Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Born Down in a Dead Man's Town

…or at least in Oahu, which I’m told is gorgeous and I’m sure Springsteen has never written a song about.  So consider the title of this article my final tribute to the birthers; just like them, I refuse to let the truth or even a good dollop of common sense get in the way of some prime snark.  I’ve long suggested that Obama missed a great fundraising opportunity with all of this nonsense: back around the time of his election, when he was still popular, he should have printed and sold t-shirts of his birth certificate.  $20 a pop, proceeds headed straight to reducing the deficit.  It would have been exactly the kind of new idea I and others voted for him in order to see enacted; change we could believe in, as the saying went, with a nice side order of middle finger for the bigots and/or tea party numbskulls.

On a purely theoretical level, I get why it’s taken Obama this long to release his long-form birth certificate: the very idea that he is somehow not a legitimate American citizen is ludicrous, and I’m sure he felt he needn’t stoop so low as to acknowledge it.  Unfortunately for him, that’s simply not the way of the world; instead of just getting it out of the way, we have now wasted years of public discourse on pure idiocy rather than real issues.  The idealist in me hopes that this might finally be the end of this ridiculous chapter and that we can now move on to more serious matters; the realist in me notes that even as he laughs in the face of the idealist, we’ve already got Donald Trump claiming the whole thing as a victory for himself, as well as the predictable shouts of “it’s a fake!”  In the immortal words of that great American thinker Eric Cartman, Jesus tap-dancing Christ…

I’m hardly an Obama apologist.  I think his complete disconnection with what the American people want and need coupled with his inability to function as an effective leader have been massively disappointing, and I also believe that if he doesn’t do something about gas prices soon, he can kiss whatever faint notion he might have of re-election goodbye.  There’s a lesson in all of that for his enemies (of which I’m not one, either; even at this late date, I love this country enough to hope he manages to pull it together): with all there is of substance about his performance to criticize, why continue to blather about something that has all the credibility of an Elvis sighting or an alien abduction?

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