By Bill Press
Tribune Media Services
In September 2002, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was walking out of a Beverly Hills hotel when Bart Sibrel, a leader of the nutty gang who believe the Apollo mission was actually faked in a Hollywood studio, confronted him.
“You’re the one who said you walked on the moon when you never did,” shouted Sibrel. When Aldrin politely asked him to step aside, Sibrel called him a “thief, liar, and coward,” whereupon the then-72-year-old Aldrin punched Sibrel in the face.
Good for Aldrin. But, compared to Barack Obama, he got off easy. At least Sibrel didn’t question the circumstances of Aldrin’s birth.
There may be a few “moonies” left, but for the most part “Birthers” have replaced them. Yes, they actually call themselves that: “Birthers.” That name alone proves they’re crazy.
According to the Birthers, Barack Obama is not the legitimate president of the United States because there’s no proof that he was born in the United States. Of course, neither was John McCain, but why compound one conspiracy with another?
Now, you might expect to encounter Birthers in the mountain hollows of West Virginia, but you actually don’t have to go that far. They can be found among some of the biggest names in radio, television, and the U.S. Capitol. Rush Limbaugh insists that Obama has “yet to prove that he’s a citizen.” CNN’s Lou Dobbs nightly asserts that the “question of Obama’s place of birth hasn’t been dealt with.” Ten Republican members of Congress have sponsored legislation requiring all future candidates for president to produce a valid birth certificate. And former Republican Majority Whip Roy Blunt, now running for U.S. Senate, told reporters: “What I don’t know is why the President can’t produce a birth certificate. I don’t know anybody else that can’t produce one. And I think that’s a legitimate question.”
The Obama birth conspiracy is even the subject of a new documentary produced by Joseph Farah, publisher of the conservative Website WorldNetDaily which, proving that it is “fair and balanced,” also publishes my weekly column.
Whoa! The president of the United States is not even an American citizen? That’s a pretty serious charge. What evidence have the Birthers produced to back up that inflammatory charge? None. Zip. Nada. Instead, they toss out a series of unsubstantiated claims: that Obama was born in Hawaii, which was not yet a state; that he was actually born in Kenya; that he refuses to release a copy of his birth certificate; that his mother was only 18 when he was born, and therefore didn’t qualify to give birth to an American citizen. See what I mean? They’re crazy, certifiable, crackers. And each of their claims has been soundly repudiated.
The fact that his father was Kenyan means nothing. Obama’s mother was an American citizen, therefore he became one automatically. But — here’s where the Birthers have no ground to stand on — even if she were not an American, it wouldn’t make any difference. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power … are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” (Today, that includes children of undocumented immigrants). And Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, two years after Hawaii had become a state.
What’s the proof of that? Over a year ago, the Hawaii State Department of Health, which handles electronic records only, posted a copy of Obama’s birth certificate online. Recently, in response to continued skepticism, Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino took the additional, unusual step of checking the actual files and reported having “seen the original vital records … verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen.” Not only that, the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin both printed birth announcements of a son born on Aug. 4 to Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama of 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu.
That should settle the matter once and for all. Except, of course, for the Birthers, who only believe what they want to believe. Despite substantial physical evidence, they steadfastly refuse to believe Barack Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital. Yet these are the same people who, with zero physical evidence, readily believe Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Too bad there aren’t any “wise men” among the Birthers.