So the White House finally did it. The Donald is strutting around like a gamecock, taking credit for forcing the administration to do something no one else had been able to. Effortlessly shifting gears, the pompous pompadour has moved on to questioning the president’s academic qualifications for getting into Columbia and Harvard, two institutions of higher learning that remained unattainable to Mr. Trump despite his financial advantages.
Meanwhile, the “legitimate” birthers are left scrabbling for a rationale, the way millenialists do after they’ve predicted the world will end and the sun stubbornly rises the next morning. Not to worry. They won’t believe this birth certificate any more than the last one.
The fact remains that this is the first president in history who has had to present documents to prove his origins. Some say it’s because his doubters believe he’s a closet communist. They said that about FDR, too, but nobody asked if he was born in the United States. John McCain has a much more tenuous hold on the “natural born” label than Mr. Obama, yet no birther movement coalesced to doubt his background, either.
I’m part of the group that feels the president did the right thing today. His disclosure may at least have allayed the doubts of those who were sitting on the birther fence. If any Republicans remain who are opportunistic enough to continue to fuel this fire, the existence of the original document will push them further into the corner with the crazies.
As for Trump, what he has done so far is despicable enough for a candidate. If his quest for the presidency turns out to be the mere publicity-seeking joke that many suspect, then he has compounded his sins to a point beyond redemption.