Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin announced this week that he’s making the slimy, pathetic move of renouncing his US citizenship, obviously to save millions in capital gains taxes from Facebook’s Friday IPO. Instead of simply denouncing the decision as ungrateful to the country to which Saverin’s family fled persecution, Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer proposed a law that would punish making citizenship decisions on such a basis. President Obama has not yet announced a position on the bill, but as Yahoo’s The Ticket blog reports, he may have figuratively renounced his own birthplace 20 years ago, changing his Facebook profile to “Born in Kenya” for the purpose of selling books:
A possible source of the so-called “birther” issue–or at least a potential cause of the rumors that have dogged President Barack Obama–has been identified.
Obama’s former literary agency misidentified his birthplace as Kenya while trying to promote the then-Harvard Law grad as an author in 1991.
According to a promotional booklet produced by the agency, Acton & Dystel, to showcase its roster of writers, Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
Kudos to Yahoo for being practically the only news site to even mention this bombshell, but their unfamiliarity with the concept of vetting Obama is revealed by the inexplicable “A possible source… of the birther issue”. If the booklet were truly a “source” then it would have been revealed a while ago, if only so Birthers could prove they weren’t crazy. No, the booklet is not a source but a symbol of the media’s complete disinterest in exploring the President’s shady background. A disinterest that continues to this day:
Miriam Goderich edited the text of the bio; she is now a partner at the Dystel & Goderich agency, which lists Obama as one of its current clients.
“This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me–an agency assistant at the time,” Goderich wrote in an emailed statement to Yahoo News. “There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”
…Despite that rationale, the publication will no doubt fuel “birthers” who refuse to believe Obama was born in the United States.
Despite the more obvious rationale of, “You were factually correct about where he was raised, so where exactly did you get the idea he was born in Kenya,” the media “refuse to believe” Obama should have to answer uncomfortable questions about his past. For example, why did Acton & Dystel issue a status update as soon as he started running for president in 2007? Was “Born in Kenya” a marketing gimmick as imaginary as his book’s composite girlfriends? Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is forced to apologize for high school pranks that were born around the same time as Obama.
In releasing the booklet, Breitbart.com was right to focus on the media failure it represents. Even if the book’s text was factually accurate, Obama’s birthplace is a moot point. The man has been president for 4 years, are we really now going to disqualify him on a technicality? Furthermore, Obama is not the problem, but a symptom of the disease that is an electorate no longer rooted in a respect for the federalist decentralization of powers and the fundamental relationship between citizen and state defined in the Constitution. How the Founders defined natural-born citizen is not the Constitutional issue under threat. Electoral repudiation of Obama’s vision would be the only true victory.
Finally, in the media’s defense, how could they vet questions about past, odd descriptions of Obama’s birthplace when prominent writers at Newsweek, such as Andrew Sullivan, were obsessively investigating from where Sarah Palin’s youngest son was born? There’s only so much time in the day…