Trust but verify.
It's good practice to take a person at his word until someone shows you proof he is lying.
Sure his grammar school records show that he was enrolled as an Indonesian Muslim, but some people will say anything to get their kid in the right school. It doesn't really answer the question.
It's OK though for others not to use my deferential standard and continue to question whether Obama was born in Hawaii. We aren't talking about a 12-year-old qualifying to play Little League here. There is a Constitutional mandate that the President be a natural-born citizen, and if Obama is not one, he certainly will have committed the biggest fraud since the White Sox threw the World Series.
The reason why people still question Obama's citizen status is one-fold: "President Transparency" has refused to release any original documents on the matter. He can end the controversy in a day by releasing original documents, but for some inexplicable reason he refuses, and his love-struck media never asks him why he won't. The media instead spends hell-bent hours on making the Birther movement look like fringy, conspiracy-hungry kooks.
You have to admit though, even if you are a devout Obama-bot, Obama's refusal to release any original documents makes for a newsworthy story by itself.
If he really wants the Birthers to shut up, he has the power to do it by releasing the original documents. Why not just do it then? It's a simple task. Why not get rid of a conversation that has been with America since the campaign?
The issue is the subject of several lawsuits, which only seek a peek at original documents. Can anyone explain why it is smarter for Obama to spend tens of thousands of dollars and man-hours defending the suits when he can win the lawsuit for free by showing the original documents?
By defending the lawsuits and not showing the documents, Obama feeds the suspicion of those who already think he is lying. That's why this issue has the power to linger, and that's Obama's fault alone.
Let's look at what Obama has released, and you will see they are hearsay documents and not best evidence.
The Birth Certificate: The certificate put on the Internet by Obama and held up by the media was created in 2007. In the lower left corner of the form there is reference to a Hawaiian statute that was revised in November of 2001, and if you look closely at the front you can see bleeding through from the back the date stamp from 2007 when the document was created. It's a certification that an original does exit.
So the the Birthers say: "Fine. Then show us the original." Obama says, "No." Why?
The Newspaper Announcements: Two birth announcements from Hawaiian local papers show Obama's birth. The Birthers have a couple of good arguments about them. First, Hawaii is where Obama's grandparents lived and it's not unusual for grandparents to announce a birth to their friends, even if the grandson lives elsewhere. Also, if Obama's parents lived in Hawaii then moved to Kenya when they birthed him, it wouldn't be unusual to announce the birth in the old neighborhood for friends to see.
The newspaper announcements cut against the Birthers, but they are hearsay documents and don't answer the citizen question any more than his grammar school records prove he is a Muslim. The original Birth Certificate will end it all.
School Records: The Birthers believe that Obama's records from college and graduate school will show he matriculated as a foreign born student. This is easy -- shut them up by releasing them! Obama's response? "No." Why?
This one reminds me of John Kerry not releasing his Yale records until after the election. During the campaign Kerry soaked in the warm media bath that swore he was the intellectual and George Bush the dolt. When the records came out later it was quietly reported that George Bush had a higher grade point average at Yale.
Media's penchant to cover for Democrat candidates fuels the Birther fire as well. See as an example John Edwards' love affair.
Financial Aid Records: Barack Obama relishes his own personal Sonia Sotomayor-like story of how he came from a broken home and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. But he refuses to show how his very expensive tuition at Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School were paid for.
The Birthers believe the records will show Obama received financial aid as a foreign born student. Obama says they won't. Not to sound like a broken record, but releasing the records will end the controversy, and Obama refuses. Why?
The Birther movement is Obama's fault for not releasing the records. I hope the Birthers continue to bite his ankles until he releases the records. He deserves nothing less.
Read more Tommy De Seno at www.JustifiedRight.com
Tommy De Seno is an attorney in New Jersey and contributor to Ricochet.com.