Layerists and Trump-Pumpers: Post-Birtherism Considered
It would be nice if the release of President Obama's birth certificate last week, and the humorous treatment thereof at Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner, put an end to birtherism as a factor in American politics. Some conservatives who'd previously reacted negatively to Donald Trump's birther ballyhoo seem to feel the same way.
But there remains a cadre of dead-enders who aren't impressed with this so-called proof -- as well as some who count its exposure a shameful defeat for Obama and a great boost for the next President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Layerists. Almost immediately after the document was released, afterbirthers found that opening the certificate in Adobe Illustrator revealed Photoshop layers, which suggested to them that the 1961 document had been more recently assembled. "Open the Actions Window and you can see the steps that were used to assemble this forgery!" declared Twitterer @debsinger2. "The fact that the document is altered, is so obvious, that it is just shoking," said Orly Taitz. "Huge Blunder Exposes Forgers' Work on Obama Birth Certificate," reported "The Official Website of Representative David Duke, PhD."
Some computer-literate critics -- including Nathan Goulding of National Review -- explained that pdf files (such as the one posted by the White House) may contain layers as a legacy of the digitization process, not because the original document was digitally constructed.
Birthers, Throwback Edition. Or, if that's too technical for you, you can follow the more old-fashioned, paper-based afterbirther theories.
"Many experts and Hawaii residents are speaking loudly and forcefully on the subject," claimed Conservative Trumpet, and ran through some of their concerns, e.g., "David A. Sinclair, the M.D. who purportedly signed the document, died nearly eight years ago at age 81. So he is conveniently unavailable to answer questions about Obama's reported birth." Gasp! Was Dr. Sinclair murdered? Questions remain!
"Of course we'd love to put this issue behind us and move onto the important issues facing our nation, said Patriot Update, "but questions still remain." (See?) "Someone as powerful as Obama has become would easily have the capability to put false data anywhere in the world."
"In the 'This Birth' box," reported Jay Taylor ("Vice President Political Strategy - Liberty Alliance, LLC"), "there are two mysterious Xs above 'Twin' and 'Triplet.' Are there other siblings we don't know about?" The presence of unreported siblings goes directly to eligibility. Check your Constitution! Etc, etc.
TimingQuestioners. Some rightbloggers who accepted that the President was born in the U.S.A. nonetheless insisted that the revelation showed that something was wrong with the President. A number Questioned the Timing.
"Had Barack Obama actually wanted to nip birtherism in the bud, he could have released his long version birth certificate back in 2008," said John Hawkins of Right Wing News, who had previously warned conservatives off the birther issue. "It made the GOP look bad to Independents, it got Republicans sniping at each other, and moreover, it kept Republicans wasting their time on a dry hole instead of hammering Barack Obama on his horrible performance as President."
"When he was wink winking away at his buddies in the media (winky wink Jounolist!), it was delicious making people look like fools," said Melissa Clouthier. "Aren't those right wing crazies crazy? Tee hee!!"
Rich Mitchell of Conservative Daily News fumed that Obama released the document because "he's hoping Conservatives go off the deep-end and push the conspiracy until there is a guy on the grassy gnoll with a second optical scanner, copy machine or birth certificate."
During the 2012 campaign, Mitchell added, he expected Obama would "remind us that the right has been proven wrong time-and-time again on their so-called facts. 'They just make stuff up', the President will say, 'just like that whole birth certificate thing.' And images of Trumps idiotic prancing about the country, re-invigorating the issue that most of us had let die, just to have the entire right look like fringe lunatics - exactly the strategy that killed Sharron Angle's bid to unseat Harry Reid." (Wow -- this thing goes deep!)
"The media will not focus on how easy it would have been to produce the birth certificate three years ago, or on how much time and money has been wasted by his gamesmanship," groused National Review's Andy McCarthy; "they'll instead portray him as beleaguered and the people who have been seeking the basic information (i.e., doing the media's job) as discredited whackos."
