First, let me say I do not support the "birhter" claims that Obama was born outside of the United States. I've seen copies of his birth certificate from third-party sources I find reliable, and his birth announcement in the Hawaii paper. Like him or not as President, he appears qualified in that respect for the Office.
I have, however, been critical of Obama's aloof handling of this issue, and of Team Hopenchange's use of it as a handy stereotyping weapon against anyone who disagrees with them. But by letting so fundamental a question survive, and percolate just below the surface, they have been playing with fire. And according to Professor William Jacobson, it is Team Hopenchange that is getting burned by it - not Tea Partiers or the GOP.
I am quite stunned by the numbers, actually. Eight percent of Democrats, yes, Democrats, believe Obama was "definitely born in another country", and 28 percent are unsure one way or the other; so this myth has traction across the political spectrum, not just among some right-wing fringe as The Left / Mainstream Media claim.
Obama could politically nip this in the bud by, well, just releasing his birth certificate. But political calculation doesn't seem to enter into the equation for Team Hopenchhange - this is seen, like everything else Obama, as part of an epic ideological struggle for "transformative change". Giving in somehow hurts the struggle. In the end, the only change this will bring about is a lasting distrust, more fodder for the Alex Jones/Infowars.com tinfoil hat crowd, and yet another reason to go out and vote against "hope and change" in November.
Be done with it, Barry. Just release the damn thing.