Birtherism is a silly distraction. Ethologists would call it “displacement behavior” in that it is nothing more than an expression of frustration by people who do not approve of Obama’s presidency, directed at an “issue” that is lateral to any valid point. The focus should be on his policies and actions (as with any politician) as Chief Executive, not on a semantic quibble about what “natural born” means. Following common birther “logic”, you could argue that someone who was delivered by cesarean-section is not “natural born” and therefore ineligible to be President. You could even go so far as to say anyone born with any aid whatsoever from modern medicine is not “natural born”, which is of course silly and clearly irrelevant.

Side bar I: isn’t it interesting and telling that the chief proponent and shrillest advocate of birtherism (Orly Taitz) is a Soviet-born dentist? Perhaps it’s her own legitimacy she is insecure about.

Side Bar II: conservatives are typically strong advocates of states’ rights and thereby oppose interference with states’ sovereignty. Hawaii has its own laws about what constitutes legal proof of birth on its soil, and the document they release to serve as this proof is their certificate of live birth, which was heretofore accepted by all other states and the Federal Government for all purposes requiring such proof. As many have pointed out, this was released in 2008. By refusing to accept this valid state-sanctioned document, birthers refuse to accept Hawaii’s sovereignty as a state. This is inconsistent with conservative principles.

Regarding the claim that Obama’s father’s Kenyan citizenship pertains: “America follows the English common law rule of ‘right of soil.’ In short, citizenship is determined by one’s place of birth. As such, those born in the U.S. or its territories (like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam), are American citizens regardless of their parents’ citizenship status.” (Legal Zoom)

Whatever you think of Obama as a person or a President, he is right to say that this foolish birther “issue” distracts us from the important job of addressing the real issues we face. If you don’t want Obama as President, challenge his policies and actions, and campaign and vote for someone else in the next election. Let this embarrassing birther childishness and sore-loserism go.

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