Monday, August 3, 2009

Get. A. Freakin’. Grip.

Twilight Zone Imagine, if you will, this scenario. (Thanks, Twilight Zone!)

Due to changing circumstances, you decide to relocate. You move out of your home state, and start anew elsewhere. Before you leave, you gather all documentation from your home town that you will need to make your transition easier. You know that even if you don't get everything you need, all documents are on record and can be easily accessed if you need them.

When you get to your new digs, you know that one of the first things you need to do is get a drivers' license. You love to read, so you know you want to get a library card. Since your new job involves a lot of travel, including overseas, you also need to apply for a passport. You do some research and find the requirements for all of these documents and licenses: proof of residence, proof of insurance, and in the case of your passport, you need your birth certificate. No worries, you've got your shit together and have everything at hand.

Your first stop is the the Post Office for your passport. You show them a couple of bills with your new address on them, and your driver's license from your previous state. You produce your birth certificate. The guy behind the desk looks everything over and says, "I'm sorry. This won't do."

You say, "What do you mean? I've got everything right here."

He says, "I need your birth certificate."

You give him a puzzled look, wondering if he's yanking your chain. "You've got it in your hand."

He says, "This says 'certificate of live birth.' I need your birth certificate."

By now, you're starting to get a little frustrated. "It's the same thing!"

He says, "No, it's not. One is a certificate of live birth. The other is a birth certificate. How is that the same? Besides, this doesn't look like my birth certificate."

Gritting your teeth, you say, "There is no national standardized birth certificate. Every state is different. This is what my state issued when I was born."

He says, "Whatever. I still need your birth certificate. Come back when you can show me that."

Stunned, you realize it's impossible to convince the man. You go home and think on it for a while, and come up with the brilliant idea of getting a copy of the newspaper that contained your birth announcement. You do a little online research, and for a small fee, you are able to access those archives and print out your announcement. Surely, you think, this in combination with my birth certificate, or certificate of live birth--whatever!--will do the trick, and maybe I'll get lucky and have a different guy tomorrow.

No such luck. Same guy, and as soon as you walk in, he's giving you the stink-eye. "You again. Do you have your birth certificate this time, or are you going to waste my time...again?"

"Well, sir," you say, "I still only have my certificate of live birth. There really isn't another--this is the real deal. See the official seal there at the bottom? I found a little more information, though, and I think this will convince you." You triumphantly produce the printout of your birth announcement, and lay it on the desk in front of him.

"What's this?" he asks.

"It's from the local newspaper where I was born. It's my birth announcement."

He laughs heartily. "Son, this doesn't prove diddly-squat. Anybody with half a brain can make a mockup of a birth announcement and print it out."

" can go online and look it up in the archives yourself! It's not a fake printout--it came from the paper!"

He stops laughing. "You know what? You seem like a decent enough guy, and I'm going to give you a break. I'm going to send this application through, but let me tell you one thing: I still don't really believe these pieces of paper. I think you're making it up, or you paid somebody off to try to make it look real. You're not fooling me, but I'm not going to keep you from getting your passport, because you need it to do your job. But mark my words, son. Not everyone is going to be as forgiving as I am. There may come a time when you remember my words, and will wish that you could get your hands on your birth certificate. Don't come cryin' to me about it, because I'm trying to help you here." He stamps your application as Approved and places it in his outgoing box. "Now go on, get out of here."

You manage to close your open jaw and mutter "Thank you, sir," turn and walk out. As you look back on the surreal encounter, you realize that you have just made a narrow escape from...the Twilight Zone.

Obama's birth certificate Such is the lunacy of the Birfer or Birther folks, those who believe that President Obama is not eligible to be President because he has not produced his birth certificate. He has. They just don't believe that it's valid. As Leonard Pitts put it in his excellent column on the matter, "Yours truly lacks the acumen to calculate how stupid you'd have to be to believe there is a shred of a shred of a piece of a fraction of validity to their claim."

I suppose that you can forgive the poor workin' joe (I wonder if Joe the Plumber is on board with the Birthers?) who doesn't have the capacity to comprehend the truth of the matter, but how to explain some GOP lawmakers who are still apparently unconvinced? Or a CNN talking head who although he says he believes Obama is a citizen, keeps asking for proof? As my fictional bureaucrat says, mark my words, GOP. Distance yourself from this lunatic fringe, or risk being known as the party of wingnuts. There is no logic to this strange story, and I can only speculate that for whatever reasons (racist? stubbornness? idiocy?) they simply cannot accept that Obama won the election and is now their President. It's time to straighten your tinfoil caps, put this baby to bed, and look to your future. The credibility of your party depends on it.


  1. You are definitely funny and I am totally amused. This is brilliantly done; I love the Twilight Zone scenario. I checked out my own birth certificate and it also lacks the words "birth certificate" and instead has "certificate of live birth" at the top. I wonder if any of these birfers have looked at their own birth certificates. I suspect that quite a few of them aren't natural born. After all, it just isn't natural to spend all of this time obsessing about the president's birth certificate.

