Friday, April 23, 2010

'We're A National Joke' Laments Arizona Legislator

Remember the good old days when we all laughed at South Carolina politicians acting nuttier than a fruitcake with bizarre antics such as the governor leaving unannounced for a weekend trip to visit his mistress in Argentina?

Move over, residents of the Palmetto state, your 15 minutes of fame are over.. The new dessert du jour is pineapple upside down cake presented to our listening audience, courtesy of the Arizona state Legislature.

This week the governor signed a new law allowing concealed weapons carried without permits, the Legislature passed a bill requiring Mexicans to carry legal residency documents and the Legislature's House approved a bill requiring presidential candidates to present the state Secretary of State with a valid birth certificate. Republicans rule both houses and the governor's office.

"We're becoming a national joke," blushed Rep. Chad Campbell, a Phoenix Democrat.

The presidential birther measure passed the House by a 31-29 vote despite protests from opponents who fear the state is being cast in an ugly light.

The measure's sponsor, Republican Rep. Judy Burges of Skull Valley, said she isn't sure President Obama could prove his eligibility for the ballot in Arizona and wants to erase all doubts. "You have half the population who thinks everything is fine, and you have the other half of the population who has had doubts built up in their mind," Burges said.

Give birthers credit for not giving up in their efforts to defrock the president, son of a Kenyan father and white mother from Kansas, and born -- as legend has it -- in Hawaii.  Never mind:
  • The Hawaiian Secretary of State on numerous occasions produced certified copies of Obama's birth certificate of Aug. 4, 1961.
  • That several ultra rightwing websites -- and even Bill O'Reilly of Fox News who's never admitted he's wrong  -- vouch that two Honolulu newspapers printed his birth notice.
  • Countless lawsuits challenging Obama's natural born status have been rejected by the courts.
  • Other states questioning his legal status, including bills offered but killed or spurned in Oklahoma and Missouri, among others. Even a bill in the U.S. Congress is circulating but so far has only 12 signatures.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett opposes the bill, arguing it gives his office too much power, according to his spokesman Matthew Benson. Benson said Bennett, a Republican, has no doubts about Obama's citizenship, a U.S. constitutional requirement to hold the office.

Rep. Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff, pleaded with his colleagues to oppose the birther bill. "When you undermine the sitting president of the United States, you undermine our nation, and it makes us look very ugly," Chabin said.

But some supporters insist the bill isn't aimed at Obama, it's just common sense.

"It's our ballot," said state Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, who believes Obama has proven his citizenship. "The parties need to prove that their nominee is eligible to hold the office of president to be on our ballot."



When the birther issue first came up during Obama's presidential candidacy beginning in 2007, I wrote at the time and still believe the natural born citizen qualification required by the constitution should be established at the time of filing with the Federal Elections Commission. That may be the case although I don't know. After all, if the feds require a birth certificate for federal programs such as Section 8 for housing assistance, Social Security and Medicare, among many, as well as Little League requiring your child to play ball, why not the president? The only other reason for continuing this flap is because some people refuse to accept a black man as the legitimate leader of a predominately white nation.

Readers comments are welcome as long as they remain civil. We reserve the right to delete any comments that are vulgar, libelous and totally irrelevant to this posting. -- Jer


PWT said...

I agree that, "The only other reason for continuing this flap is because some people refuse to accept a black man as the legitimate leader of a predominately white nation." However, were Mr. Obama to produce the certificate as is desired by these nuts, he would be able to shut them up once and for all. Well, perhaps not, some would always contend that whatever was produced is either a forgery or a fake, but to those that still have a loose grip on reality, the actual Birth Certificate should be enough.

TellerIP said...

What do you mean "the actual birth certificate." The Certification of Live Birth is the actual birth certificate. It is the official birth certificate.

The Certification of Live Birth, which he has shown, is the official birth certificate of Hawaii, and it is the only birth certificate that Hawaii sends out. And, Hawaii no longer issues copies of the original birth certificate (

Hawaii does not allow a birth certificate to be issued that says on it "born in Hawaii" unless there was proof that the child was born in Hawaii. Obama's says "born in Hawaii" on it, and the facts on it were confirmed twice by the officials in Hawaii.

Lee Remmers said...

I think this email most certainly makes clear its position. Mine is simply that the Arizona law is a disgrace to what this country stands for and will be ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Last time I noticed, states can't preempt federal law. Slice and dice it as you will, this law, if enacted, will provoke racial profiling and raise it to a new level. It harks back to the exclusion laws of this country in the early 20th century that at the time were blatant reactions to (mainly) Chinese and Japanese immigration to the USA. These movements always seem to crop up during times of unease, whether it be economic (mainly the current motivation I suspect) or social (the notion that someone of color could actually live next door!).

Having said this, that the Arizona law is wrong and, to me, an embarrassment to this country, I can appreciate the frustration that has caused the law to be passed. To me, it's a simple reaction to the lack of an effective immigration law, the existing ones at the very least begging for an overhaul. Not to disparage the seriousness of the intent of Arizonans in supporting passage of the law, but it could be partly symbolic: whether or not state officials actually believe the law would stand the test of judicial scrutiny, at least it will have the effect of motivating the Congress to do something about the problem. I'm not suggesting anyone agree with this supposition, but a rational person might ponder it for awhile. And if so, then the students at Montebello High School, a very heavily Hispanic populated area of East Los Angeles, turning the American flag upside down might be interpreted similarly, as a gesture of their own frustration. And let's not get too carried away about the outrage such an act provokes. How many of you get similarly lathered up by southern states hanging the Confederate Flag on a flagpole standard next to the flag of our country.? Didn't think so.

To be sure, Arizona's actions will provoke a new look at our immigration laws by the Congress. But don't be surprised if exclusion laws aren't part of the solution. Hispanics today have political clout, locally, regionally and nationally. They no longer are passive citizens letting others dictate matters that effect them. As such, I suspect Congress to pass laws making entry into the USA tougher and step up enforcement efforts to round up illegal immigrants already here. But when the hyperness calms down, what we'll really have is a lot of lip service to the laws. Because like it or not, illegals serve a profound economic service to our local polities, especially along the border states and increasingly the left and right coasts. Ultimately, economics will trump knee jerk conservatism.