On Friday, Donald Grump declared "President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period." He added "Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it."
The claim that "Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it" has been repeatedly and thorougly debunked. But he also didn't 'finish" the controversy. It was definitiviely finished by President Obama when he furnished his long-form birth certicate. It actually was finished long before that, by common sense.
Nor did Grump's remarks last week put an exclamation point or, as he would have it, a period onto the reality. At an event arranged by the Congressional Black Caucus' Political Action Committe, Representative Gregory Meeks of Florida responded "To lie and say that the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton and he was finishing it,that he was born in America, and then walk off- has got to stop."
The organization, which has endorsed Clinton and does not consider attacks on Barack Obama's origin amusing, does not intend to let it die. Still, Trump might have been able to get away with it. Fortunately, in steps veteran GOP strategist Alex Castellanos to remind us that there are indeed "deplorables" who want to exploit this issue for all the divisiveness it's worth. On "Meet the Press" he stated
And by the way, well, there isn't-- there's an answer here. I think the big question about Obama is not where he was born or his faith. The big question about Obama has been-- has he considered himself more of a globalist than an American? There is an otherness to this president. And people have tried to exploit that politically in different ways. The Clinton campaign tried to exploit it this way, the way their strategists said, by saying his lack of American roots is an issue.
No. When campaign strategist Mark Penn raised the issue, it evidently was rejected by Hillary Clinton if it even got to her. No doubt somewhere in Oregon, New Mexico, and North Carolina there is a Democratic voter who thought the campaign should go with that isse. And there exist Democrats (and Republicans and Independents) who believe broccoli causes cancer. But they don't constitue a movement.
There is no duality between "globalist" and "American." There are quite a few globalists in American politics, including both major party nominees in at least the last seven presidential election cycles. They are most noticeable now by their support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including many Democrats and most Republicans. That does not make them un-American- only misguided.
Castellanos didn't have to pop off to make it clear that the Trump campaign doesn't want birtherism to end. They want it to continue among Trump's base supporters (who of course are not deplorable), most of whom are partial to the notion. Bashing Obama vaulted Trump to legitimacy in their eyes as a presidential candidate, just as it did for Ben Carson after he condemned the President at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.
It ends when I say it ends, demands Donald Trump as he takes no responsibility and blames his opponent. But it doesn't end because he declares it at an end. The chickents have not come home to roost, but they may have started the journey.