Flood of state birther bills greets the start of this year’s legislative sessions
As state legislatures across the country begin their 2011 sessions, there is one lingering issue that simply won’t die. Conservative legislators in several states have already proposed more “birther bills” that allude to the conspiracy theory alleging that President Obama is foreign-born. This marks the fourth straight year in which birther bills have featured in state legislative sessions; Oklahoma Representative Mike Ritze proposed the first such bill in December 2008.
In the last month, bills have appeared in Connecticut, Tennessee, Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri and Montana that would all require anyone running for elected office to furnish a long-form birth certificate before being declared eligible as a candidate. Oklahoma, home to several attempts at pushing birther bills through the legislature, has no fewer than three birther bills currently under review. Several of those states have seen birther bills proposed before, and still other states, including Texas, are carrying on discussions of birther bills from earlier legislative sessions. The newest crop of bills, however, goes further than any seen in previous years, with most demanding either that a candidate for the presidency must not have ever held dual citizenship or that both of a candidate’s parents be U.S. citizens.
Few of those proposing these bills will openly state that the legislation they are drafting is meant to attack President Obama directly. According to a recent Politico report, Texas state Rep. Leo Berman and Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey both innocently claim to simply “not know” whether Obama is an American citizen. Missouri state Rep. Lyle Rowland, meanwhile, says that the bill he drafted in his state is designed to prevent any illegal immigrants from becoming president.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Obama’s home state of Hawaii are pushing back with their own birther bill of sorts. Five Democratic state congressmen have proposed a bill that would allow anyone to see birth records of public officials upon submitting an application and a $100 fee. The bill is meant to settle the issue of Obama’s place of birth (though a wealth of evidence has failed to do so as of yet, as far as birthers are concerned) and generate revenue for Hawaii from birthers clamoring to see a birth certificate.
While the Arizona bill was narrowly defeated on Monday, none of the other bills from this legislative session have yet received a floor vote in their respective state legislatures. Previous such bills have never made it through the voting process, but the results of November’s elections in some states may make for different results this year. If other states get the requisite support for their own birther bills, the stringent language in some of the bills could theoretically keep President Obama off the ballot in those states (such as Tennessee’s bill, which rules out dual citizenship), guaranteeing months of lawsuits and legislative infighting leading up to the 2012 election.
Update, 11:20 a.m. EST: Public Policy Polling has just released a survey on the attitudes of likely Republican primary voters, including their opinions of Obama’s citizenship. The findings are extraordinary, PPP’s Tom Jensen notes.
Birthers make a majority among those voters who say they’re likely to participate in a Republican primary next year. 51% say they don’t think Barack Obama was born in the United States to just 28% who firmly believe that he was and 21% who are unsure. The GOP birther majority is a new development. The last time PPP tested this question nationally, in August of 2009, only 44% of Republicans said they thought Obama was born outside the country while 36% said that he definitely was born in the United States. If anything birtherism is on the rise.
These birthers are nothing more than right wing racists. Need I say more!
What, $100 to see Obama’s birth certificate?! Hawaii is nuts!!!!
They should charge $200. Birthers are stupid enough to pay it.
[...] Flood of state birther bills greets the start of this year’s legislative sessions – The American Independent ← Dissenting voices [...]
The 117-Year-Old Prophecy of Former United States Senator John T. Morgan, from the Great
State of Alabama, Has Come True. Barack Obama, Born in the Former Kingdom of Hawaii,
Becomes the First U.S. President From the State of Hawaii.
On a congressional junket to the Republic of Hawaii over 115 years ago (1894), it was theorized by United States Senator John T. Morgan (a former general in the Confederate States of America Army and a self-proclaimed white supremacist), who was from Alabama, that a Hawaiian could become president of the United States. And so, it has come to pass.
On January 17, 1893, the United States overthrew the sovereign and independent Kingdom of Hawaii. The Republic of Hawaii was formed and existed from 1894 to 1898. On June 16, 1897, a treaty was signed annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States. On July 6, 1898, Congress passed a joint resolution supporting the treaty (as it had done in the precedent-setting joint resolution for the annexation of the Republic of Texas, 58 years earlier in 1845). On July 7, 1898, President William McKinley signed the treaty and Hawaii became a territory of the United States. Three years later President McKinley was assassinated.
On August 21, 1959, Hawaii was admitted to the Union. Two years later, on August 4, 1961, the future president of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama II, was born in the great state of Hawaii. Senator Morgan’s prognostication is now a reality.
The above is an excerpt from The Forty-Fourth Shall Be The First. I Am A Witness. We Are All Witnesses.
Birthers are of the same ilk as former United States Senator John T. Morgan.