I wrote a piece earlier wishing this controversy would go away. I still wish it would.
If the President is an honest to goodness American-born citizen, then birtherism is a needless distraction from the real issues confronting the country and a waste of the opposition’s resources (time, energy, money, political oxygen, etc). If the President wasn’t a natural born citizen of the US —- and I highly, highly doubt he was not —- then the country will be faced by a Constitutional controversy without which we would be much better off.
Imagine, on the heels of Clinton’s impeachment and Bush v. Gore, that we were faced with the second Democratic President in a row facing possible expulsion from the Oval Office at the hands of a Republican Congress!?
Of course, if we ever had any rock solid evidence that Obama is not Constitutionally eligible to be President, maintenance of the rule of law would seem to demand action – and yet be resisted by many as an anti-democratic/anti-Democratic partisan upholding of an archaic law. We’d be faced with upholding the Constitution against the democratic wishes of the 2008 electorate or shirking the law in the name of democracy and (so-called, not by me) modern understandings of what the requirements of the Presidency should be. Add partisan interests and the heated debate will further erode confidence in the American system of government and law no matter which side wins on the narrow point.
For the good of the country, I wish a nice original Hawaii birth certificate would end this controversy once and for all. I know – as Adam Smith cautioned – that there is a lot of ruin in a country. However, I’d like to see a bit less ruin in ours!
But shouldn’t judicious statesmen – apparently not Donald Trump who wants to put political and economic advantage over national interest – just put this to bed no matter where the truth lies (especially since the country isn’t going to be automatically any better off or more respectful of liberty under President Biden)? I’m not saying they should lie if they know or come to know otherwise. But how about following the lead of Colin Powell, who, when asked in the first Gulf War how many Iraqis had been killed, basically said he wasn’t really interested in knowing or looking to find out (which is not to say this was the right approach in that case).
So what do you think should happen if the nightmare scenario of the appearance of relatively rock solid proof did arise? Is there a good way out of such a problem since impeachment/acquittal (as happened last time) would make a mockery of the rule of law and the Constitution in the face of solid proof (and expulsion would have the aforementioned negative consequences)?
Fortunately, I don’t think such proof in that direction will ever be found. More likely is the status quo or even the eventual demise of anything but fringe birtherism.