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The Tinfoil-Hat Brigade Fails in Challenge to Obama's Eligibility

Barack Obama smiles his all-American smile at age 9 in 1970 alongside mother Ann Dunham, stepfather Lolo Soetoro and sister Maya.
Barack Obama smiles his all-American smile at age 9 in 1970 alongside mother Ann Dunham, stepfather Lolo Soetoro and sister Maya. (Courtesy Of Obama Presidential Campaign)

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By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A unanimous Supreme Court announced yesterday morning that it would not take up a case making the improbable claim that Barack Obama is a secret foreigner.

A dissenting opinion came out in the afternoon.

"This is the largest hoax perpetrated against the United States in 200 years," Philip Berg declared in a news conference at the National Press Club. His colleagues delivered the further news that "Barack Obama is the most notorious criminal in the history of this planet" and that the president-elect's claim to be a natural-born American has "the potential to propel our nation into a time of great peril," a time of "widespread chaos, disturbances to public tranquillity."

Berg, a Pennsylvania lawyer and the author of another lawsuit alleging that Obama is not native-born, and therefore is not eligible to be president, sought to establish several facts. One: "He knows he was adopted in Indonesia." Two: "He was born in Kenya." Three: "His real name would be Barry Soetoro." Four: "If he didn't go through immigration, believe it or not Barack Obama would be an illegal alien today." And five: "If and when the right court handles this matter, Barack Obama" and everybody around him "should really be tried criminally and many of them should go to jail."

Uh, and what about that birth certificate showing he was born in Honolulu, a fact confirmed by the Hawaii Health Department and validated by independent groups?

"That document is a forgery, it's a fraud, just like Barack Obama is," Berg bellowed. "His birth certificate will indicate he was born in Kenya."

Ladies and gentlemen, the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is back in business. After eight years in the wilderness, its members are regrouping to combat the Obama menace. For their sake, here's hoping they can come up with better material than they presented at yesterday's news conference.

The presentation was hosted by Bob Schulz, who runs the We the People Foundation and has run ads in the Chicago Tribune claiming that Obama -- "the usurper," as Schulz calls him -- is ineligible to be president.

Schulz allowed that the Supreme Court had just declined to hear a lawsuit on the subject, filed by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey, and that another court had declined to hear Berg's complaint because Berg had no standing. But, he argued, "there has been no responsive response" from the courts. "The implied message is the voters have spoken, the voters have determined Mr. Obama's eligibility. But this is not a democracy!"

Schulz was equipped with other pieces of hysteria, among them: "We have an emerging police state. . . . Our Republic cannot and will not long survive. . . . This nation is headed toward a vortex of a constitutional crisis."

In Schulz's view, Obama must "act honorably and relieve the nation of this escalating constitutional crisis." And if not, Schulz will call his own constitutional convention. "The people must act as the final arbiters of the Constitution," he said.

Hear that, Mr. Chief Justice?


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