A Philosopher's Blog

Birthers & Graders

Posted in Law, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on April 29, 2011

Obama recently released his long form birth certificate in the hopes that this would finally end the birther thing. Trump was quick to claim credit for this and to cast himself as doing something very important. While he no doubt hopes to be able to milk the birther thing a bit more, he realizes that crazy cow is just about dry. As such, he seems to have decided to switch his focus to the matter of Obama’s grades.

While the idea that Obama was hiding his grades was thrown out there quite some time ago, it did not seem to ever have quite the draw of the birther movement. However, Trump’s maneuver might create a “grader” movement which focuses on Obama’s college grades. Trump and others seem to be suggesting that there is some sort of controversy in regards to this matter.

On the face of it, this seems to be a complete non-issue. While the birther thing was absurd at least it had some tenuous link to relevance in that the president has to be the right sort of American citizen. There are, however, no educational requirements for president. As such, nothing in Obama’s academic records would seem to have any possible bearing on his legal qualifications for the office.

There could be, of course, some embarrassing or problematic things revealed by a person’s transcripts. For example, Obama might have some bad grades or it might be found that he missed some sort of requirement. However, it seems unlikely that his academic transcripts would reveal anything that would actually damage him.

Of course, the “graders” take the view that the fact that he has not released his transcripts shows that there must be something damaging or something he wants to hide in them.  However, the most reasonable explanation as to why he has not released his transcripts is because there is actually no requirement that he do so. While some jobs, such as mine, require a person to provide their transcripts to their employer, there is (as noted above) no such requirement for the president. In the case of my job, I do not have to reveal my finances to my employer and I do not. This is not because I have something to hide, it is simply because it is not something I am required to do nor does there seem to be any good reason for this. Likewise, there does not seem to be a compelling reason for Obama to release his transcripts.

The “graders” will, of course, raise the point that if he has nothing to hide, then he should release his transcripts to settle the controversy. Of course, what they seem to not get is that there really is no controversy outside of the one that they have created in their own minds.

If the “graders” start getting media attention on par with the birthers, then I suspect that Obama will decide to release his transcripts. After that, one can only imagine what people will start demanding that he reveal.

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3 Responses

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  1. frk said, on April 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Give conspiracy theorists and true-believer types an inch, and they’ll take 26.2 miles.

    After the birth certificate comes they dredge up Obama’s college grades –an issue that has nothing to do with constitutional requirements and everything to do with birthers’/graders’ prejudice. He’ll provide the grades, and they’ll want to know how challenging the courses he took were. And the specific classes he took. They’ll definitely want to know how many courses he took with black professors.

    After proving themselves more idiotic at every turn, they’ll play their “trump” card. Orly Taitz and the Donald will unite with their drooling band of followers (let us call them the Nutters) to demand a microscopic study of Obama’s testicles to prove/disprove the contention of many—many crackpots, that is– that his mother had him branded on the balls with the symbol of the anti-Christ.

    At least it’ll be more interesting than the royal wedding.

  2. Asur said, on April 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t know about you, but I could never conscionably support a President who may have possibly gotten a C in a class at some point.

    I mean, it’s not like Presidents have panels of experts on hand to help them with their decisions or anything. They need to be genius polymaths.

    Not that it would be bad if they were >.>;;

    • FRE said, on April 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      What if it were found that he once actually dated a white woman? Horrors!! can you imagine anything worse?

      Of course all this is total nonsense. Obviously few will agree with everything that Obama has done, but few presidents have assumed office under such difficult conditions and faced so many problems. He should have, in the strongest socially acceptable terms, denounced all this silliness. But even if he had, there would still be people who want to see all his records, including academic, medical, shoe size, what cars he has owned, and all sorts of irrelevant things.


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