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Birthers have helped Obama, at least for now

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It’s a boom time for anti-Obama conspiracy theorists. The birth certificate issue is back in the headlines. A new book questions whether Bill Ayers authored Obama’s memoir. And Donald Trump is raising questions about why the president was admitted into Harvard Law School.

In the past few weeks, as conspiracy mongers promoted their theories in an effort to delegitimize Obama, gas prices continued to soar throughout the United States.

Obama’s policies have put the brakes on domestic energy production in order to promote his environmental agenda. And with oil prices surging, his proposal is to increase taxes on oil companies, which will only be passed on to the consumer in the form of even higher prices at the pump.

This month, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit outlook to “negative,” warning that if the nation did not get its fiscal house in order, the bond agency could cut the nation’s AAA credit rating. Such a move would dramatically increase America’s interest payments on the national debt, further exacerbating the problem.

After House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released a serious proposal to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path by reforming the nation’s entitlement programs, Obama responded with a campaign-style national tour attacking Ryan with class-warfare rhetoric. It’s behavior befitting of a backbencher in Congress, not the president of the United States when the nation faces unprecedented long-term debt challenges.

Meanwhile, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has continued its assault on businesses and workers at the behest of the administration’s union allies. Last week, the NLRB launched a lawsuit against Boeing for building a nonunion factory in South Carolina to service a backlog of airplane orders. The board wants Boeing to move the production line to unionized Washington state instead, even though the company nearly finished constructing the new factory and has hired 1,000 workers.

The board followed up its Boeing action by warning it plans to sue Arizona and South Dakota because the states have constitutional amendments protecting workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union elections.

On the international front, the lack of a broader strategy to Obama’s half-hearted intervention in Libya is being exposed. At the same time, the administration is largely ignoring developments in the much more strategically important nation of Syria, where a brutal crackdown by President Bashar Assad has already killed hundreds.

With all of this, and much more, it’s baffling that any opponents of Obama would want to focus on inane
conspiracy theories.

Throughout his political career, Obama has used unfair smears against him to gain the sympathy of audiences and dismiss his opposition as extreme and unserious. In his early campaigns in Illinois, he’d joke about his funny name.

In 2008, when he was facing legitimate concerns about his position on Israel (which have since proven warranted), he spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference. He softened up the audience by mocking accusations that he was a Muslim, remarking, “Before I begin, I want to say that I know some provocative emails have been circulating throughout Jewish communities across the country.”

On Wednesday, we got to see how Obama could use the persistent birthplace rumors to his advantage. With his approval ratings testing his all-time lows, he was able to change the subject by releasing his birth certificate.

Though he claimed to be doing the exact opposite, releasing the document has allowed him to take high gas prices, the mounting national debt, and his series of foreign policy bungles out of the headlines.

Thanks a lot, birthers!

Philip Klein is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Examiner.



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