Let me finish tonight with the baby the Republicans just threw out with the bathwater. The baby was their reputation for seriousness. By pandering to the haters and nut cases of "birtherland," the Republicans might just have kissed away their credibility as a practical alternative to the Democrat now running the White House. I was stunned to see today how many are still pushing the "birther" angle. Newt Gingrich is still saying there's something "strange" afoot. "The whole thing," he says is "strange." Trump, who said he suspected the president of the "biggest con's in history" by claiming to be born here, continues to bam out charges about the president's upbringing. Others demand to see his grades from school, anything to keep the weird music playing. And, out in crazy land, the bloggers are still saying the birth certificate is a fake. So it's not about a birth certificate, is it? It's not about the facts, is it?
No, we know what it's about and so do the people still hot on digging up something on Obama that will weed him out from the list of presidents. That's the angle here, find something that says he never "really" was elected our president because the very idea bugs this crowd. This isn't about skepticism. I was a skeptic myself. I'm not talking about where he was born but about this fellow Barack Obama's chances early on to get elected president. When I first heard his name maybe 10 years ago, I was convinced a guy named "Barack Obama," whose father was from Kenya didn't have a chance. This country's been electing mostly WASPs to the presidency ever since the beginning. We had simple names like Truman and Ford and Bush. Yeah, once a blue moon we elected an "Eisenhower," but he was the great hero of WW II. Usually, it's names like Jackson, and Adams and Carter and Clinton, no "Baracks" or "Obamas" or had I known his middle name, "Husseins." I just didn't think it was possible for this guy with all three of these names to get elected to high office in this country. And then I found out more about him - I started reading his book and found a rich American texture there -- a bit of Mark Twain really -- and then I heard him speak, and then watched him campaign and deal with people and I said, "this guy's got something." Then I said, "This guy might just be our president some day if he can deal with the challenge of Hillary Clinton and the media and John McCain." And he did. Some people never let him get past his name and his background, never did. No way were they going to let this guy into the living room, to be there on the television, being the elected leader of our country. They were simply going to "deny" him.