In the days since the election, Barack Obama has been busy filling his White House staff, selecting Cabinet members, working on plans to address the economy, phoning world leaders and meeting with governors from around the country. It appears as though he will be ready to take the reins as our 44th president immediately on Jan. 20, 2009.

Not so fast, senator. You haven't won anything yet -- and there's an Internet community dedicated to keep it from happening.

The Electoral College will vote on Dec. 15, and the U.S. Senate will count those votes Jan. 8. But several lawsuit filers want the U.S. Supreme Court to have a say. The litigants claim that Obama is constitutionally ineligible to be president. They question the authenticity of his Hawaii birth certificate, claiming that he was born in Kenya and that his mother falsified the document being shown to reporters. (No word on whether the newborn Obama was transported to Hawaii by black helicopter or by a spaceship piloted by ALF.)

As one might guess, the story isn't exactly rocking the mainstream media. But it is causing a wave (more of a ripple) on the Internet.

One of the pushers of the tale is Steve Marquis of Peoples Passion (1).

Obama, however, in an enigma, a man without a past who wears a mask, No one has ever seen even a copy of his birth certificate (the one with the hospital, city, doctor -- you know like the one we all have) His past is peppered with intrigue from the foreign money college loans, hidden college records, papers and associates and especially his lengthy involvement with the terrorist Ayres. He hasn't even made a full discloser of his medical records. His recent visits and connections with relatives who are communist organizers responsible for the bloody anti Christian takeover in Kenya are especially troubling. The constitution requires the President to be natural born to avoid possible personal entanglements in foreign lands. Who is Obama?

It is a very persuasive argument, if you ignore the factual errors, such as the part where no one has been seen the birth certificate. John Aravosis at AMERICAblog (2) sets the record straight.

One of the more interesting conspiracy theories about President-elect Obama is that he was secretly born in Africa, then apparently sneaked into the United States (in a banana crate?), and now is pretending to be a natural born American, born in Hawaii, when he's really a secret Muslim African who can't be president because the Constitution requires the president to have been born in the United States. Only problem? Obama's American birth certificate was made public long ago. Snopes has it. And Snopes also has the birth announcement from the local Hawaii paper back when Obama was born. Very sneaky of the Obamas to have a child in Africa, yet simultaneously place a birth announcement in the Hawaiian paper on the same day, nearly five decades ago -- in the pre-Internet era, no less -- on the off chance that their child might grow up to be president and require an American-born citizenship.

Fact Check (3) seems to think that the birth announcement that appeared in the Aug. 13, 1962, Honolulu Advertiser should settle the argument.

Of course, it's distantly possible that Obama's grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.

The tin-foil-hat-wearing crowd won't die that easily. Consider Raquel at Raquel Okyay (4):

We are embarking on a constitutional crisis, unheard of in our Nation's history, and the very fact that most if not all public institutions are burying this story, is to my knowledge unheard of as well. If the U.S. Supreme Court are prepared to hear at least one of the cases pending questioning the validity of Obama's American citizenship, than I think Americans should stop and listen. I... The last time I checked, I live in a free country, and I have the right to express my dissatisfaction with the way this year's president election unfolded. The way I see it, there is only one way the "Office of the President-Elect" can easily and decisively show that Obama is indeed a natural born citizen as defined by the U.S. Constitution, and that is to produce a true copy or original Birth Certificate. Thus far, this simple task has not been accomplished. Sit down and shut up? Never.

As far back as June, Amy Hollyfield at PoliFact (5) was shooting down these rumors, yet they just seemed to gain steam as an Obama win became inevitable and then a fact.

If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State's office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies. Sounds like a Vince Flynn novel.

Of course, she titled that post, "The Final Chapter." Just another example of the silly, cockeyed optimism of the reality-based community.


1 Peoples Passion •

2 AMERICAblog•

3 Fact Check •

4 Raquel Okyay •

5 PoliFact •

(Blogs cited here are excerpted but not edited.)