Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Do It, Mr. President


“President Obama was in Hawaii for his Christmas vacation when Hawaii’s Governor Abercrombie said he wanted to find Obama’s birth certificate,” I said to the class. We were reviewing stories in the news after we returned from our week-and-a-half-long Christmas vacation.

“The New York Times reported on Christmas Eve,” I continued, “that: ‘Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, who befriended President Obama’s parents when they were university students here, has been in office for less than three weeks. But he is so incensed over “birthers” — the conspiracy theorists who assert that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and was thus not eligible to become president — that he is seeking ways to change state policy to allow him to release additional proof that the president was born in Honolulu in 1961.’”

“How can they say Obama’s not eligible to be president?” asked a boy. “He is the president, isn’t he?”

“Yes,” I said. “However, some people insist he was born in Kenya, Africa where his father lived. Such people are called “birthers” by the New York Times and others who think they’re nuts.”

“What do you think?” asked a girl.

“I’ve been hearing that story since before Obama was elected, but I’m skeptical. When I read that local newspapers reported on Obama’s birth in Honolulu back in 1961, I figured it must be true and stopped giving serious attention to the “birthers.” The skepticism had died down when Abercrombie called attention to it again. I hope he finds it and clears this up. If anyone can do it, I imagine the governor can. Of course, President Obama could do it too and I’m not sure why he doesn’t.”
“Have any of you had to get a copy of your birth certificate?” I asked. Several hands went up.

“I had to get one to prove how old I was for a Babe Ruth game,” said a boy.

“I had to get one so I could get a passport,” said a girl.

“I had to get one so I could visit someone in jail,” said another girl.

“So lots of people have to produce birth certificates for lots of reasons,” I said. “ “What if they find out that President Obama wasn’t born in the USA?” asked the girl. “What would happen then?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s never happened before. Let’s hope we don’t have to figure that out. To see what the Constitution says about this, turn to page 879 in your textbooks.” I gave them a few minutes and said, “Look at Article 2, Section 1, Number 5 of the Constitution where it says ‘Qualifications.’ Could someone read that please?”

“‘No person except a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible for the office of president; neither shall any person be eligible for that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident in the United States,’” read a boy.

“Thank you,” I said.

“That’s all you need to be president? he asked.

“Yup. That’s all,” I said.

Two weeks later, I put a story up on the screen with an LCD projector. It was an article from the London Daily Mail with the headline: “Hawaii governor claims record of Obama's birth 'exists in archives' but can't produce the vital document." “Remember when we discussed this a couple of weeks ago?” I asked. “The story here says: ‘[Governor Abercrombie] told Honolulu's Star-Advertiser: 'It actually exists in the archives, written down,' he said. But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama's birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate. And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.’”

“So now what?” asked a girl. “Will he have to resign?”

“I doubt it,” I said. “The so-called ‘birthers’ will continue to grumble, I guess. The article says: ‘[Abercrombie] acknowledged the birth certificate issue would  have 'political implications' for the next presidential election 'that we simply cannot have.’ So Obama’s friend Governor Abercrombie thinks it may hurt the president politically when he faces reelection in 2012 if he doesn’t come up with a birth certificate before then. People may think: ‘I have to produce a birth certificate when I’m asked. Why doesn’t the president?’”

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really????

If you can't come up with anything to write, why write?

Maybe your next column will be on "Death Panels"!


lol

1/25/11, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing we are sure of is that Mr Obama exists, therefore we can probably say he was born.

I would like to know the truth but seems it is not forth coming.

However Tom, you are making the kids think and actually read the Constitution both of which will help make them good citizens. Keep up the good works.

1/25/11, 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - you are doing your job of educating young people by making them research and think about our country and its governing documents. Is that so bad? Producing genuine documentation of his birth as we all have to do when requested is not too much to ask.

1/25/11, 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the birth certificate for yourself:

http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate

1/25/11, 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

To the last Anon..give it up. It doesn't matter if Birthers see the certificate or hear that it was indeed verified by authorities. It wouldn't matter if Obama, as he has joked, walked around with the birth certificate stapled to his forhead.

Facts are just facts.

Birthers believe in way more powerful things....speculation, rumor, and gut intuition.

1/25/11, 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: How many birthers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None, they prefer being in the dark.

1/25/11, 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work as usual, Tom. I'm hoping that sometime soon you can get to other matters that the Mainstream Media avoid like the plague, like maybe a column on the very real possibility that Obama is a Muslim mole, implanted to bring down our country. That would explain the newspaper that came out in Hawaii at the time of Hussein's birth that announced his parents had a baby boy in Hawaii. It would have been easy to get it printed in the paper without verification, right? Perhaps the Muslims were clever enough to cover their tracks and make it look like he was a natural born citizen so they could groom him in Kenya and later get him into power. Another good investigative report would be digging deeper into the Death Panels. I've heard that they are secretely rounding up "enemies", many of them members of the Tea Party and forcing them to have lobotomies. Also, a word of caution. Do NOT listen to the State of Union tonight. Proof has come out of advanced subliminal messages being used that will turn listeners into communists. Thanks for the great patriotic work you do.

1/25/11, 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Irregardless NH said...

Next stop for Tom:

Does the Earth revolve around the Sun, or vice versa?

YOUTH WANTS TO KNOW!!

1/25/11, 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Tax Cheat Timmy G. said...

Who is "Youth?"

1/25/11, 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to ponder why he won't produce the document.

