On Tuesday, I lauded National Review for running a strongly worded, some would say emphatic, denunciation of the myths being circulated by those who contend that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen, and thus not eligible to be President. The founding publication of modern conservatism had, it seemed, drawn a clear line in the sand much as it’s founder had done when he denied the Birchers from a seat at the table.
Then, I read this piece today by Andrew McCarthy which spends more than 3,000 words repeating, and seemingly giving credence to, the basic arguments that the birthers raise. To be fair, McCarthy does say more than once in the piece that he believes Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and was eligible to be President, but then he says stuff like this:
To summarize: What Obama has made available is a Hawaiian “certification of live birth” (emphasis added), not a birth certificate (or what the state calls a “certificate of live birth”). The certification form provides a short, very general attestation of a few facts about the person’s birth: name and sex of the newborn; date and time of birth; city or town of birth, along with the name of the Hawaiian island and the county; the mother’s maiden name and race; the father’s name and race; and the date the certification was filed. This certification is not the same thing as the certificate, which is what I believe we were referring to in the editorial as “the state records that are used to generate birth certificates [sic] when they are requested.”
What McCarthy fails to mention, though, is that the Certification of Live Birth is the only record that the State of Hawaii makes available to verify birth:
[Y]ou can’t obtain a “certificate of live birth” anymore.
The state Department of Health no longer issues copies of paper birth certificates as was done in the past, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
The department only issues “certifications” of live births, and that is the “official birth certificate” issued by the state of Hawaii, she said.
And, it’s only available in electronic form.
Okubo explained that the Health Department went paperless in 2001.
“At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting,” she said.
Information about births is transferred electronically from hospitals to the department.
“The electronic record of the birth is what (the Health Department) now keeps on file in order to provide same-day certified copies at our help window for most requests,” Okubo said.
More importantly, the Certification of Live Birth that Obama produced is definitive, prima facie, proof that he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.
What could possibly be on the so-called “long form” that McCarthy finds important ?
These state records are far more detailed. They include, for example, the name of the hospital, institution, or street address where the birth occurred; the full name, age, birthplace, race, and occupation of each parent; the mother’s residential address (and whether that address is within the city or town of birth); the signature of at least one parent (or “informant”) attesting to the accuracy of the information provided; the identity and signature of an attending physician (or other “attendant”) who certifies the occurrence of a live birth at the time and place specified; and the identity and signature of the local registrar who filed the birth record.
Plainly, this is different (additional) information from what is included in the certification.
Well, let’s assume that’s the case, it’s hard to see what purpose knowing that information would serve anyone, except apparently to satisfy Mr. McCarthy’s curiousity while at the same time reinforcing the baseless theories of the birthers.
McCarthy repeats, one too many times perhaps, that he doesn’t question President Obama’s citizenship. Well, for someone who says he isn’t a birther, he sure writes like one, and it’s unfortunate that National Review allowed such trash to appear under it’s banner.