One person can end the “birther” controversy with two signatures. If Barack H. Obama signs the request form (or letter) to the State of Hawai’i to release his long form birth certificate, and signs the accompanying check for the associated fees, the controversy dies — assuming that the long form certificate doesn’t contain anything damaging.

Obama has chosen not to do that. His publicly stated reasons are that the resulting theories and allegations of conspiracy make his political enemies look foolish and futile, and with the able and enthusiastic support of the Press, so far that’s been fairly successful; but, as Da Tech Guy points out, it’s resulted in an undercurrent that has been growing and sprouting legs, and Donald Trump is exploiting it, for whatever reasons he may have.

This is another case of Barack Obama adopting George W. Bush’s tactics. Bush and his circle never attempted any really vigorous pushback against the charges of the leftoids regarding Iraq. They thought the patent stupidity of the charges themselves, and the clear partisan demagoguery that was going on, would be sufficient to deflect them. It turned out to be a miscalculation, because even some of Bush’s supporters began to assume that with all that smoke and mirrors, there might really be a genuine fire somewhere.

Trump is an unusual case: clearly a political outsider, with a record of political contributions and activity that is at least superficially contradictory, and not a Hollywood or music star with clear leftoid leanings, he nevertheless has enough name recognition, and has attracted enough attention in the past, that the Press is pretty well forced to give his blather some publicity. One of the main things he’s done with that is to bring the birther controversy out in the open. It’s always been an amusing contradiction: the most enthusiastic and vocal AWOLers, the ones whose fixed position was that no disclosure of Bush’s past was sufficient, are the very ones least likely to publicize birtherism, or any other investigation of Obama’s murky past, beyond offhand dismissals of it as stupid and crazy. Some would call that “infuriating”. I choose to be amused.

The Press can’t afford to dismiss The Donald out of hand, and are more or less forced by their own lust for celebrity “news” to publicize his views. Putting them out in the open has had the interesting result that, as with Bush and Iraq, some of Obama’s supporters are beginning to believe that there might be some there there. It shows in their increasing shrillness on the subject, the rise in the number of trolls and mobys denigrating the notion, and a few interesting Modest Proposals.

You can reinforce that. Simply refuse to be drawn into debates over whether or not the “certificate of live birth” is sufficient, or any of the other blather and smokescreens being thrown up to obscure the subject. Obama could end it with two signatures and a modest expenditure; there are lots of people who would pay the fee for him if he’s short; he doesn’t do it, and the question is “why not?” Refuse to be drawn into side issues. Obama could end it easily. He doesn’t. There aren’t any more valid points to be made in the debate.

Donald Trump would not be my first choice for President. He might not be the first of the second million choices. We demonstrably can do worse, and in any case for now and the foreseeable future I am an “against” voter — I will vote against Obama, Democrats, and the Washington Establishment, without looking too closely into what I’m voting for. If that results in an Obama of the opposite polarity, just as damaging as he is but with right-related policies, I’m willing to live with it. For now, though, the main value of Trump is as a rabble-rouser who can in fact get a tall enough podium to have his voice carry to the rabble he wants to rouse, and for that I thank him.