Q&A: Obama and the Birthers: Are New Laws Valid?

Q: There have been a lot of changes in the laws and regulations affecting transportation in the last four years, and presumably there’ll be many more in the next four. I’m talking about taxes, motor carrier hours of service, road-building, airport and seaport security, on and on.

I suppose we all have to follow the laws and the rules for now. But what happens when they’re all declared invalid post-2016 when it finally can be proved that President Obama wasn’t eligible to be president because he’s not a natural-born citizen? Do all these laws and regulations just vanish because he signed them?

The country is going to be in pretty bad shape when that happens, even worse than it is now with Obama illegally occupying the White House. But I’m just not sure what will be the result. Can you clarify the legal situation for me?


A: Usually, I don’t take on idiotic topics in this space; there are too many other people with serious concerns that they want me to address. But the so-called birther fringe gets enough publicity from Donald Trump, that silly Arizona sheriff and others who seem to command media attention that I suppose I should say something.

Come on, folks. The man’s shown everybody his birth certificate multiple times, and every court that’s ruled on it says he's a native-born American. If that doesn’t satisfy you, what will? Yeah, his dad was Kenyan, and (I think) was even in Kenya when he was born. But last time I looked, it was the mother who gave birth, and his mom was American and did her birth-giving in Hawaii, which (again last time I looked) is one of the 50 U.S. states.

Of course, the answer to the question I asked is that nothing will satisfy the whackos. They have their opinions (which just happen to jibe with their ultra-right-wing politics; no Democrat, or even any sane Republican, has raised the issue), so please stop bothering them with inconvenient facts. Thus, birth certificates, even certified by the state, get dismissed as “forgeries,” court rulings are deemed biased, and they continue their happy march down the highways of Neverland deep into the marshes of lunacy.

You really should be posing your question to anybody you can find who agrees with your nutty thesis. I’m sure you could get into all kinds of fun discussions with them about the catastrophe that awaits when “the truth” is at last “revealed.”

Or, hey, maybe it won’t ever come out. Our next president will finally admit that his true name is Joseph bin Biden, Islamic Sharia law will become the new order of the U.S., a council of mullahs will replace the Supreme Court, we’ll all have to wear turbans and veils and say prayers to Mecca five times a day, and the “real” land of the (WASP) free and home of the brave will vanish into history. You think?

I mean, if you want to be a conspiracy nut, why not follow it all the way down the road?

The laws that have been passed during the past four years and will be passed during the next four, and the regulations that have been promulgated are as rock solid as anything done during any previous administration, from George Washington to George W. Bush. I couldn’t care less whether you agree with them or not. There are lots of laws and rules I don’t like, too, but I live here just like you do and I acknowledge that I have to abide by them whether I want to or not.

To be sure, nothing in our increasingly politically polarized society is forever. New administrations will bring new laws and new rules, some of which will have the effect of rescinding what’s gone before. Then these will be the law of the land. But the change won’t invalidate what’s gone before any more than it ever has, it’ll just shift the paradigm again.

I refuse to validate your question by even going into “what if” scenarios. You might as well ask “what if” it turns out that the world is really flat and rides on the back of a tortoise, or “what if” there’s really a Zombie Apocalypse a-comin’. Play those games if you like. I live, and write this column, in the real world, and I think I’ll stay there.

Consultant, author and educator Colin Barrett is president of Barrett Transportation Consultants. Send your questions to him at 5201 Whippoorwill Lane, Johns Island, S.C. 29455; phone, 843- 559-1277; e-mail, BarrettTrn@aol.com. Contact him to order the most recent 351-page compiled edition of past Q&A columns, published in 2010.



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