Obama officially released his long-form birth certificate today, as just about anyone who’s not been under a rock all day should know by now.
Of course, birthers are still going nuts, trying every possible explanation of why it’s not real, it can’t be real, it must not be real, because they, the good people, can’t be wrong! Which just shows what lengths people will go to in order to avoid surrendering a belief they find comforting. As psychologist Dr. Pat Santy, who blogs as Dr. Sanity, says (emphasis in original):
Denial is an attempt to reject unacceptable feelings, needs, thoughts, wishes–or even a painful external reality that alters the perception of ourselves. This psychological defense mechanism protects us temporarily from:
-Knowledge (things we don’t want to know)
-Insight or awareness that threatens our self-esteem; or our mental or physical health; or our security (things we don’t want to think about)
-Unacceptable feelings (things we don’t want to feel)
Think of it this way. Every one of us has at one point or another in our lives had to face an unpleasant reality or painful truth and at the very least probably desperately wished it would go away. The first words out of the mouth of someone notified of the sudden death of a friend or loved one is usually an involuntary exclamation of, “NO!” And this initial–and universal– angry refusal to accept the pain we would feel if the death were real, is perfectly natural. The negative reaction gives us some time to readjust our thinking and our feelings and prepare mentally and physically for the horrible reality of death.
But if you are still saying, “No, it can’t be true!” days and weeks after the death; refusing to face the reality; then you are in serious denial.
Now, this seems to me to be exactly what the birthers are doing right now, but not to the death of a loved one, but merely to the fact that, yes, Barack Hussein Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.
There have been many attempts already to de-legitimize the .pdf image of the birth certificate, but so far the one that I’ve seen most often in my highly un-scientific perusal of the conservative blogosphere and its associated comment areas is the “pdf layers” theory, so I’ll link to an excellent debunking of that one (emphasis added):
What’s plausible is that somewhere along the way — from the scanning device to the PDF-creation software, both of which can perform OCR (optical character recognition) — these partial/pseudo-text images were created and saved. What’s not plausible is that the government spent all this time manufacturing Obama’s birth certificate only to commit the laughably rookie mistake of exporting the layers from Photoshop, or whatever photo editing software they are meant to have used. It’s likely that whoever scanned the birth certificate in Hawaii forgot to turn off the OCR setting on the scanner. Let’s leave it at that.
Now, why it took Obama so long to release it is a legitimate question. However, it’s quite easily answered: it provided him with a very handy way to paint his political opponents as nuts.
This is my first and will be my last post on the birther kerfuffle, so I’ll make my opinions crystal-clear, if the above hasn’t done that already. Anyone still holding tight to the birther theory is probably a few fries short of a Happy Meal. And anyone frantically grasping for theories about why the birth certificate isn’t legitimate is probably also missing the burger. Not to mention that if you continue to hold onto those theories, you’re doing precisely what Obama wants: allowing him to paint his political opponents as even bigger nuts. Do you really want to do that?
Go ahead and attack me now, I can take it… and all you’ll do is prove what I just said.