I maintain that Obama was born in the United States, but this is why I supported Arizona’s “birther law.” Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer vetoed that law and is now saying she finds birtherism to be “destructive” and a distraction.
I think it would be less so if the states had laws requiring the candidates to prove their constitutional eligibility, thus nipping these conspiracy theories in the bud before they get to this point.
Still, in the USA TODAY poll, only 38% of Americans say Obama definitely was born in the USA, and 18% say he probably was. Fifteen percent say he probably was born in another country, and 9% say he definitely was born elsewhere.
The impulse here is to blame the conspiracy mongers keeping this thing alive, but how much culpability does Obama have in all this? Releasing the long-form birth certificate (or whatever it is the birthers want) would be a simple enough move. By not releasing it, by essentially playing coy on the whole thing, they keep wind in the sails of the USS Conspiracy Theory.
That’s politically convenient, I think, in that it allows Obama to cast himself as a victim of silly nut jobs. But we should also be sure to give Obama his due for leading these people on.