Donald Trump a buffoon candidate, but will the birthers go away?

Donald Trump takes credit for President Obama’s release of his full birth certificate, saying he’s proud that he (Trump) was “able to do something that no one else was able to do.” Well, if you say so, Donald. Guess you’re a can-do guy.

I’d like to think that this puts an end to the birther movement, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see supporters a) claim collusion between Obama and the Honolulu registry that produced the document; b) return to the assertion that the Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim (slurring the President’s credibility as a Christian and implying the unacceptability of all Muslims in the process; c) find some equally meaningless basis on which to condemn the President.

There are other reasons the attitude, if not the issue, won’t go away. Jerome Corsi, he of Swift Boat fame, is coming out with a book “proving” that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President will be available May 17. It was #1 on the Amazon best seller list last week but dropped to #27 following the release of the birth certificate.

One wonders why the President didn’t put out the birth certificate earlier and put an end to the issue. Is it too cynical to think he delayed because it made sense politically to let these idiots build up their momentum, only to snuff them out at the time of Obama’s choosing. Enter the Donald, a buffoon who nonetheless moved the issue to page one again. As one writer put it, the birthplace challenge was “ the primary wind beneath the hairwings of Donald Trump.” So what will the Donald do next?

A Trump candidacy seems both ludicrous and unlikely. Bill Maher and David Letterman (on the Letterman show) each bet a week’s salary on whether Trump would actually run. Maher said yes; Letterman, no) Would Trump really want to submit his financial records to the kind of scrutiny a serious candidacy would require? But the mere possibility, not to mention his first-place standing in some polls, has to be an embarrassment to the Republican Party, even if it is the party of Sarah Palin. Candidates like Mitt Romney or even Mike Huckabee are serious and, despite their occasional reliance on mindless slogans and contrived 30-second sound bites (as do most candidates), they’re perfectly capable of debating policy differences rooted in different political philosophies. Trump is decidedly not.

No doubt Trump is building a bigger audience for the end of The Apprentice season. If that’s his goal, more power to him. As the great American journalist and essayist H.L. Mencken wrote,” no one has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”

The political process is sometimes entertainment, but not always. For entertainment we can watch the royal wedding or the Red Sox. We need serious and thoughtful debate on the issues of the day, and political jokes should not trump political policy discussions.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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