I confess: I don't know what the Obama Administration's game plan is here.
It's clear that the decision to obtain, and release, a different form of birth certificate is a recent one. The decision seems to coincide with The Donald getting attention for bringing it up.
What are the possibilities?
1. Possibility: Obama has things to do and places to go, and wants to put this behind him, because it's a distraction from more important issues.
Problem: Nothing will silence the crazy people, a category that apparently includes Trump. They'll be on to some variation ("The certificate is a forgery") or diversion ("He still hasn't released his college records!") by the end of the day. It's foolish to think this will put anything to rest. Also, Obama is not doing anything that would make people like him more if they paid closer attention to it.
2. Possibility: Everything is shit, so Obama wants people distracted with media circuses, and wants people to focus on silly attacks on him rather than serious attacks on him.
Problem: This is my theory of why Obama has not released the "long-form" birth certificate before. He's been playing rope-a-dope and watching as meaningful criticisms get mixed up with nutty ones. But how does releasing the form now help this plan? He could have just kept ignoring it and allowing the dutifully shallow and fatuous media to keep it on the front page by poking Trump about it. Releasing the certificate locks him in to a particular kind of response to craziness. He could live to regret that when they demand his college applications or immunization records or something.
3. Possibility: Obama would love to run against Donald Trump in 2012, and is attempting to increase his prominence and credibility.
Problem: It's a attractive theory. (It's also a damned sad commentary on the state of the Republican party that it could work.) But it's also dangerous to the point of recklessness. Trump would be an awful candidate and an awful President. But, God help us, if the economy takes a bad bounce or there's a scandal or Obama talks more about guns and religion, this plan could backfire. In a world where people watch "Jersey Shore" voluntarily, that freakishly narcissistic bankruptcy-fetishist huckster could wind up with his finger on the red button. Invest in bunker-design futures.
What's your theory?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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