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.
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