Thursday, January 27, 2011

Birth Certificate: Mystery Solved
(And It's Nothing Impeachable)

Here's a trivia question to amaze your friends with.

Do you know what years Leslie King Jr. was President of the United States?

This is not a trick question. He really was President for two years. Possibly within your lifetime. And you don't remember him?

Well, he succeeded Richard Nixon and was succeeded by Jimmy Carter.

We know him by the name of "Gerald R. Ford Jr." Apparently, Leslie King Sr., his biodad, was highly abusive, and his mother divorced him while their son was still in diapers. He was adopted by Gerald R. Ford, Sr. and was given his name before he was two years old. (I always loved that old picture of Ford dancing with Elizabeth II: The Queen dances with King.)

This is not just minor trivia; this is, indeed, an important point.

Long term readers of this blog (and I salute you both) will recognize that I find names and memory of supreme importance. A good name is a treasure, a bad name a curse. I try to recall the names of many invisible and unknown good people in my Tattered Remnants series; on the thankfully rarer occasion I recall the evil, their names are not mentioned.

There is indeed a well known Catholic tradition that when one achieves Heaven, one is given a new name; in token of this, your baptism is the day you take your name (your "christening") and when you are confirmed in the Faith you take another name in addition to your original two. (Mine is "Mark".) Furthermore, when one becomes a professed Religious, a monk, nun or sometimes priest, you might take an entirely new name: my great aunt Martha Ann Remski, namesake of my mother, took the name Sister Marie Fidelis when she was accepted by the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters.

Names are important, far more than we know.

So. As to the Obama birth certificate:

There has been a lot of yammering on the internet over these last couple years, concerning the mysterious fact that the President of the United States would not, for whatever reason, release his original birth certificate for public inspection.

The "certificates of live birth" that have been released OTOH are pretty clearly bogus; they appear to have been crudely photoshopped.

This is, I will say, highly unusual. It has raised its own cottage industry: Why would Barack Obama refuse to let us see the proof that he was born in the United States, even if it is true that he was? Why the mystery?

While I'll admit I was tempted to believe it for a while, but I have to reject the idea that he was really born in Kenya. He wasn't; contemporaneous birth announcements in both of Honolulu's newspapers are pretty irrefutable. So there's no chance of his not being a US Citizen from birth on American soil.

(And the further argument of some--that he was not a "natural born" citizen because his father was not a USC--I find stupid, abominable, and I reject it outright. Any nonsense about "natural born citizenship" is based on 18th century British law and is clearly made obsolete by the Fourteenth Amendment, which is clear as day on the subject.)

So. He's born here; he's a US Citizen--why won't he release it?

We think we now have an answer. Short version: when his mother married her second husband, the Indonesian Lolo Soetoro, Lolo adopted Barack, and gave him the name "Barry Soetoro." Hawaii, under the law of the time, would modify the birth certificate showing that Lolo, and not Barack Sr., was the actual father of the man we call President Obama.

So: the reason President Obama is blocking access to his birth certificate is simple: it shows his legal name is Barry Soetoro, not Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

Is this important?

Well, yeah. There is a large minority of individuals, many of them my fellow Republicans, who are simply foaming at the mouth at any possible impeachment of President Obama for any plausable reason. And the reason that Obama would block access to this information is simple: He doesn't want to give them ammunition.

Is it possible that the fact that he is using the name "Barack Hussein Obama" instead of "Barry Soetoro" in the least bit construable as a high crime or a misdemeanor?

Let me say it:

Absolutely not.

Now, if he'd been calling himself by any other name, we might have trouble--although other Presidents have gone by non-legal monikers and have never called to task for it; President Jimmy Carter is President Jimmy Carter, not President James Earl Carter, and even though he signed bills under the name "Jimmy Carter" they're still law.

But Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is his name, given him at birth. The thought that he goes by that and not "Barry Soetoro" is somehow illegal is pettifogging BS at worst. It's his name. 'K?

And so I would say that Obama calling himself Obama and not Soetoro is not impeachable.

He is not using someone else's name or a made up name like some mindless Hollywood B-lister. He's using the name that was given him at birth. If he has done so without ill effect and not for any reason to defraud, then as far as I am concerned this is a non-issue. If he HAS been using his birth name, well, that's his privilege. It's his name. It means him and nobody else.

Nobody can ever say I'm a fan of Obama; I am most decidedly not. I oppose him and everything he stands for. But if he has been using his birth name instead of his adoptive name, then so what? He's still who he is.

People undergo changes in their name. It's a fact of life. (Hell, women have to go through it all the time--one of the minor inconveniences of life men don't have to put up with.)

So long as Obama didn't change his name for some illegal reason, then that is perfectly OK as far as I am concerned. And it should be perfectly OK with the GOP.

If the name on his BC reads, "Barry Soetoro," I say, Fine, and... so freaking what? If we impeach him we had better have a dead solid case or not try it. And this is not an impeachable offense.

Next question?

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Keep it clean for gene.