I am now satisfied that Barack Obama was born in the United States, which is required by our Constitution. Here is an authenticated copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth. What I want to know is why it took him so long to release this document. It contains information that does not appear on the computer-generated Certification of Live Birth, but none of the information is damaging or embarrassing to the president, as far as I can tell. We learn the ages, birthplaces, and occupations of his parents; we learn the name of the facility in which he was born; and we learn that he was a single child rather than a twin or a triplet.
Those who claimed that the Certification of Live Birth is identical to the Certificate of Live Birth should admit their error. They are different documents, issued at widely different times for different purposes. Those who claimed that the president should not have to release his original birth certificate should admit that they were wrong. He should have released it the moment he announced his candidacy for the presidency. I say the same about all other candidates. Indeed, I support state legislation that would mandate such releases.
I hope journalists such as James Taranto stop providing cover to politicians and start asking them tough questions about their origins. If journalists are not skeptical about such things, who will be?
Addendum: William Jacobson makes some of the same points in this blog post, which I read after composing mine. I'm actually happy to put this issue behind us. It should never have been an issue, and wouldn't have been, had the president been responsible. The only people who look foolish at this point are those who insisted (1) that there was no difference between the Certification of Live Birth and the Certificate of Live Birth (they are different documents, as you can see), (2) that it was impossible for the president to release his original birth certificate (he had it in his power all along), and (3) that anyone who expressed a desire to see the president's original birth certificate was crazy (the crazy ones are those who, through extrasensory perception, knew what was in the original birth certificate). Those of us who defended the Constitution have been vindicated.
Addendum 2: James Taranto linked to this post on 3 May. Under the headline, "Shorter Keith Burgess-Jackson," he writes: "Taranto was right, and I hope he doesn't make the same mistake again." Taranto was right? That's absurd. Taranto was wrong. Taranto thought the demand to see Barack Obama's original birth certificate was unreasonable, and that those who insisted on seeing it are, well, nuts. I think, and have always thought, that the demand to see Barack Obama's original birth certificate is reasonable, and that those who insisted on seeing it are normal, inquisitive human beings who care about the United States Constitution. Taranto, who claims to be a journalist, appears to be embarrassed by his dogmatism. The proper journalistic attitude is skepticism—especially when it comes to public officials. Wouldn't it be nice to see Taranto ask tough questions of the president, instead of defending him from critics?