Michael Gaynor
Erick Erickson joins would-be buriers of the Obama birth certificate issue
By Michael Gaynor
February 14, 2010

Note to Erickson, Breitbart, O'Reilly and Beck: At a minimum, Obama has not been fully candid with the American people about his birth certificate. Giving him a pass for that is wrong. The bad news is that you blinked. The good news is that Abraham Lincoln was right: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Red State's well-meaning Erick Erickson has not only banned "birthers" at Red State, but foolishly called them "birfers" "because it sounds as crazy as they are."

Conservatives need to know Saul Alinsky's "rules for radicals," but Alinksy's book should not become a conservative playbook.


"...we have... banned a number of individuals who think Barack Obama is disqualified from being President because despite the Republican Governor of Hawaii confirming the legitimacy of the Democratic President's birth origin as a citizen of the United States these birthers... refuse to move on."

"If you think 9/11 was an inside job or you really want to debate whether or not Barack Obama is an American citizen eligible to be President, RedState is not a place for you. "Birfers and Truthers are not welcome here. Period. End of Story."

Apparently Erickson is helping Andrew Breitbart try to "purify" the Tea Party movement. See "WND Founder Joseph Farah Schools Andrew Breitbart on Journalism and 'Birther' Issue (February 7, 2010) (http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=100207).

Erickson: "The tea party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation for allowing birfers and truthers to share the stage. At the National Tea Party, Joseph Farah treated the birfer issue as legitimate. In Texas, tea party activists have rallied to Debra Medina who, just yesterday, refused to definitely dismiss the 9/11 truther conspiracy as crackpot nonsense. If a candidate cannot do that, we cannot help that candidate. It's that simple."

I don't believe that 9/11 was a government plot.

I don't know whether President Obama was born in Hawaii, but I presume that he was and I think that all Americans are entitled to unredacted proof: Obama should produce his original birth certificate, not a certified short-form version of it.

In addition, equating "birthers" and "truthers" is unfair and unhelpful. Erickson apparently realized it was unfair, so he added some distinction, but he still felt in very important to dismiss both.


"We should also remember it was the Clintonistas who started the birfer rumor and the most vocal truthers live in Hollywood and voted for Obama. That is not, however, an excuse for us to associate with the nuts.

"The media never runs stories about the Communist Party USA's routine pronouncements in favor of Barack Obama. The media has never run legitimate stories about Barack Obama's ties to the communist oriented New Party in Chicago. Obama gets a pass even on radicals whose support he personally solicited and those he personally befriended for years. But the moment a birfer opens his mouth and spouts his stupidity from the stage of a tea party rally it becomes headline news on every news network. Complain all you like that that's not fair, but it's the world we live in.

"We must be vigilant. We must be willing to draw a line in the sand and stand against fatuous nonsense that opens up the right to attacks by a left-leaning media intent on embarrassing the good people who have developed through the tea party movement a renewed sense of civic involvement.

"Birfers and Truthers have no place among us. And they are most decidedly not welcome at RedState."

Erickson's seeming security that Obama was born in Hawaii seems to be based on that "Republican Governor of Hawaii," so let's go to USA Today's July 27/28, 2009 article reassuringly titled "Hawaii: Obama's birth certificate is real" (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-07-27-obama-hawaii_N.htm), by Dan Nakaso of The Honolulu Advertiser.


"In an attempt to quash persistent rumors that President Obama was not born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, Hawaii's health director reiterated Monday afternoon that she has personally seen Obama's birth certificate in the Health Department's archives:

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

"On Oct. 31, Fukino originally tried to put an end to the belief among 'birthers' that Obama was born in Kenya and thus was ineligible to run for the office of president.

"Despite Fukino's statements, the issue has continued to resonate from Capitol Hill to the national airwaves.

"Last week, CNN's Lou Dobbs demanded Obama's original birth certificate. CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein told staffers of Lou Dobbs Tonight that the issue is a 'dead' story, Kline told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday.

