Hawaii's new Governor, Democrat Neil Abercrombie, is on a mission.
Neil Abercrombie knew Barack Obama's parents when the future president was born here in 1961, and he has been aggravated by the so-called birther movement, which alleges Obama was not born in the United States and thus should be expelled from office.
Now Abercrombie has an office of his own — he became governor of Hawaii on Dec. 6. — and he intends to do something about it.
What, exactly, is unclear. But in an interview this week at the state Capitol, he left little doubt that torpedoing the conspiracy theorists was a priority.
"What bothers me is that some people who should know better are trying to use this for political reasons," said Abercrombie, 72. "Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.' "
One of Abercrombie's aides said the governor is voicing the frustration of many Hawaiians who continue to be troubled by the rumors, which they see as emblematic of the view that Hawaiians are not Americans in the same way as those who live in the continental United States.
Abercrombie's Hawaiian pride may be trumping practical politics. Ample evidence has been produced to discredit the "birther" movement, so in the view of the White House, the Democratic governor's comments are reviving an issue that most people see as resolved.
"Most people see as resolved" not so much, considering the number of people who think President Obama isn't a US citizen has only gone up since he took office. More power to the good Governor, since there's tens of millions of Americans who will never believe it anyway.
The really annoying part for me is the fact this is taking energy and resources away from the real problems facing our country.