So the plot was to make conservatives make fools of themselves. This one actually makes some sense. If that's it: Mission accomplished!
Trump Pumpers. President Obama expressed at the unveiling his frustration that "the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're gonna have to make as a nation, it was about my birth certificate." "It isn't true," cried Andrew Cline of the American Spectator. "The birth certificate was not the dominant story." Obama caught in another lie!
If messaging were the issue, asked Cline, "why in the world would he release it on the same day news broke of his decision to appoint Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director and Leon Panetta secretary of defense?" -- news of these appointments apparently being crucial to the informed consent of the governed.
Cline proposed his own theory: "Maybe the president didn't want to admit that Donald Trump had gotten under his skin."
Indeed, a number of rightbloggers declared that the birth certificate release was a big win for the short-fingered vulgarian.
"Perhaps the biggest lesson to be gleaned from the release of Obama's birth records is that if you dig in and don't back down, you just might beat the President at his own game," said AWR Hawkins at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government. "Note to Republicans... follow Trump's example and dig in for battle."
"TRUMP 1, OBAMA 0," Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit scored it. "Trump Gets Results!" said Tom Maguire. "The president had better add The Art of the Deal to his summer reading list," said Pundit & Pundette. "The bottom line is that Donald Trump did the media's job for them," said Big Hollywood. "The MSM has egg on their face..."
Their applause for Trump only redoubled when the reality TV star was soundly mocked at last weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner by SNL comedian Seth Meyers and President Obama. While other commentators focused on the hair and birther gags, and Trump's stone-faced reaction to them, rightbloggers pumped their fists for the figure of fun.
"What I find interesting is how [Obama's] now obsessing about Donald Trump," said The Lonely Conservative. "Remember when Sarah Palin was living in his head rent free? Now it's Trump's turn. It goes to show just how thin skinned he is." We believe that last comment, incredible as it may seem, refers to Obama rather than Trump.
As to Trump's stolid reaction to the nerdprom merriment, Ann Althouse explained, "Trump always has a grumpy expression on his face. I detected more of a shadow of a smile than usual." (After the dinner, Trump said that though he "was certainly in a certain way having a good time listening," he found "inappropriate" that "the American people are really suffering and we're all having a good time." Plus he didn't enjoy Meyers because "he's a stutterer.")
"SUCKER: Obama takes bait, embiggens Donald Trump," judged Glenn Reynolds, who also claimed that "Trump has actually hurt [Obama] more than all the others combined" because, unlike his rival GOP Presidential contenders, "Trump has actually been willing to criticize him without being afraid of the Big Media retribution." Well, Trump is the GOP front-runner -- excuse us, was.
"Obama zings Trump, millions of Americans at White House Correspondents Dinner," cried 24Ahead. "... All of that actually helps Trump, but either they think it's in their interest to help Trump, or they just couldn't help themselves." "My guess is the chances of a Donald Trump candidacy went up after last night's performance," said Holy Coast.
PoliPundit compared Trump to Bill Pullman in Independence Day and suggested that "this little White House ridicule session may have sealed Trump's determination to 'plow the road' at any cost to himself and clear the way for a Republican candidate." This is the first time in recorded history that anyone has accused Trump of altruism.
Perhaps Trump's most ardent defender was Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, who quickly denounced "beat up on Trump night." "Boorish Obama Attacks Trump Repeatedly," Hoft headlined, "at Media Dinner While He Is Sitting in the Room" (contrary to the Washington custom of attacking opponents behind their backs). Then Hoft denounced "Far Left Comic Seth Myers" for his performance at "beat up on Donald Trump night"; then he denounced "Uber-RINO Lindsey Graham" ("Beats Up on Donald Trump"). Finally (at least at this writing): "Media Cranks Boo Trump at White House Correspondents' Dinner."
Somebody's got a job waiting for him at the Trump White House.