Birther Trump: The Latest in a NYC Political Tradition
Monday, April 11, 2011 - 11:44 AM
New York is an amazing place. We've got all kinds of people, all living in very close quarters, going about our daily lives together. We're home to some of the most successful people in the world and some of the most interesting political figures. Sometimes, though, these fascinating people feel like New York isn't enough for them and try to make a splash on the national political stage. And that, as many New Yorkers know, is when we collectively hang our head in shame.
It was 2004 that Al Sharpton was the jokester buffoon on stage during the Democratic debates. When asked whom he would nominate to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve it was obvious Sharpton had no idea what the Federal Reserve was or what it did. To Republicans around the country who knew of Sharpton's race-baiting ways, it was a delicious moment. To New Yorkers it was plain embarrassing.
The years since have brought an embarrassment of shame. Eliot Spitzer was definitely going to be president someday until that unfortunate hooker incident. The Rent is Too Damn High guy was so hilarious to people outside our fair city but the truth was they weren't laughing with us - they were laughing at us.
Now comes the biggest laughingstock of all: The Donald. The clown of Midtown has his moments. Everyone loves The Apprentice and I was definitely Team Donald in his feud with Rosie O'Donnell. But wanting to run for president on the Republican ticket and bringing up the dead-as-a-doornail story of Obama's birth certificate as his signature issue? This I can not abide.
Let's face it: Obama loves when people question his place of birth. Every minute we spend discussing if Obama was born in Kenya is a minute we don't spend saying that our weakling, perpetually golfing president has only made our economy worse and led us into a third war with nary a word of discussion. It's time spent not pointing out that Obama promised the most outrageous things in the world - oceans would lower!--and delivered on exactly zero of those promises. Trump dragging this issue back into the spotlight is only good for one person: the American-born Barack Obama.
Is it unfair, all you birthers out there? Sure, it's unfair. Republicans waiting for the media to be fair to them will be waiting a long time. The Barack Obama birth certificate story is very similar in nature to the George W. Bush AWOL story. Both have no merit, both are the "smoking gun" opponents hope will end their hated politicians career. Of course, our venerable media picked over the Bush records with a fine tooth comb. Associated Press sued to get the documents. Dan Rather and 60 Minutes wanted so badly to believe that the president had fudged his service that they aired the most obvious forgery of all time in primetime.
Of course birthers look to stories like these and wonder when they will have their crazypants day in the sun. That Donald Trump has given a voice to this insanity in a mainstream kind of way is a problem. As a Republican I say "go away." As a New Yorker I say "come home."
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.