So, birthers. Huh.

Yes, there are still people out there wondering if Barack Obama is eligible to be president. At last count, 17 lawsuits have been filed either claiming Obama is not a natural-born citizen or demanding that he prove that he is (including a reservist who refused to be deployed because the Commander in Chief is supposedly illegitimate).

So why, you ask, doesn’t he simply provide some evidence that he was born in the U.S.—a birth certificate, perhaps—to quiet the doubters and put the matter to rest. Well, there are several problems with this. First, how many of his predecessors or opponents have been asked to show their birth certificates, let alone done so? Maybe McCain, born in the Panama Canal Zone while it was part of the U.S. Second, he did, as early as 2007. (Incidentally, I love the name of the St. Petersberg Times‘s primary-sources Web site.)

The trouble is, there’s always something else, somewhere to move the goalposts to. Now the clamor is for the “long-form” birth certificate. Then that’ll be questioned, because it’ll be a digital copy, because it’s hard to put a piece of paper on the Internet. Even then, there’ll be people saying “yeah, but that’s not his super-duper-secret birth certificate” and the eligibility Calvinball game will continue. A few holdouts will refuse to accept any docuent as genuine, and therefore probitive, if it doesn’t give his place of birth as Kenya, meaning there is literally no document that will prove to these people that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Then there’s the third issue: Obama’s a bit busy right now.

(h/t Bint Alshamsa at Feministe and the boys and girls at ONTD_P)