Speaking of Which

Speaking of Which...

A much less important topic, but one in the news today, is the "birther" business. Hot Air mentions a poll that shows that Southerners disproportionately disbelieve that Obama was born in the United States.

I've already expressed my sense of the controversy in the comments recently, but to recap: because Obama's mother was an American citizen, the only way in which he could be constitutionally ineligible is if she were incapable of passing on citizenship to her son. It happens that the law actually does say this, in the case of mothers whose husbands were not citizens and whose children were born abroad (so I understand from reading birther manifestos). However, forbidding a mother to pass citizenship to her son is so manifestly unjust that there is no possible way that a court would enforce it, even if you could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was born in Kenya. The law, if indeed there was such a law, was repealed for a very good reason. (Even if you did find the court willing to remove him from office -- and it would have to be the Supreme Court, eventually -- you would be hearing for the next twenty years that you had sponsored the last enforcement of Jim Crow.)

Obama's not worth the harm that would cause the American polity. Even if you were right, and could prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt, the whole business is foolish and should be tossed aside.

To return to the poll, however: 53% of Southerners stated that Obama was not born in the United States (23%), or that they were unsure (30%). As you know, and as Elise lays out (as part of her theory that there are really triplet Obamas), there is a "Certification of Live Birth," but not a "Certificate of Live Birth." The two documents are different, and the one that Obama has put out is less authoritative than the other in several respects.

What's being asked here is, 'Are you willing to take President Obama's word, in the face of evidence that he is telling the truth, but without absolute proof that he is telling the truth?'

Most Americans appear to be treating this as an empirical claim: given the evidence, what is most likely? Southerners, being an honor culture, are treating it as a question of honor.

Fifty-three percent of Southerners are simply not willing to take his word on it. Twenty-three percent are flatly declaring him a liar, which is a fighting matter. Thirty percent are stating that his word is no good, even if there is evidence to back it: actual proof is required when dealing with him, given their low opinion of his honor.

That's not really shocking. Obama has sacrificed nothing for anyone, and indeed has proven very willing to sacrifice others for himself: the Rev. Wright, Hillary Clinton, every single position he professed during the election, etc. Southerners normally despise men like this.

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