Hannity: If Chester A. Arthur Had To Produce A Birth Certificate, Why Not Obama?
It’s been nearly three years since President Obama took office, and yet doubt apparently remains over his eligibility to be president. On his radio show, Sean Hannity stood up for the “crucified and beat up and smeared and besmirched” birther groups with guests Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily and Hamas attorney Stanley Cohen suggesting that, if Chester A. Arthur had to prove he wasn’t Canadian, why shouldn’t Obama have to do the same?
Farah, a leader in the birther movement since its inception, began his discussion by noting that, “as an investigative reporter,” he had a sense that something was amiss as the President refused to show his birth certificate (in fact, President Obama published a short-form birth certificate on his site several years ago). Calling it an “issue that touches on national security,” he also highlights rumors that Sen. John McCain was born in Panama, quashed by the production of that document. He also thanked Donald Trump for his recent comments suggesting the President should lay the issue to rest. Hannity, not typically one to be passionate about the birth certificate issue, took to Farah’s side, noting that, while it’s “not been my number one issue,” he didn’t understand why birthers “are crucified and beat up and smeared and besmirched the way they are.”
After all, Hannity argues, this is not the first president to face this sort of scrutiny. The original birther movement was led by the Orly Taitz of the late 19th century, attorney Arthur Hinman, against President Chester A. Arthur, who was initially rumored to have been born in Ireland before later being declared an undercover Canadian. Like the current birther movement, neither theory really panned out, but the internet is still laden with comical Arthur-birther websites declaring there is undeniable proof that Arthur was a Canadian infiltrate.
Attorney Cohen was slightly less gung-ho about the birther movement, noting that he doesn’t even know where his birth certificate is, though he believes he was born in New York. “I’m not a fan of Barack Obama,” he noted, but argued that, if there was a case there, “bring an action against him in court. All you have to do,” he explained, “is make a prima facie showing, then the burden shifts, and then the question isn’t whether Obama wants to show it or not.” This, of course, ignores that the reasons so many birther suits are thrown out of court is that no one in the movement has been able to produce prima facie evidence that the President may not have been born in America.
The continued presence of the birther movement is not particularly surprising in the margins of the right– exemplified by someone like Farah, who has gotten into verbal tiffs with people like Andrew Breitbart before over this very issue. But a prominent conservative like Hannity bringing the birther movement back– and bringing back the Arthur birtherism of the 1800s– is a bit more of a shock.
The radio segment below:
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