"In an e-mail, the Times reported, Klein wrote that CNN researchers determined that Obama's 1961 birth certificate no longer exists because Hawaiian officials had discarded paper documents in 2001 — a claim denied Monday by Hawaiian health officials.

"In 2001, Hawaii's paper documents were reproduced in electronic format, but 'any paper data prior to that still exists,' Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

"Okubo would not say where Obama's original birth certificate is but said, 'We have backups for all of our backups'...."

Dr. Fukino's prior statement (issued on Halloween 2008):

"There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's official birth certificate. State law (Hawai'i 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.

"Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai'i, 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 Hawai'i 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 Hawai'i."

After reading Dr. Fikino's statement, blogger Michael Patrick Leahy posed these dozen questions (michaelpatrickleahy.blogspot.com/2008/11/official-statement-of-dr-chiyome-fukino.html):

"1. Did you review the content of your October 31, 2008 statement with the Hawaii Attorney General and receive a written opinion from him that such a statement would not violate Hawaii privacy laws before you released it?

"2. If you reviewed it with the Attorney General, and he responded to you in writing, can you share that response with us ? Did he give you a legal opinion that you could issue such a release and not be in violation of the State of Hawaii's privacy laws?

"3. Did you review the content of your October 31, 2008 statement with Governor Lingle and receive her approval of the statement before you released it?

"4. Did you personally view an actual physical copy of the long form original birth certificate from August 4, 1961 signed by the attending physician at a Honolulu hospital?

"5. What was the name of the hospital?

"6. What was the name of the attending physician?

"7. Besides holding an actual hard copy of the original August 4, 1961 birth certificate signed by the attending physician at a specific hospital in Honolulu, are there any other means by which, as you say 'the state of Hawaii can have Barack Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with the state's policies and procedures regarding maintaining "original birth certificates on record'.

"8. Was the original birth certificate on record submitted as part of the 1911 Hawaii Birth Certificate program, which allowed parents of children residing in Hawaii who were over one year of age to submit alternate birth dcoumentation to the Department of Health and still be called 'an original birth certificate.'?

"9. On what date was the original birth certificate on file registered?

"10. Did Senator Obama personally authorize Dr. Fukino and Dr. Onaka to personally view his 'original birth certificate on record.'? If so, when and how?

"11. Did Senator Obama personally authorize Dr. Fukino and Dr. Onaka to issue the statement of October 31, 2008? If so, when and how?

"12. Have Dr. Fukino and Dr. Onaka had any communication with Senator Obama or did they meet with him in person on any occasion in the last 30 days or in the last year? If so, were those communications or meetings negotiations related to statements to be made about his birth certificate?"

Leahy probably is still waiting for answers. They are not in Dr. Fukino's terse supplement to her Halloween statement or at Erickson's Red State.

The certificate of live birth provided by the Obama campaign provides only some of the information on Obama's actual birth certificate (assuming one was issued in Hawaii).

Obama chose what parts he wanted made public and what parts he didn't.

Thomas Bowdler would be proud! (In 1818 Bowdler published a censored version of Shakespeare, expurgating 'those words and expressions... which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family.'"

BUT...Obama waiving privacy with respect to some parts of his birth certificate while insisting upon it as to others is unacceptable.

(Assuming that Obama was born in Hawaii and has a Hawaii birth certificate,) Obama chose to keep parts of his birth certificate concealed.


And why did Erickson and Breitbart join Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck in ridiculing "the birthers" as nuts who believe Obama was born in Kenya (or "Saturn," according to O'Reilly) instead of concerned Americans who believe that presidential candidates owe the voters access to ALL of the contents of their birth certificates?

Note to Erickson, Breitbart, O'Reilly and Beck: At a minimum, Obama has not been fully candid with the American people about his birth certificate. Giving him a pass for that is wrong. The bad news is that you blinked. The good news is that Abraham Lincoln was right: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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