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For the record, we’re not “birthers.” Nor do we think U.S. President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

We view both allegations as sideshows, drawing needed focus away from the real problem with Obama – the fact that he is a  unapologetic socialist.

“As we’ve said from the beginning of this debate, we don’t care where Obama was born – or for that matter what he believes,” we wrote after Obama released his long-form birth certificate last April. “We care about the disastrous policies that he and his socialist allies in Washington, D.C. have inflicted upon this country over the last few years (trillions in deficit spending, an unconstitutional socialized medicine law and repeated government intrusions into the free market).”

We also criticized Donald Trump for pandering to the birther movement … arguing that he was appealing to ignorance and prejudice rather than simply making a credible case against Obama’s policies.

We still feel this way … although it’s worth noting that a high stakes legal drama is currently taking place in the State of Georgia regarding Obama’s eligibility to appear on the ballot in November 2012.

Specifically, Georgia Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi convened a hearing on Thursday in Atlanta to hear the merits of a complaint regarding said eligibility. And while Obama was subpoenaed to attend the hearing, neither he nor his attorney, Michael Jablonski, showed up to give their side of the story.

Malihi has no authority in the case beyond making a recommendation to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp – the public official statutorily charged with enforcing the integrity of the Georgia ballot.

Earlier this week Obama’s administration called on Kemp to “bring an end to this baseless, costly and unproductive hearing by withdrawing the original hearing request as improvidently issued,” however the Republican refused.

In fact, Kemp fired back a letter to Obama’s attorney warning him that he was ignoring the hearing “at (his) own peril.”

Pretty feisty talk over a “sideshow.”

So … what evidence did the birthers present at Malihi’s hearing? According to the mainstream press in Atlanta, they provided nothing to warrant even a hearing, let alone a recommendation to remove Obama’s name from the Georgia ballot.

“Nothing presented in the absurdist comedy of that courtroom would justify barring a sitting president of the United States from the Georgia ballot,” wrote Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman. “It was a farce.”

Of course the conservative website The American Thinker offered a more flattering recap of the proceedings (and there’s an even more detailed blow-by-blow of the hearing at The National Patriot, in case you’re interested).

What do we make of this drama?

Again, not much … however by refusing to appear at the hearing Obama’s attorneys did open the door to the possibility that Malihi could rule against them by default. More importantly, they once again stoked conspiracy theories regarding the validity of Obama’s birth certificate – giving those inclined to buy into “birtherism” a reason to believe that they have something to hide.

Do they?

We don’t think so … however the startling lack of national mainstream media coverage is likely to further fuel those theories.