Just Who Made Obama's Birth Certificate an Issue?

In his controversial new book on the 2020 election, Battle For The Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Donald Trump. Edward-Isaac Dovere repeats a canard that has become something of a staple of Democratic mythology.

According to Dovere, in November 2020, then-president Barack Obama had a hard time making sense out of Hillary Clinton’s loss “to a man he thought of as a moronic carnival barker.”  Dovere traced Obama’s grudge against Donald Trump to the birth certificate issue.

Obama, writes Dovere, “would never forgive [Trump] for turning a fringe obsession with his birth certificate into an issue he’d had to address from the White House briefing room in 2011.”

Dovere errs on several counts.  Trump was not the one who turned the birth certificate into an issue.  Obama was.  Nor did Obama have to address the issue from the White House.  He could have easily settled it in his attorney’s office three years earlier.  More importantly, perhaps, it was not the birth certificate that provoked Obama’s wrath.  It was Trump’s ability to see Obama the same way Obama saw himself — as a fraud.

In the way of background, a week prior to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, attorney Philip Berg filed a federal suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania challenging Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president.  A Democrat and former deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Berg expected to be taken seriously.  He wasn’t.  The media expressed zero interest in his suit.

Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), however, took a good deal of interest.  Defending Obama was Bob Bauer, a top gun from the Deep State’s go-to law firm, Perkins Coie.  In November 2009, the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, dismissed Berg’s narrowly tailored suit without a hearing.

“I was deprived of my due process rights to be heard,” Berg would later write.  “Judge Surrick made some outlandish comments claiming Obama had been properly vetted, and that was completely untrue.”  Berg’s claim here is accurate.  The media’s failure to investigate Obama’s background is a scandal in its own right.  Bauer, though, had done his job.  The day after the suit was dismissed, the word leaked out that he would be taking over as White House counsel.

Berg would file additional suits, as would others.  He simply requested to see some basic information about Obama, most notably his passport applications and his birth certificate.  With little in the way of explanation, Obama’s attorneys resisted at every turn.  These attorneys included not only Bauer and other private attorneys, but also U.S. attorney general Eric Holder.  “What a tragedy,” writes Berg in a self-published book, “that our government with an opportunity to resolve this issue one way or the other, did not do so to protect Obama.”

A Hillary-supporter, Berg was hardly a Republican pawn.  If he were a racist, his lifetime membership in the NAACP made for good cover.  He argues that his primary goal in challenging Obama was to defend the Constitution.  There is no reason to disbelieve him.

Obama does not mention Berg in his 2020 memoir, A Promised Land.  He does not have to.  He is writing for an audience that has no idea who Berg is and that thinks of the word “birther” as a synonym for White supremacist.

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