The political spam has really been flying lately. People are getting so emotionally into this election – so desirous to not just show a candidate to be the better choice of the two, but to choose one by demonizing the other – they will latch on to almost anything. For example, I received a bogus email about Obama’s, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. The email says Obama made the outlandish statements during the 7 September 2008 airing of Meet the Press, and we’re talking seriously crazy stuff here. Obama likes to go to flag burnings, wants to change the National Anthem to "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing," and all sorts of other stuff. He didn’t actually say any of it, of course. He wasn’t even on Meet the Press that day. No, the quotes were actually snatched directly from a satirical piece almost a year old. Seriously.
"Come on, people," I thought after hitting reply-to-all and sending out the snopes.com link above for the third time in one day, "Is that the best you’ve got?" Not to disappoint, I then got one labelling the owners of snopes.com as "flaming liberals." I wasn’t to believe anything the site told me – ever – because, well, because the spam said so, of course.
The day wasn’t a complete spam-waste, however. I got something a little different late in the afternoon. The subject line and pitch were typical ("This video could change the election. Please take ten minutes and watch it to the end." That sort of thing.), the intro guy obviously didn’t like Obama, and the interviewee came off a little nutty at first. Needless to say, this didn’t give me very high expectations. A few minutes in, though, I began to think there might actually be something weird going on.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. First, the video. It’s a good ten minutes long, but I can sum it up nice and easy for you: Phillip Berg has sued Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Committee stating Obama has not provided full documentation of being a "natural born citizen." Obama’s council has filed to have the suit dismissed based on legal technicalities. I looked around online and there was a lot about his birth certificate. Factcheck.org seems to have investigated that claim thoroughly. I don’t have the expertise to say whether or not it’s a fake, and Mr. Berg seems to think there’s a conflict of interest there, but the thing I really don’t understand is: If factcheck.org has handled this document and has posted pictures of it on the Internet and the DNC has done the same thing, why wouldn’t Obama submit it to the court rather than file for dismissal for other reasons? The campaign has to realize how this must look.
There are allegations about other documents being withheld, too – his medical and college records – documents that might show Obama to have been an Indonesian citizen as a child. According to Berg, Indonesia does not allow dual citizenships, and once you lose your natural born citizenship you can only get the citizenship part back (i.e., not the natural born part). Again, why not just provide these documents and get it over with?
I came up with a few possible reasons:
- There is something to hide that might bring his natural born citizenship into question.
- There is something unrelated to his natural born citizenship on the records that would be embarrassing – like failing Intro to Ethics or How to be PUSA 101.
- The technicality just seemed like the easiest way out.
- Obama wanted to make a point about the value of privacy.
I’m essentially optimistic, so it’s difficult for me to swallow the intentional hiding of heinous information (i.e., the first option), but the alternatives don’t seem any more likely. Am I missing something?
In the end, I must admit I wouldn’t be up in arms calling for Obama to step out of the race even if it is revealed his father had little Barry’s U.S. citizenship revoked. I would however, be concerned about Obama not being completely forthcoming. If there’s anything the government needs, it’s transparency.
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