Paul Harris (The Guardian): The timing of the release of Barack Obama’s birth certificate expertly made a fool of Donald Trump – and the GOP with him.
….to the surprise of no one with two brain cells to rub together, the document proved that, yes, in fact, Obama was indeed born on American soil.
Yet Obama seemed barely in chiding mode at having to deal with this idiocy. Instead, he appeared relaxed. He told reporters that he had “watched with amusement” as the rumours spread and been surprised they refused to go away….
…The fact is that the Obama administration has played the recent spasm of birther attention remarkably well. They have let Trump rise up on a balloon of inflated birther nonsense – getting near the top of Republican polls for the 2012 nomination – and then promptly popped it underneath him.
…the White House timed the release so that Trump would be right in the media’s glare when the birther bubble burst. Not surprisingly, he looked like an idiot. At a news conference, he blustered about his proud achievement in forcing the release of the birth certificate, then attempted to cast a little doubt on it and finally made up a CNN poll that he claimed showed him neck-and-neck with Obama in the race (CNN promptly reported no such poll exists).
No one needed any more proof to understand that Trump is a joke in very poor taste. But he provided it anyway – in long form….
Which is why Obama has played this well. His team waited for Trump to have enough rope to hang himself on the birther issue, and in doing so, have helped him toxify the Republican brand – just as he tried to debut his serious side.
…. the sheer and increasing madness of the issue – especially now that the long form birth certificate has been released – must be offputting for the independents and moderates who are often so crucial in American elections.
…It is a sad indictment of the Republican party that its own leaders took the attitude of not dismissing birtherism and its followers without qualifying their stance or hinting at closet sympathies.
Come 2012, they may yet pay at the polls for that cynicism and moral cowardice. It is going to be an easy task for Democrats to paint the Republicans as extremists with little grasp of reality and many Republicans will have only themselves to blame.
Full article here