To answer any question economic, foreign policy or political regarding President Obama one must only answer one question: What is good for Obama?
President Obama coughed up his birth certificate today. So, the question is: How is this good for Obama?
It has been my view that the "birther" issue turned bad for President Obama some time before the latest round in the press brought the issue to a head.
Here's the thing about rumors: If people like you, they won't believe even the most vicious gossip. Like a besotted lover, who refuses to see faults, a political supporter will just see all rainbows and bunnies.
When people start to dislike you, though, they'll believe every spurious and outrageous claim. Why? Because they're looking for evidence to support their changed belief.
Americans are looking for evidence to support their changed belief about President Obama. They once looked at their President adoringly. No Jeremiah Wrights, Bill Ayers, lack of college transcripts, lack of scholarly writing, lack of record, or lack of any sort of meaningful resumé would dissuade the public (and certainly not the lapdog press) from their devotion.
But it only takes so many smacks to the head at the gas pump and grocery store and job and bank to make people stop digging the guy who promised them everything. And I mean everything.
Liberals should know what playing with this sort of fire is like. They used it to great effect themselves. Remember the "Bush Lied, Babies Died!" chants? Yeah, well, to their chagrin, the ranting and raving didn't work at first and President Bush got reelected.
And then President Bush's second term came around. The press had hounded him (unlike how they cover for President Obama--who would have no approval ratings whatsoever, if the press were honest). The mantras started to work. People started believing that President Bush had lied about weapons of mass destruction. Worse, people believed that President Bush had knowledge of, or even planned the destruction wrought on 9/11. And many on the left still believe this. Why? They want to believe it--to justify their feelings about him.
Facts don't matter in the political world at the point when people want to believe ill of you. I'll repeat: Facts Do Not Matter.
People will add stupid evidence to smart evidence to substantial evidence. What they're looking for is evidence.
Americans, even people who would normally not fall for a rumor that President Obama wasn't born in Hawaii, started asking, "Yeah, why won't the President just release the stupid birth certificate? I have a birth certificate. This is no big deal. Why is he making a big deal?"
It is easier to ask outrageous questions about the President than it is to admit making a mistake about electing him to begin with. It's easier to believe you're deceived than to make a stupid decision.
President Obama is nothing if not a political beast. He knows, and has known, for a while now, that the birth certificate issue is not fun for him anymore. When he was wink winking away at his buddies in the media (winky wink Jounolist!), it was delicious making people look like fools. Aren't those right wing crazies crazy? Tee hee!!
President Obama was treating the issue like a juvenile. Unsurprising. He presides as a child.
The last two months, though, have been less fun. With his poll numbers diving and people wanting to be mad at him, President Obama decided to come out today.
Today is as good as any. He had more important information to stomp on--you know high level placements like Leon Panetta at the Defense Department whose first goal is cutting the budget. And even more interesting, David Petraeus moves to the CIA.
To say the timing was curious is an understatement — Obama thoroughly stepped on the news that he was nominating a new secretary of defense (Leon Panetta) and CIA chief (Gen. David Petraeus) by making an announcement that he could have made any time in the past two years or in the near or distant future.
Details. Andrew Malcolm elaborates:
So, here you go. Talk amongst yourselves about this birth certificate thing. While the president and his wife fly Air Force One all the way out to Chicago for the singular purpose of repaying a syndicated television show host who helped them in the crucial early campaign days of 2007.
And then, while you're still poring over the certificate and the silliness of the entire issue, the president will be flying Air Force One all the way back to New York City tonight for not one, not two, but three Democratic fundraisers. Including one that costing attendees more than 35G's.
To demonstrate his equanimity, Obama will also likely make a joke during those remarks about the silly birther issue, which will make him seem like a good-natured victim of these superficial clowns who've been chasing him to do what he well knew all along they would want him to do lo these many months.
What did President Obama talk about to the press today? His birth certificate. He could have stopped the nonsense at any time. He didn't because it served his purposes.
He put his birth certificate out there today. Why? It served his purposes. The birth certificate rumors no longer help President Obama.