  2. Hi Beth,
    Well said. Lord only knows where this whole "birther" line of attack was conceived. C-Street House?!?

  3. After moving to Smallville, I, too, underwent the "that is not a birth certificate" when I tried to get a driver's license.
    It was maddening for me then, and this Birther BS is maddening to me now.

  4. I knew the minute I saw the Twilight Zone image what your post was going to be about. There are so many nut jobs in the world these days that I'm starting to be ashamed of being a human being. Here in very RED Oklahoma, our very own Senator Inhofe is buying into this birther nonsense. He said “I believe those people who are concerned about his birth certificate, about whether he is a citizen and qualified … I encourage them to do that." Nice sentence structure, Jim! None of this surprises me much, and I'm trying hard not to be too infuriated about it.

  5. hehe! Funny stuff! If I hadn't seen for myself that these "birfers" exist, I'd have thought you were writing pure fiction. But holy cow, they really are out there. And I mean "out there"! hehe!

    I can only conclude that it's raw racism/bigotry driving this insane and intellectually deficient crowd. Of course, if someone has some rational explanation for their idiocy then I'm really keen to hear it, but so far I've only heard the birfer cry uttered by people who are profoundly idiotic. ;)

  6. I think shock therapy is in order, we hook up all the talking heads, and every time the mention the birfer issue, we get to press the button and give them a zap :o)

  7. so if logic follows, since obama has the same 'certificate of live birth' as everyone else boor in HI, does that mean they are all in the same boat together regarding the status of their citizenship??????

    is their any correlation between being a birther and being born again or is that just me trying to stretch something farther then it needs to go....


  8. Ken's suggestion is the best one I've heard so far!

  9. you'd think they'd have something with more substance to go after Obama with. Whining about a birth certificate how many months after he was legally elected is all they got?

  10. Really enjoy your blog.........he really needs to move on........ Sherry

  11. Uh ... lessee here ... I have been told that there IS a difference and have had to produce a birth certificate with a raised seal from my state of birth.

    Apparently, that is a big difference. My certificate of birth has a different name from my birth certificate ... so guess which one is a 'family' name, known only to a few in that loop and what is my legal name.

    So, while I am not sure about the entire episode, because there were so many other points where he had to be a citizen to qualify for 'whatever', I do think there is a difference.

    If he has produced only one, then he should produce the other. It matters in passports, it matters in signing into the service, it matters in international sports.

    What ever the reason, IT MATTERS. So, what ever needs to be done to squash the matter, needs to be done. It hasn't been, so the matter is kept alive.

    This is the same kind of crap the Democrats did when the Swift Boat guys came and got Kerry. Freakin' do something!! I believe the Birthers are 'out there', but darn it, there is enough ammunition to make something of it.

    Hell ... now I WANT to see him prove it ... and I am on his side!! The democrats are such pantywaits ... oh, they are silly and will just go away because they are such loonies ...

    ... that will elect Sarah Palin to Pennslyvania Ave. in 2012, if they can't do what they need to do ..!

  12. I have to agree this is getting tiresome and really needs to be put to rest. There are much bigger issues which need to be focused on at this time. Very clever entry Beth.

  13. Mine actually says birth certificate, but trust me when I say, NO ONE would want me as president. I'm just glad that little requirement has kept Schwarzenegger from being my president. Even my ex-bf's gung-ho, birth to death, Republican family thinks the birth certificate issue with Obama is silly. I don't know anyone who admits to finding this a concern, yet it continues on.

    Honestly, I felt this way about issues with other Pols too, both Republican and Democrat, when they focus on little dopey things like this it certainly seems they don't have anything bigger to complain about, which is a compliment to the man. ~Mary

  14. Just point their curious little eyes to the statement regarding prima facie evidence.

    Obama is under no legal obligation to produce his birth certificate to any collection of brainless strangers. I know I don't wave mine around to people on the street. Why should he?

  15. Let's face facts. Obama is NOT a citizen of the US because Hawaii is not really a state. And neither are you, with your "Certificate of Live Birth." That only means you were alive when you were born, it doesn't make you a citizen. In fact there are no US citizens because the United States isn't even a country, it's a colony of the British Empire. Everyone knows that. There is firm, indeputable evidence that the Declaration of Independence is a phony and that those signitures were forged. This entire conspiracy will soon come to light and it will be seen how much of this continent is owned and controlled by The Bank of England. Henceforth, if you want a birth certificate it will have to be a British Certificate of Live Birth. As for Obama he is the duly elected colonial president of Elizabethland.


  16. For the record, the great state of Louisiana (which is actually a colony of FRANCE, DB. The middle of the country is NOT part of Elizabethland because no one can prove the check didn't bounce!) issued a "Certificate of Live Birth" when Miss Ginger made her entrance into the world. And it has a raised seal. And I have a passport, which I got with no troubles.

  17. I'm in WI. Can I haz Canadian citizenship now, dammit?

  18. I remember a friend who's birth certificate said Katherine and her driver's license said Kathy. The wanted some other form of identification to tell if she was Katherine or Kathy.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?