Was Barak Obama born in one of the United States?
MJM weighs in, perhaps with a different twist, and an assessment from personal experience.
Question: Was Barak Obama born in one of the United States?
Answer: I don’t know. This is not a cop-out. I lack sufficient information—as does almost every other person on either side of the controversy—to form an opinion one way or the other. Scoffers at the birthers: You don’t know either. Birthers: the level of proof some of you demand is not practically realistic. However, see the section below on the “original birth certificate.”
I was surprised to learn, when I applied for a passport, that the only “birth certificate” I had ever possessed was not an official birth certificate at all. My “original” birth certificate turned out to be what was commonly issued in that era: a “hospital birth certificate.” It had an impressive gold seal. It was certificate-sized, on heavy paper, and signed by someone certifying I had been born, and in America, too. However, as the State Department pointed out to me when they declined to issue me a passport, my original birth certificate is a “hospital birth certificate.” I had no idea, never before having been asked to produce a birth certificate. Maybe the Army did. I don’t remember. Long time ago. Turns out, what I thought was my birth certificate is pretty much a souvenir, with no official standing at all. From a lawyer’s point of view, it is evidence that I was born then and there, but it would be hearsay. I could testify that Momma gave it to me, and that I had possessed it for years, but I don’t even remember when I first touched it.
Question: What is an “original” birth certificate?
Answer: That varies by state. The various states’ departments of vital records may keep the official birth records. Sometimes, the counties keep the records. When you request proof for some reason, the government records custodian issues a “certificate” which is a statement by that official, certifying that the record shows your birth. I think now most states issue the parents a certificate upon receiving the original application, together with receipt of the appropriate proof from the hospital. I have no idea what happens if you are born in the back seat on the way to the hospital, or the old way—at home. I believe that what makes a certificate “original” is that it is issued in close proximity to your birth. The first such certificate issued, perhaps only a week after your birth, would be your “original” birth certificate. Every other certificate issued after that is a government employee’s statement that the state’s records show you were born.
Example: The only official, state record, birth certificate I have was issued only a couple of years ago. If I were called on to prove where and when I was born, I would be hard-pressed. There are just not any eyewitnesses left, that I know. While each of us was present at our respective births, neither I—nor Barak Obama—possessed the capacity to know we were born.
So, if you are trying years later to prove where and when you were born, this can be problematic.
- Only a handful of people involved in this debate on either side know where Barak Obama was born.
- Cries for an “original birth certificate” may be mis-directed.
- Most people will have been given an early-issued birth certificate, by their parents.
Now that someone has produced what appears to be a birth certificate issued 4 days after the presidential birthday, just where the hell was it all this time and why did Barak Obama not simply produce it? Who had it? Where was it “found?” By behaving this way, instead of simply proving his constitutional qualification to hold his office, the president has inflamed suspicions that he is The Manchurian Candidate.
The three bullet points above are why MJM has been silent on this issue. Anyone who asked me whether I thought he was born in the US got the same, honest answer: “I don’t know. How would I know? The Constitution states the eligibility requirements, and it is up to the candidate to prove his qualifications.”
Therefore, I do not take the position that Barak Obama is a foreign-born, constitutionally ineligible fraud. Neither do I mock those who question. I think it is a reasonable inquiry of any candidate for the office. The political parties could do all of us a service by covering this, first.