by: John Ransom
Nothing displayed Barack Obama’s Achilles’ heel better than the presentation of his birth certificate last week.
Geez. Was that so tough? I thought.
It’s not possible to overstate the lengths to which O’s administration and campaign apparatus go in order to keep secrets from the press and the American people and themselves.
In doing so, they have only succeeded in fooling the last on the list, at enormous cost to the rest of us.
As Henry Asquith, British prime minister, once observed of Britain’s war-time bureaucracy: "[They keep three sets of figures:] one to mislead the public, another to mislead the Cabinet, and the third to mislead itself."
After three years of demonizing, birtherizing and moralizing, Obama finally did what he ought to have done a long time ago. He replaced rhetoric with action and released a document that we all have to show at some time or another in our life to get a passport or a driver’s license or enter the military.
Being president isn’t a birthright for a favorite son; it’s a privilege.
Documentation comes with the job.
It doesn’t matter that others will still think the certificate is a phony. What matters is that after a delay of three years regarding an ordinary document request, Obama, just as he has on so many occasions, delayed past the point of credibility.
But the birth certificate faux pas is not the worst of our president’s credibility problems.
Because Obama has a number of secrets that are much, much more damaging, especially so because these are secrets that he seems to be keeping from himself.
Let’s take, for example, his secret war in Libya.
Or his secret plan to end our dependence on foreign oil.
Or his secret plan to pay down America’s national debt.
Or his secret plan to create jobs.
Putting aside the secret questions raised about his identity, his religion and his ideology, supporters would be hard pressed to explain Obama’s plans in any of the policy areas from energy to war to finance.
Those are the secrets that the American people are most interested in. They are the secrets they are most confused about too.
In several well-publicized speeches Obama has tried to explain to the rest of us his plans in these areas of policy.
But they still remain a secret, even I suppose to him.
The readings from his teleprompter on those occasions, like the release of his birth certificate last week, have given us more questions than they have answers.
The only salient question, then, for 2012 is this:
Just who is Barack Hussein Obama?
It’s a question that should have been asked of him a long time ago.
Perhaps in 2010?
Is he the guy who slammed Hillary’s “public option” on healthcare reform when he was running for president or is he the guy who as president shoved it down our throat?
Is he the guy who opined while he was in the Senate that the experiment in state-building in Iraq wasn’t worth it? Or is he the guy who is engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Libya with the aim of building new nation-states as president?
Is he the guy who bragged he’d put the coal business out of business or is he the guy who gave billions away to research clean coal technologies?
Is he the kid who wanted to be prime minister of Indonesia or the candidate who wanted to be president of the United States; or is he the president who told us it would be easier to be leader of the Chinese.
I doubt he even knows.
The presidency is not a place where one finds one’s self. Instead it’s a place where one find’s out what he is made of.
Obama, it seems, would rather not know.
And that’s not really secret anymore.