Once a conspiracy theory takes root nothing deters its adherents. Evidence contrary to the speculation is summarily dismissed as another brick in the conspirer’s wall of secrecy. Thus, the plot thickens.

Now that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has released details questioning the birth certificate Obama produced last year, birthers could become revitalized. While Arpaio’s findings aren’t unique; they are fuel for smoldering embers. When Obama released his birth record, after excessive and suspicious stonewalling, the birther’s questioned its authenticity. You knew it was coming. Computer images are easily doctored, thus birthers were wise to the cover-up, as they are now.

Leftists will satirize Arpaio’s investigation as the mindless rants of a rightwing loon. However, since many prominent lefties still believe 9/11 was an inside job and that the 2000 election was stolen from Al Gore we can dismiss their ridicule out of hand. But that doesn’t meant Arpaio’s investigation will boot Obama from office ahead of schedule.

At this point it doesn’t matter what Sheriff Joe learns. He can produce irrefutable proof that Barack Obama was born on the dark side of the moon and it won’t matter. No one within the political structure — conservative, liberal, Republican, or Democrat — will touch this matter with a ten-foot pole, even if merited.

Imagine the fallout from finding that a sitting President isn’t the President after all. Every bill Obama has signed, every executive order he has issued, would instantly be invalidated. Anyone incarcerated according to laws enacted under Obama’s administration, or prosecuted by its Justice department, would have to be released. Every fine, fee, or hardship an individual or business has encountered must be compensated. Think any politicians would be willing to absorb that cost?

What’s more, every act of foreign policy, including war, would result in an investigation of Obama. Since he wouldn’t be Commander-in-Chief, his role in the Libya War and support for the Arab Spring would be illegal. His orders to kill Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki would amount to hired hits. Obama would instantly become an international war criminal based on his fraudulent assumption of Executive war powers. If that isn’t enough, Barack Obama, lacking the authority to command troops, would be criminally accountable for every military casualty to have occurred on his watch, both friend and enemy.

We haven’t even touched on the social aspects. You think racism charges against Obama’s opponents are rampant now? Just wait until he’s removed from office and charged with crimes punishable by death, based on the birther argument.

I’m no fan of Obama. But it’s time we buried the birther movement. First, it’s no more of a constitutional crisis than Washington’s daily operations. Second, our political structure hasn’t even the guts to reform the bankrupt entitlement system. Who could believe it will act on evidence Arpaio’s investigation unearths, even if it’s unassailable? Besides, it’s better to beat Obama in November than rely on a conspiracy that’s going nowhere.