RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., April 27, 2011 – In a power play best suited for “bad TV,” President Obama finally produced the birth certificate that has been “raising the hair” of so many people … Donald Trump included. Was this a great strategic move, or was it more indicative of the state of decay into which our political system has fallen?
The President said, “This issue has been going on now for two, two and a half years now, and I have to say that over the past two and a half years I have watched with amusement, I have been puzzled by the degree to which this thing kept on going.”
First of all, this issue has been going on for over three and a half years. But who’s counting when it can contribute to such a monumental waste of time and money? Lawsuits have been filed to force the President to produce the record because some other apparently frivolous document known as the Constitution seemed to require it. Yet, our “transparent” President has found the time, money, and energy to battle the release of his birth certificate … until now.
Secondly, let’s clear up President Obama’s puzzlement. A birth certificate is a fairly easy document to obtain. We all have one and have had to produce it at one time or another to secure a driver’s license, passport, etc. It’s difficult to understand why it would take the Leader of the Free World three and a half years to come up with a copy of his … given the enormous resources he has at his fingertips.
The President, who is known for his penchant for apologizing for our Nation’s arrogance, has been quite dismissive of the need to put an end to this discussion in the past. In an attempt to exhibit some modicum of common sense, the White House finally took the necessary steps to answer the challenge this week because, as the President said, he has “better stuff to do.”
It took a whole week to close a wound that has been allowed to fester for three and a half years! Why couldn’t it have been addressed earlier? Is this the first time that the President has had “better stuff to do”?
Perhaps it was because of the old adage “All press is good press.” It kept the President’s name “in lights” and allowed supportive pundits to demean those “ignorant birthers” who kept raising the issue.
Perhaps it was being strategically withheld to use during the President’s second-term campaign (much like an “immunity idol” on Survivor). Then, it could be used to disparage any serious challenge to the President’s reelection. If that is the case, he almost certainly wasted it on Donald Trump.
Donald Trump’s viability as a candidate falls somewhere in between Sarah Palin’s and Levi Johnston’s (should the latter choose to run instead of publishing a new book that we can only hope comes with crayons). Like her or not, you at least know where Ms. Palin stands. Someone ought to make a political weathervane in “The Donald’s” image. He has changed his political “beliefs” more radically than a Clinton with fresh poll numbers.
Mr. Trump is better suited to serve as Secretary of the Interior. On several occasions, President Obama has declared that the federal government has 14,000 buildings it needs to liquidate. Surely, Donald Trump has the experience to get the job done. Maybe we can even get a few new casinos out of the deal.
Besides, Mr. Trump already has a nice helicopter and plane with his name on them. He doesn’t need Air Force One or Marine One. Why go to the trouble of having an election to replace one narcissist with another? Isn’t it about time we put someone with common sense in the office?
In all honesty, Donald Trump’s focus was partially right; he merely picked the wrong record. President Obama isn’t vulnerable on the record of his birth … he’s vulnerable on his record as a Senator and President.
When he ran against George W. Bush in the last election (oh, come on, you know that’s who he really ran against), he derided the former President for his budgetary incompetence, for petitioning to raise the debt ceiling above $9 trillion (as compared to the $14.3 trillion where it stands today), and for invading foreign countries. What a difference a few years make!
But at least President Obama has closed Guantanamo, eliminated lobbyists, worked hard to secure bipartisan support, demonstrated his leadership by accepting responsibility for everything that has occurred during his tenure, and established a whole new level of “transparency” in Washington, D.C. … except for the birth certificate thing!
In fairness, the President is right about moving forward on more relevant issues when he says, “We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers.” His Press Secretary, Jay Carney, dutifully concurs.
“Step right up everyone. See the President’s genuine birth certificate. Copies are available in our gift shop for only $25 apiece. Help stimulate the economy. Buy two and get a free photo of President Obama with glow-in-the-dark eyes.” You’re right, Mr. President, we’re not going to be able to address the substantive issues of our time “if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers.” So, the next time you’re confronted by a meaningless issue that can be settled by a simple phone call, demonstrate the leadership to get the job done. Leave the sideshows to the television celebrities who need the ratings. After more than half of your term in office, you’re not The Apprentice anymore.
T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.
This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.