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Editorial: The long and short of it

Thank goodness thatís finally settled. Now that President Obama has finally released the ělong formî of his Hawaiian birth certificate, those whoíve expressed skepticism about his birthplace and hence his right to serve as president will acknowledge he was, indeed, born on American soil. The legions of bloggers, letter writers, talk-radio pundits and commenters whoíve hyped this issue for the past couple of years will say theyíre satisfied and turn to other matters. Rather than taking the callow ěpeople are entitled to their own opinions line,î potential Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump will henceforth disavow birther claims.
The 43 percent of Republican voters who believe Obama was born in a foreign land, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll, will accept the legitimacy of his election and concentrate their energies on deconstructing his policies rather than fretting over fault lines in his geographic pedigree.
Well, thatís what might happen in another world ó one where reason and objective reality reign ó but not here on planet Earth.
Predictably, the release of this latest document simply provoked new questions and allegations.
These were some of the early reactions on the Salisbury Post website:
From captain america: ěWow, Obama, why did it take this long? There is a certain rotten smell to this.î
From .ghost: ěMoney and power can get you anything. Even a birth certificate.î
Even Trump, whose harping on the issue gave it a higher profile than it deserved, couldnít bring himself to simply acknowledge the proof and move on. With typical chutzpah, he took credit for supposedly forcing Obama to act (ěIím very proud of myselfî) while simultaneously saying he wants to verify the birth certificate is authentic.
But even if the Donald says itís the real deal, why should anyone trust him? Maybe heís part of the coverup, too.
The reality is that this controversy was never about honest doubt or a sincere desire to lay the issue to rest. If that were the case, it would have happened with the release of earlier documents, the statements from Hawaiian officials, the birth announcements in 1961 Hawaiian newspapers, independent media investigations of birther claims, etc. etc. etc. Obama is exactly right when he describes the birther allegations as a silly distraction.
Sadly, itís a distraction that many of Obamaís detractors, including elected leaders and candidates who should know better, have been all too willing to prolong and exploit.

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