A couple of days ago, while the wingnuts were trying to make an issue out of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, I wrote,
One might argue the Obama campaign ought to just release the mystery birth certificate to put the rumors to rest. But you know that would just set off a new round of rumors. Some rightie blogger would question the authenticity of the birth certificate, and that very evening Sean Hannity would look into a Faux Nooz camera and intone, why did Barack Obama release a forged birth certificate? Questions are being asked, after all.
Today Kos, who should have known better, posted a birth certificate for Obama without documenting how he got it. Big mistake. I assume it’s authentic, but it’s a big mistake to have played their game and posted it, anyway, especially without provenance.
Already people like this idiot, who apparently has little experience with resized .JPEGs (the distortion he finds suspicious is something I’ve seen a lot in graphics I’ve worked with. I don’t know what causes it but it’s not an indication of photoshopping, in my experience), insinuating the birth certificate is fabricated.
There’s also a certificate/certification flap at Suitably Flip (“Kos Tries To Pass Off Obama’s Birth Certification As Birth Certificate“). Children, if you have a copy of your birth certificate around — a notarized one as needed to get a passport or for other stuff — what does it say? Does it say “certificate” or “certification”?
I dug mine out of a file and lo, it says “certification.” Yet it’s still what is commonly known as a “birth certificate” and, as it is notarized, it’s a legal document that will fill the bill whenever anyone asks me for my “birth certificate.”
The “birth certificate” document that was issued to my parents when I was born has a lot more stuff on it. I have seen it, but I don’t know what happened to it or even if it still exists. But typically (I’ve retrieved birth certificates for my children, born in Ohio and New Jersey, over the years also), what you get if you ask a state for a “birth certificate” is the simplified, notarized “birth certification.”
However, the wingnuts will dance around with the certificate/certification thing for a while and try to make an issue out of it. Just watch ’em.
And this is exactly the sort of thing that I predicted would happen if the birth certificate became public, which is why I said there was no point making it public.
The fact is what we are looking at is trap…the same stupid one the Republican operatives been using for two decades. They create a dilemma:
If you don’t answer their inane questions, it’s an argument from ignorance based inference that something is being hidden. Gotcha.
If you do respond to debunk it, then (just like with Intelligent Design) they simply repeat, repeat, repeat the accusation while ignoring the evidence refuting it. The fact that there is now a “serious disagreement” involving a Presidential candidate shows that it is a serious topic to be reported on widely and the fair and balanced way to present the story is “some say this is true, but slimy politician worried about getting votes denies it.” Gotcha.
Further, once you’ve shown you’ll play their silly little game, they’ll deluge you with made up accusations to tie you up and make sure you can’t stay on message. They will work hard to use up all the oxygen in the room — gotcha.
And so on. The only way to respond is to turn the tables on them and slam them back. If they trap us into perpetually playing defense to their offense, we lose.
Update: See Jack and Jill Politics.