For an interesting take on who our presidential family may indeed be check out the following link. Check out the pictures of Barak/Michelle and the Egyptian busts of Ahknatin.

http://thefreemanperspective.blogspot.com/2009/02/barackhnaten-and-renaissance-tiye.html

1/25/11, 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article. Who is Barry Sotero? I firmly believe that we as a country made a big mistake back in the election of 2000. Please try to remember that debacle with as much objectivity as you can---it seems to me that we let George Bush steal the presidency. He lost the popular vote, and, due to the antiquated and superfluous "electoral college" he won. Sure, it didn't hurt to have a brother governing the state that just couldn't figure out how to vote. The media was blinding us with mentions of "dangling chads" while chuckling. To this day it embarrasses me to think that people did not take to the streets in protest of what was an obvious farce.

The election catastrophe of 2000, I believe, has led to election of a President who may not actually be a citizen of this country. It proved that the people in this country are too easily pacified with reality teevee and buying things. The corporate takeover of this country is complete and Barry Sotero is suspect.

1/25/11, 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous:

Again, see the document for yourself (not giving up yet!):

http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate

1/25/11, 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Please tell me your joking...Let me guess this straight--(btw, did you read the article?) the Governor of Hawaii cannot seem to find this document, but your tellin' me it exists on the internets!! Yee-Haw!

No. One. Has. Found. The. Birth. Certificate.

1/25/11, 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike G said...

The governor of Hawaii, Obama's friend, can't find Barry's Birth Certificate?

Obviously the great right wing conspiracy STOLE Barry's birth certificate.

Tone down your speech Tom or you might cause a mass murder somewhere

1/26/11, 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seem to be many conflicting opinions here, sir.

1/26/11, 7:15 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Yes, indeed. Looks like a hot-button issue.

David Gregory, host of "Meet the Press" and staunch liberal last Sunday verbally accosted Congressman Eric Cantor. Gregory was indignant that "the right" questions Obama's claim of being "natural born." He was unhinged in his criticism of those who question and insisted that Cantor condemn them, which he was reluctant to do.

Now Arizona and several other states are debating proposed statutes about what is required for Obama's, or anyone else's names to appear on the 2012 presidential ballots unless proper documentation is forthcoming.

The issue is re-emerging strongly after Abercrombie's efforts to clear it all up only made it more problematic, and it's driving liberals crazy.

1/26/11, 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Driving liberals crazy? It seems to be driving you and the other far right crowd crazy....I'm laughing. The fact that you people don't have anything better to talk about while the country has so many problems that need fixing is quite pathetic. Is it because you know Right can't round up any decent candidate and the only way you can see winning the White House is this desperate ploy?

Good luck with that...lol

1/27/11, 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

A "hot button issue"?

Maybe in the world of Faux News and the wacky Beck, Rush crowd, but I wouldn't know. If I want to see fake, funny news I now watch the Onion News. In the real world, though, this issue is LONG forgotten along with other fabricated stories such as death panels. Come up for a breath once in a while from the propaganda you watch and see what is really going on!

1/27/11, 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh, I am stumped here folks...
It seems like a no-brainer--if you have the evidence why not produce it?

I think it is that simple.

BTW---Barry Sotero's, I mean Barak Obama's role with the UN is a first for a US president--check it out for yourselves

1/27/11, 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

He HAS produced it. State officials have verified it and a digitally scanned copy was put online for all to see. Why should Obama bother himself anymore with the matter, he will NEVER be able to satisfy the looneys who would cry "forgery" if they had the document in their own hands. Move on, there are much more important matters to worry about.

1/27/11, 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/01/anderson_cooper_birther

My RA showed me this earlier in the year. It's long, but PLEASE watch it. It's worth a chuckle, at the very least.

1/27/11, 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

http://www.salon.com/news/
politics/war_room/2010/12/01
/anderson_cooper_birther

Sorry about that, this website has weird formatting.

1/27/11, 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea those democrats in Hawaii have! Making a new bill that makes it legal to release Obama's birth certificate for anyone who wants it for 100$

Shut up the birthers and take their money at the same time!

1/28/11, 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Sami Gay said...

Tom, I would like to see your degree. Based on the evidence (your ignorant ramblings), I don't believe you meet the qualifications to be a teacher.

1/29/11, 7:59 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Anonymous Whomever,

I showed my students that short form birth certificate you linked to. Thanks for publishing the link.



Other Anonymous Whomever,

One person says she's seen it. One of the links above is to the Honolulu Advertiser which states:



"Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai'i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai'i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai'i and is a natural-born American citizen," Fukino said in a statement. "I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008, over eight months ago."



It also states that President Obama or his designee can get copies of the other form(s) Dr. Fukino claims to have seen. He could do so and publish them. I wish he would.

The controversy presented me an opportunity to show my students what is in Article II of the Constitution and make it more interesting than it otherwise would have been. It's been good for one thing at least.



Sami Gay:
KMA.

Alex,


I checked out the link. Thanks. That Texas state rep wasn't too bright. I hope he was embarrassed. He was almost a wizened straw man though. I wonder if Cooper set him up, like: "Okay. Here's a lame-brain I can use as a representative of the birthers and skewer him publicly."

It's a fringe issue, but there are more articulate spokespeople for it out there.

1/30/11, 7:47 AM  
Anonymous pinko said...

Only white guys can be presnit.

2/3/11, 9:11 PM  

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