Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birthers On The Hill

Mike Stark does some literal legwork to ask assorted GOP congressmen if they believe that President Obama was born in this country:

I can't decide if I liked the guy hiding out in the office supply store or the guy who lamely tried to run away more. And grudging respect to Rep. Tommy Franks (R-AZ) for actually having the sack to give a straight answer, even though he followed it up with a handful of tired talking points/political slurs. Jane Hamsher adds this:

Update: House just passed H.Res 593, which says "the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii." It passed 378-0, with 55 not voting. Michelle Bachman, who earlier tried to block the resolution, voted "aye."
It looks like the Republicans are starting to realize how crazy this birther bullshit is making them look to those outside their core wingnut constituency as they contemplate reelection. Also, Andrew Sullivan divulges this tidbit:
In 2001 - the state of Hawaii Health Department went paperless. Paper documents were discarded. The official record of Obama's birth is now an official ELECTRONIC record Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Health Department told the Honolulu Star Bulletin, "At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting," she said.
So now we know that for anyone who has half a brain this matter should be completely settled, right? Of course, having half a brain obviously over-qualifies you for membership within the birther movement so I'm not holding my breath.

(hat tip: Leslie Parsley)


Leslie Parsley said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it say in the constitution
that a child born outside the U.S. is a natural citizen if one parent is a citizen of this country? That would mean that even if Obama was born in Kenya, because his mother was a U.S. citizen he would be a citizen of this country. Right?

JBW said...

Since every president since the founders has been born in the U.S. it's never been tested legally Leslie, but most scholars say that it's pretty much up in the air at this point.

Here's a pretty comprehensive New York Times article from last year on the subject.

Leslie Parsley said...

Very interesting article. But I really remember studying this very question in school and what I said in my previous post is what I learned. Maybe I'm having a senior moment.

You either have a lot of memory on your computer or you have a photogenic memory in your brain.

one L bill said...

Wait a second. The House voted on that? I hate to tell you this, but I get my news from you.

JBW said...

My brain has a pretty decent capacity Leslie but I'm also quite accomplished at using the Google. I consider researching things online an intellectual challenge.

one L, I'd be flattered if that wasn't so sad. Turn the radio dial away from sports once in a while, amigo. You'll probably just get depressed by the news and turn it right back again but at least you'll have made the effort.

one L bill said...

I actually don't listen to much sport/guy talk anymore either. Work is keeping me too engaged. I thought that reading this blog counted as my effort.

Maybe I am the "everyman" you were referencing in that Jon Stewart post. I didn't think I was, since I don't watch him, but I prefer to receive my news comedically. I cannot take more than 5 minutes of serious political talk... if that. What a beating. All of it.

I get all my news from you or the sports guys. I pick up some serious news when I'm on the outskirts of other people's conversations, but that's about it. For me, life is way, WAY too short to spend it up in arms about political issues. I'd rather spend it laughing.

Politics for me is probably like soccer is for you. I've got a healthy respect for those who really care about it - and I get that it is supposed to be a really big deal - but let me know when something really big is about to happen so that I can start paying attention.

JBW said...

No worries, one L. I'll pay attention to politics for both of us as long as you keep me abreast of any significant soccer news.