Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Obama Campaign Helping Birthers Find A New Conspiracy-Passion: "Conceivers"

Well, you've really done it THIS time, Mr. President!  The Obama 2012 campaign announced today that you can buy a t-shirt or a coffee mug with the President's long-form birth certificate on it.

Very cute.  But, on the front, underneath the President's mug - in what can only be assumed to be very deliberate wording - is the once-ubiquitous phrase "MADE in the USA".  (Surely, friend Bruce Springsteen would have been OK with "BORN in the USA".)

Unfortunately, the long-form birth certificate only states where the then-future-President was BORN, not where he was "made".  I am not sure they have a state document for THAT - but, then again, there is nothing in the Constitution about where Stanley and Barack Sr. were that night(?) in 1960 when Barack Jr. was conceived.

Newly-minted "Conceivers" - Donald Trump did say he would remain involved - will acknowledge that the conception issue does not rise to the pre-requisite level that birthplace does;  however, they will frame it as an(other) issue of the President's veracity and transparency.

Unfortunately, given that Obama's parents are both deceased, the Conceivers are going to need to be very (too) creative to compile their evidence. (Let us not think about that, shall we?)  Instead, they will use their tried-and-true tactic of trying to put the burden on the President to prove where he was conceived.  (Again, paging Donald Trump.)

P.S. Without endorsing - either the Conceivers or the Conceived - here is the link to find out more about the mug ($15 or more) and the t-shirt ($25 or more):

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.


azgo said...

Mugs, T-shirts, Birth certificates and Political Free Speech.

Part I

Political free speech is a constitutional protection which the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the First Amendment.

Annenberg Political FactCheck told us in 2008, the birth certificate image was for real but had warned us a year earlier by explaining that politicians can lie legally in an updated 2007 article, the same year the 2008 Democratic candidate announced his candidacy. The article uses an example of presidential candidates which, as they say, are allowed to legally lie.

“False Ads: There Oughta Be A Law! – Or Maybe Not
June 3, 2004
Updated: May 10, 2007
By Brooks Jackson

(This article was originally posted June 3, 2004. We are reissuing it now, updated only to fix bad links and such. Politicians still can lie legally, and the high volume of ads expected in 2008 campaigns makes it likely that voters will be exposed to more deception than ever. -B.J.)

Here's a fact that may surprise you: Candidates have a legal right to lie to voters just about as much as they want.”

On April 27, 2011, the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate posted a computer image for distribution to persons interested in the candidate’s birth document. What does this have to do with political speech?

In a Supreme Court case, McINTYRE v. OHIO ELECTIONS COMM'N, ___ U.S. ___ (1995), Justice Stevens wrote;

“On April 27, 1988, Margaret McIntyre distributed leaflets to persons attending a public meeting at the Blendon Middle School in Westerville, Ohio. …

Discussion of public issues and debate on the qualifications of candidates are integral to the operation of the system of government established by our Constitution. ...

Indeed, the speech in which Mrs. McIntyre engaged - handing out leaflets in the advocacy of a politically controversial viewpoint - is the essence of First Amendment expression."

azgo said...

Part II

As the reader can discern from the excerpt, the “handing out leaflets in the advocacy of a politically controversial viewpoint - is the essence of First Amendment expression” is no different than the 2012 Democratic candidate “handing out” by posting on the internet a computer image for distribution — “in the advocacy of a politically controversial viewpoint” and this is “the essence of First Amendment expression” — political free speech.

As in the 2008, the candidate’s campaign organization displayed ‘Fight the Smears’ web page with an image of a birth document was a political advertisement and conformed with U.S. Code 441.d, Publication and distribution of statements and solicitations. This code section deals with campaign funding, reporting and other parameters but does not require the material to be truthful by the person advertising. Political advertising is legal even if the advertiser does not tell the truth. The web page claimed the 2008 candidate is only a “native citizen”.

Now, the 2012 Democratic Presidential candidate’s national political party is displaying a web page with an image of a birth document and is a political advertisement and conforms with U.S. Code 441.d, Publication and distribution of statements and solicitations. The web page claims the 2012 candidate is an American citizen and the controversy of citizenship is a distraction. The viewer, the audience, must understand the claim is “American citizenship” by the speaker being the national political party, and the speaker does not address any claim of natural born citizenship as being the constitutional requirement.

For now and until the time of 2012 election, the American people as voters must rely on what the Supreme Court said in regard to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and advertising as Justice Kennedy so simply advises us;

“But the general rule is that the speaker and the audience, not the government, assess the value of the information presented.”

Nothing ...nothing in the public record has established the 2012 Democratic candidate as a natural born citizen.

Mitch M. said...

Thanks, azgo.

Does this mean you're not going to be a "Conceiver"? I guess you could be both?

Thanks for reminding me of that classic Fact Check article, and providing the link. (Here it is again, hyper-linked: )

Mitch M. said...

Procedural clarification: azgo's Part I posted when he/she hit "submit" - no moderation required. He/she apparently submitted Part II too quickly, and the three attempts went into the comment spam box. I replied on the blog, only having seen Part I. I wondered when I was going to see the next part. I realized what happened when I saw four e-mail notifications from azgo. I quickly approved Part II, and it appears before my first comment.

Substantive reply to Part II: azgo, you have a right to continue believing that neither the image of the short-form nor the image of the long-form are legitimate. You are certainly among a small minority in that belief, and your belief defies logic. In my humble opinion, of course.

azgo said...

Hey Mitch,

Thanks for pulling Part II out of spam.

I want to point out that a computer image cannot be a genuine identification document with the proper authentication features, so I put the 2012 Democratic candidate's presentation and distribution of computer images (leaflets) under the category of political speech.

U.S. Code § 1028 (d) defines “authentication feature” and “identification document”.

"(1) the term “authentication feature” means any hologram, watermark, certification, symbol, code, image, sequence of numbers or letters, or other feature that either individually or in combination with another feature is used by the issuing authority on an identification document, document-making implement, or means of identification to determine if the document is counterfeit, altered, or otherwise falsified;

(3) the term “identification document” means a document made or issued by or under the authority of …, a State, …, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals;"

"Identification documents fall into two categories: (A) "genuine" or (B) "false." Neither type is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1028. The types may even overlap at times.

A. Genuine Documents -- The term "genuine" is not used in section 1028 but is used here to refer to those authentic identification documents actually made or issued under the authority of a governmental entity."

The computer image does not reveal those authentication features required to determine whether the document is “genuine”.

It was a missed opportunity to present evidence that the certified copy is in existence and available for inspection. We only got to see an image on computer.

This is the way I see it and I do want people to understand what political speech is all about as we saw much of it during the Bush years.

Thanks again.