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Opinion: Romney's "Birther" Joke Obviously Just a Joke

The Right Politics

When Mitt Romney cracked a joke about nobody having to check his birth certificate to know that he was born in Michigan on Friday, the leftist critics went wild. It was like they were desperate to latch on to another story now that the Todd Akin story is already burning out on them. The Romney comment about his own birth certificate was even called “the most despicable bigotry we can imagine” by Eric Dyson, a political analyst on MSNBC.

Really? These analysts make a living off of political commentary and analysis like that? This guy gets airtime on national television by coming up with such an extremely-biased comment? Such comments –as Dyson blurted out are the “despicable bigotry” – an obvious bigotry against Romney. Romney’s meaningless joke was not bigoted.

First of all, the notion that Romney’s words were anything more than an attempt at humor is wrong. The guy can’t – as they say – win for losing. He is inundated with the media reporting that he is “not likable” according to the public en masse. The insinuation from repeated reports on his public image is that he needs to drop the CEO-style appearance of his past and come across as more likeable and more “regular-guyish”, so to speak. So, he tried to lighten up with an apparent off-the-cuff remark as he was talking about his birthplace and his wife’s birthplace in Michigan. It was a joke, probably designed to become more likable via humor, and because of so-called political analysts like Dyson, Romney gets bashed again. Beyond bashing, Dyson goes as far as to call Romney a “bigot” for the simple joke.

Talk about bigotry. Dyson’s hate for Romney and his attempt to spread his hate for the Republican candidate obviously defines bigotry much more than Romney’s joke.

The leftists’ comments said that Romney’s comment was to keep the campaign off the issues. If these commentators would have listened to Romney’s entire speech in which that one line about his birth certificate was stated, they would know that Romney was talking about the issues in that and every other campaign speech he gives. Apparently, these analysts are reading a headline about something Romney said and claiming to known enough to start commenting about it. Whatever happened to the art of research, which obviously would have included listening to and commenting on Romney’s entire presentation – instead of simply regurgitating a headline with their sordid opinion?

When Obama joked about his birth certificate, there was no furor – and there shouldn’t have been. When Obama comments, it’s all smiles, belly-laughs, and the “what-a-guy” attitude. When he trounced Donald Trump in a comedic fashion over the “birther” topic at last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and thereafter, the reaction for Obama was and still is extremely positive. Obama, himself, is the one who has gone to an extreme effort to keep the “birther” topic alive and well – even after the release of the birth certificate from the White House over a year ago. Those campaign mugs with a copy of Obama’s birth certificate are still on sale to those who want to make the donation to his re-election campaign via the purchase. So it’s no wonder that a comment about Obama’s birth certificate might come up again because, via Obama himself, we have not been allowed to forget about it.

It would be nice if Dyson was the only one who went overboard with the obvious Romney hate and bashing at-any-and-all costs, but he isn’t. The cable network channels were filled with negative responses to the one simple joke.

Ben LaBolt of the Obama campaign dove into the nonsensical criticism by immediately stating: “Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”

I’ll tell you what, Ben. What gives Americans pause are the facts about Obama’s jobs plan and Obama’s economy figures. Of the low number of recent college grads who have jobs after four years of Obama in office, half of them are doing a job they could be doing with only a high school diploma. That fact, Ben, gives Americans pause! Not a “birther” joke. The fact that the unemployment rate in this country is not back to 5% as Obama promised Americans it would be if we’d give him four years in office – as it currently calculates at 8.3% and rising– gives Americans pause, Ben. Not a “birther” joke. Don’t even get me started, Ben.

Where is Ben LaBolt – and others like him – when facts and figures on the economy and jobs come out? They’re hiding in the wings waiting to turn a meaningless Romney joke into a headline. Even though Ben is paid for coming up with the outrageous distractions he has come up with during this presidential election, I can’t what lies ahead for him in his professional life. Imagine any company actually hiring a guy like Ben when the Obama presidency is over. If lines like his now infamous “give pause” statement are the best he can come up with just before the election, he better prepare to get at the end of one of those long Obama-era unemployment lines soon.

Less than two-and-a-half months before a presidential election in the United States, one would think that political analysts and commentators – even the Obama liberal-hires like LaBolt – would have something more beneficial-to-the-public to do with their airtime.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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