to the same accusation being made against Obama. Rather than following due process, a number of things happened. First, those raising the question were accused of racism. On top of that, Obama's records were sealed and no one was allowed to see his original birth certificate, which is apparently sealed in a vault in a hospital in Hawaii.
Now, I don't know how it's done in the US, but I have my official birth certificate in my wallet. I also have my kids' certificates in a safe place until they are on their own, when they will then be responsible for them. In Canada, every time birth is registered, a certificate is issued. There are specific rules about them, too. You're not allowed to laminate them, for example. My husband's birth certificate accidentally ended up in the wash with the rest of his wallet, and is barely legible. He currently keeps it in a plastic holder, where it is still removable, to protect it, but he legally cannot laminate it to keep it from deteriorating. If he wanted to replace it, there's a whole lot of bureaucratic red tape he would have to go through to get it done.
The thing is, if it is necessary for someone to see my official ID, I have my birth certificate on hand to show them. Proof, right there, of where and when I was born, with my full birth name. I find it surprising that the US doesn't have the same thing, which led to some initial confusion on my part when doubts about Obama's citizenship were first brought up.
So why are there still doubts, even though it has officially been stated that Obama is a "natural born citizen?"
Well, there's a few things. It may have been changed fairly recently, but the rules of citizenship in the US has been that for a single mother, her children have her citizenship, but if she's married, they would have their biological father's citizenship. Obama's biological father was Kenyan and, from what I've read, his parents were married when he was born, though I don't think they were when his mother became pregnant with him. When did those rules get changed, and is the change retroactive? I don't know. That should be a simple thing to clear up, though.
Then there's the date and place of birth question. Obama's Myspace page had his birthdate on a different year than what is now considered his official birth date. It could have been a typo, but if so, why was it there for so long, even after the controversy arose? It is also claimed he was born in Hawaii - but two different hospitals were listed. Meanwhile, his paternal grandmother claimed to have been present during his birth - in Kenya. Whatever the official story, Kenyans certainly consider him both Kenyan and Muslim (his faith being a whole different question).
Then we have the paperwork from when he attended school in Indonesia. A Catholic school, if I remember correctly, where he went to school under the name Soetero (his step-father's name) and was listed as both an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim.
All of these questions should have been simple to answer, had due process been followed, as it was when the same question of citizenship was raised against McCain. Why hasn't that happened?
The thing is, the more people (perhaps rightly) demonize the "birthers," the more they fuel the doubts. More people are questioning Obama's legal citizenship now, because of this refusal to just go through the process and answer the question through the courts, then when these accusations first came out.
Personally, I don't think a person has to be a "natural born" citizen to qualify for leadership of a country. In fact, I've seen far more people who are passionately interested in their adopted country's well being than people who were born there. I know my own parents have shown more pride and gratitude for their Canadian citizenship than most Canadians I've met who were born here, or who's families have been here for generations. There's a tendency to take the country of one's birth for granted, I think.
The US, however, has a requirement for their president to be a "natural born" citizen. If there is any question about that status, why attack the questioners? If McCain could follow due process and have his citizenship proved beyond any question, why won't Obama? Doing so would answer the question once and for all, to the satisfaction of all involved. A successful result would even allow the Democrats and Obama to rub the noses of Birthers in it, too.
Instead, the courts refuse to hear the challenges. Appeals are rejected.
That on its own creates more doubt than any official announcement stating otherwise. If Obama and his supporters want to end the Birther conspiracy theories, it could be easily done. Obama would be vindicated and the Birthers humiliated.
Unless, of course, it turns out the Birthers are right.