James Lewis nails what’s driving the Birther issue, and gives a very good reason why we should abandon the birth certificate, but nevertheless focus on the other records:
The birth debate about Obama is real enough, but it is legally complicated, as analyzed by legal beagle Andrew McCarthy at National Review. No judge is going to question the Constitutional qualifications of an elected president. I’m sorry, but that’s the practical reality. The judge is going to follow stare decisis — the sheer weight of commitments that cannot be reversed without creating chaos. Once the political system of the United States, the voters, the media, and the politicians themselves are all committed to the proposition that Obama is president, trying to reverse it would mean riots in every city in the nation. At some point even debatable claims become irreversible. That is why Al Franken is now the US Senator from Minnesota, even if his election was corrupt and wrong. It’s water under the bridge. Leave it to history.
And yet the Obama “birther” debate is important. What’s important about it is the feeling a growing number of Americans have in their bones that Obama is foreign — to our traditions, loyalties and shared understandings about the nature of America. In a way the legal debate matters less than that bone-deep sense that Obama is fundamentally “Other than American.”
Obama’s in for the next four years, folks. His citizenship or lack thereof is a dead issue. It’s not coming back. But who he is still matters a great deal, both in terms of defining his agenda for the American people and in preventing him for a four year re-run in 2012. It’s all the other records — the school information, the work information, the travel to Pakistan in 1981, etc. — that still matters. These will tell us if his much-vaunted genius is one of the big lies and, even more importantly, who his friends and what his values really are.