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Getting It Right

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5 comments to Getting It Right

  • LawnBoy

    “As Klein (along with others) point out, The president has spent over two million dollars in legal fees fighting challenges that would allow access to his birth certificate. Klein asks: Why not release the certificate for public viewing and why fight to it to the tune of two million dollars (and counting)?”


    I’m not sure from the context if you introduced these questions as a way of showing that Klein was sometimes hard on Obama, or if it was also to introduce questions that you think are unanswered. Either way, you might not be aware that the questions are flawed and misleading in a few ways:

    1) “The president has spent over two million dollars in legal fees fighting challenges that would allow access to his birth certificate.”

    The premise of this is invalid. There’s no evidence at all that this is true – it’s a number that is spread around by rumor, and it grows over time. The closest thing to evidence for this is that the Obama campaign has spent about $2.3 million in legal fees since the election, but there is no reason to think that this is largely or entirely about the birth certificate question.

    Further, out of all the suits brought on this issue, he’s been an active defendant in only three – in most cases, the court dismissed the case without any action (or cost) by Obama lawyers.

    Finally, this is a form of poisoning the well – even if it were true, how would this “evidence” of Obama’s role in the conspiracy be distinguishable from spending money against frivolous lawsuits? That someone spends money defending against lots of suits is not evidence that the suits have any merit.

    So, it’s a number based on a rumor that doesn’t match known facts and that wouldn’t prove anything anyway. It’s not worth repeating (except possibly to debunk it). There’s more info here: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/04/obamas-legal-fees/

    2) “Why not release the certificate for public viewing?”

    Obama published photos of his certificate online (http://msgboard.snopes.com/politics/graphics/birth.jpg), it was checked by independent journalists (http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html) and it was validated by Hawaii officials (http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/04/hawaiian-official-confirms-obama-delivered-by-doctor/). How much more public should he make that document?

    The complaint made at this point by birthers is that the Certification of Live Birth isn’t the “real” birth certificate, that Obama should release his original “long-form” birth certificate. The problem is that the State of Hawaii no longer issues copies of the long form. Instead, by state law and for privacy reasons, they release the Certification of Live Birth, which shows all the necessary information to prove U.S. Citizenship for Passports and any other legal purpose.

    Obama literally has no legal access to the document that the birthers insist he release to them. If he used the power of his office to get a copy of the document, it would be an illegal abuse of office to override state law for personal gain.

    In conclusion, by repeating the question “Why is he spending so much money to avoid releasing his birth certificate?”, you repeated a question that is based on many incorrect and misleading premises. As I said, perhaps you knew that the questions were flawed, but the logical and factual fallacies inherent in the questions should be addressed.

  • I have an email in to Aaron asking how they verified the $2M figure. If I get an answer, I will share it ASAP. That there are any challenges and defenses of these kinds seems a big waste of time and resources to me, and as such, it would seem there is blame to be shared in some proportion. I admit some bias in that I loathe lawsuits that I see as frivolous, and I think this drama qualifies.

  • Of all people, Ann Coulter is on FOX tonight questioning the $2M figure. She’s seems pretty up to speed on the whole issue and covered all the main points arguing why Obama is a natural born citizen.

    As I said recently on the show, Ann The Lawyer should stick to legal issues instead of spouting ignorance about radiation and health.

  • Hey Evan,

    other commenters have chimed in on the 2 mi figure, but I also must state that the then Obama Campaign produced Obama’s birth certificate, pictures of it, and let it be verified by journalists (including factcheck.org) in mid-2008.

    Below are some links:





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