Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Ridiculous Demand For Obama’s College Transcripts

Another Ridiculous Demand For Obama’s College Transcripts

Wayne Allyn Root, a former Republican who was the 2008 Vice-Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party and now serves as the head of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, has fired up conservatives with a piece at The Blaze where he purports to offer some advice to Mitt Romney
By attacking Romney’s tax records, Obama’s socialist cabal creates a problem that doesn’t exist. Is the U.S. Senate Majority Leader making up stories out of thin air? You decide. But the reason for this baseless attack is clear- make Romney defend, so not only is he “off message” but it helps the media ignore the real Obama scandal.
My answer for Romney? Call Obama’s bluff.
Romney should call a press conference and issue a challenge in front of the nation. He should agree to release more of his tax returns, only if Obama unseals his college records. Simple and straight-forward. Mitt should ask “What could possibly be so embarrassing in your college records from 29 years ago that you are afraid to let America’s voters see? If it’s THAT bad, maybe it’s something the voters ought to see.” Suddenly the tables are turned. Now Obama is on the defensive.
My bet is that Obama will never unseal his records because they contain information that could destroy his chances for re-election. Once this challenge is made public, my prediction is you’ll never hear about Mitt’s tax returns ever again.
Why are the college records, of a 51-year-old President of the United States, so important to keep secret? I think I know the answer.
So, what exactly, is it that Root thinks we’ll find in Obama’s Columbia University transcripts? Well, to a large degree it boils down to the “Obama isn’t very smart” and “Obama is a foreigner” arguments:
If you could unseal Obama’s Columbia University records I believe you’d find that:
A)   He rarely ever attended class.
B)   His grades were not those typical of what we understand it takes to get into Harvard Law School.
C)   He attended Columbia as a foreign exchange student.
D)   He paid little for either undergraduate college or Harvard Law School because of foreign aid and scholarships given to a poor foreign students like this kid Barry Soetoro from Indonesia.
If you think I’m “fishing” then prove me wrong. Open up your records Mr. President. What are you afraid of?
None of this really new for Root, who apparently made his money in the Las Vegas sports betting business. Indeed, he’s been pedaling the “I went to Columbia when Obama did and I never remember meeting him” line, which he also says in this piece for at least three years now. Of course, the fact that he might not remember meeting one person among the large number of students at Columbia 30 years ago is probably more proof of Root’s failing memory than any conspiracy to hide Obama’s college years, but Root obviously doesn’t consider that. Indeed, in 2009 he was scheduled to appear at a birther “trial” of President Obama before he backed out after being criticized over it. He’s also not much of a libertarian either, which isn’t surprising considering that he was on the side of the Pamela Geller’s of the world during the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, and in April he pretty much endorsed Mitt Romney for President rather than his own parties nominee. Why he’s give a position of responsibility in the LP is something I’ve never quite understood.
The reaction from the conservative blogosphere to all of this has been distressingly sympathetic. Ed Driscoll seems to think this is a good idea, as does Stephen Green. Theusual suspects are absolutely thrilled about the idea. The only voice of sanity I’ve seen on the right in response to Root’s straight from birther territory nonsense is Ed Morrissey:
People have criticized Obama for not releasing his college records, especially in 2008, when he ran as a super-intelligent outsider whose lack of experience was anasset to bringing a fresh perspective to Washington and policy.  Poor grades would certainly have been relevant at that time, but probably not so much today.  (Root argues in his piece that he thinks Obama scored scholarships as a “foreign exchange” student based on his years spent in Indonesia, but Obama had been in the US all through his high-school years, so that doesn’t seem very plausible.)
The problem for Romney in this kind of strategy is that it will serve as a distraction from his central premise: that Obama’s record as President shows that his policies have failed, and that the US needs new leadership, especially on the economy
I’d suggest it would also make Romney look like a lunatic and that it would do nothing to deflect criticism over not releasing tax returns. Indeed, responding to such demands by bringing up irrelevant nonsense about college transcripts that has been a central part of birtherism from the beginning would play right into the Obama campaign’s hands by making Romney seem as if he’s a captive of the far-right lunatic fringe. As Morrissey says, if Romney is going to succeed in this election it’s going to be because he focused on the economy, not because he engaged in some insane plan to force Obama to reveal thirty year old college transcripts that have no relevance whatsoever to the race for the White House.
As I noted when I wrote about this college transcript issue back in May, the whole thing really is exceedingly silly:
Ever since then, there’s always been a contingent of people in the media and the pundit class who argue that candidates for President should release their grades. I’ve never been quite sure what the purpose of this other than the hope that there might be something in there that would embarress the candidate. The fact that there’s not likely to be anything in there relevant to the election doesn’t seem to matter. In the particular case of Barack Obama, the demand for college transcripts is often pushed by the same people who have spent the last four years demanding to see his birth certificate, often making the erroneous claim that Obama was registered as a foreign student when he was in college, or that there is some admission in the college records that would prove he isn’t eligible to be President. For the non-birthers, the demands for transcripts is often linked to the equally erroneous belief that he wasn’t properly vetted in 2008.
As I’ve noted before, that last claim is completely untrue. If anything, Obama may be one of the most vetted Presidential candidates in recent history, at least when it comes to the things that actually matter to his fitness to be President (and many things that don’t I’d submit). When people talk about “vetting” now, they’re talking about things that they think are important, that voters have decided really aren’t such as the whole Jeremiah Wright issue, Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, and what grades the President of the United States got in college classes he took some thirty years.
Barack Obama has been President for nearly four years now, and he’s been on the national scene since 2004 when he delivered the Keynote Address at the Democratic Convention and, later that years, was elected to the Senate. The suggestion that we don’t know who this man is, where he came from, or that he hasn’t been “vetted” is simply absurd. What conservatives who repeat this meme are really saying is that Obama wasn’t “vetted” because the voters didn’t think mostly irrelevant things about his past should have disqualified him from the Presidency. Their effort to try to “vet” him now on issues like college transcripts is nothing more than a pathetically desperate effort to find something, anything that they can use against him in the upcoming election and I think it’s rooted in the fact that they still cannot accept that he beat them in 2008.

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