[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Donald Trump was interviewed by phone by Greta Van Susteren yesterday and doubled down yet again on his Birtherism:
TRUMP: What does this have to do with race? This has absolutely nothing to do with race. The fact is that if you look at what's happened with respect to this birth certificate issue, he doesn't have it, he's spent millions of dollars on lawyers trying to get out of the issue, they give what's called a certificate of live birth, which doesn't even have a signature on it -- and anybody can get a certificate of live birth -- it's nothing to do with a birth certificate. And they are really reeling!All Trump is really doing is proving his stupidity and gullibility -- not exactly desirable qualities in a president. At the very least, he's demonstrating how clueless and out of touch a rich guy he really is.
Now, they talk all sorts of things. You don't have a doctor or a nurse -- this is the president of the United States, and no doctor, no nurse, nobody's come forward saying, 'I delivered that beautiful baby.' There's so many things!
Even if you look at the newspaper, the so-called newspaper article in Hawaii -- that was days after he was born! So, that wasn't like when he was born! And if you really think about a couple of things -- whoever took a newspaper advertisement -- now these were poor people. These aren't rich people. Whoever took a newspaper advertisement to announce the birth of your baby? Now, I don't think you know of anybody, and I know of nobody -- and I know poor people and rich people, but I've never heard of taking a newspaper ad to advertise that you have a baby.
Here's the newspaper birth announcement in question:
This is from FactCheck.org, which explains that a pro-Hillary/anti-Obama blogger first dug this up from the Honolulu Advertiser's archives of Sunday, Aug. 31, 1961.
This isn't an advertisement -- rather, this is a standard newspaper birth announcement. You see, in the old days, before large corporations took over newspapers and forced them to gradually eviscerate their newsgathering functions, newspapers sent out their cops-and-courts reporters about once a week to collect all the previous week's birth listings from local hospitals. (This practice has long since fallen by numerous newsroom-budget-cutting waysides.) In other words, the Advertiser announcement was collected by the paper itself and stands as independent corroboration that Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital.
The fact that Trump doesn't know of anyone who has their birth listed in the paper by anything other than an ad indicates how out of touch this rich man really is.
And while we're mentioning the young couple's poverty ... does Trump really believe that both Barack Obama Sr. and a very pregnant Stanley Ann Dunham-Obama were able to make what was in 1961 a long and difficult and expensive journey to Kenya for young Barack's birth, and then return in time for Barack Sr. to resume his fall classes in Hawaii?
As for why no doctor has turned up claiming to have overseen Obama's birth, well, that would be because he is dead. The doctor in question was Dr. Rodney T. West, a since-deceased obstetrician who told his friends about Obama's birth at the time in a memorable fashion -- memorable enough that they wrote it down, like his friend Barbara Nelson:
“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here’s the story: Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne. Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: “‘So, tell me something interesting that happened this week,’” she recalls.As for the "Certificate of Live Birth" Obama has presented since 2008, Trump is simply lying when he claims that "anybody can get" one; the state of Hawaii, in fact, only hands them out to people it can certify were born there. (The lack of a signature is utterly insignificant; many -- in fact, most -- states feature no signatures on their birth certificates.)
His response: “Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that’s something to write home about.”
The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.
“I penned the name on a napkin, and I did write home about it,” said Nelson, knowing that her father, Stanley A. Czurles, director of the Art Education Department at Buffalo State College, would be interested in the “Stanley” connection.
She also remembers Dr. West mentioning that the baby’s father was the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he was by the baby’s name.
“I remember Dr. West saying ‘Barack Hussein Obama, now that’s a musical name,’” said Nelson, who grew up in Kenmore and went to Hawaii in 1959 to be in Jo-Anne’s wedding party. When Nelson was offered a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer at her friend’s wedding reception, it led to her living in Hawaii for 47 years. She returned to Kenmore in 2006.
As we explained to Sean Hannity:
3. This birth certificate is the same birth certificate anyone born in Hawaii would present as proof of citizenship.This, ultimately, is where we get into the question of race. As we already asked of Trump:
"Our Certificate of Live Birth is the standard form, which was modeled after national standards that are acceptable by federal agencies and organizations," Okubo said. "With that form, you can get your passport or your soccer registration or your driver's license."4. The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu.
“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.The continued dispute that Hannity and Trump seem to think is so significant is so important, in fact, is over the privacy-protected medical records of Obama's birth -- what the Birthers are calling his "long form birth certificate," but are in fact the private medical records of his birth kept at the hospital, containing large amounts of personal medical information about Obama's mother, including gynecological data.
“Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.
“No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii.”
And as Hawaii officials have explained numerous times, these records are protected by privacy laws, and for perfectly sound reasons:
Hawai'i's disclosure law (Hawai'i Revised Statutes 338-18) states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part on any such record ... "
The law further states that the Health Department "shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record."
Those who have "direct and tangible interest" are generally limited to the person named in the record, the spouse, parent, descendant, or personal representative, or by someone who is involved in marital, parental or death litigation involving the named person's vital record or other legal reason established by a court order, and various official agency or organization representatives, including the state director of health, according to the law.
Is a birth certificate acceptable to every known authority for every other citizen of that state somehow unacceptable proof of citizenship for presidential candidates?Once again: If the answer to either of these is "no," then why are they demanding it only of Barack Obama -- while simultaneously talking about his five years spent in Indonesia?
Or do they believe that every candidate for president should have to release for public review the private medical records, including personal medical information about their late mothers, of their own births?
Because that's when it becomes obvious that the problem isn't where Obama was born. It's his racial heritage.
And the utter mendaciousness of the attack -- not to mention the fact that Fox is blithely providing Trump a platform for this nonsense -- reeks of a Swift Boat attack to me. That may be why we're seeing this.