Birthers Are Back
As we discussed last week, things are heating up out there for the GOP in town halls and other events across the country. The GOP has spent years fanning the flames of irrational opposition to Obamacare and basically anything else related to President Obama. Unfortunately, this opposition has sometimes taken the form of offensive and/or outright racist conspiracy theories, particularly about the president’s birthplace.
After dying down somewhat in recent years, it looks like birthers and their supporters in Congress are staging something of a comeback.
Well-organized birthers with stacks of “evidence” showed up at two town halls attended by ThinkProgress last week in order to harangue their Members of Congress. What was truly shocking, however, was that both Members of Congress, Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX), appeared to agree with the birthers.
Farenthold even went so far as to say the House of Representatives would vote “to impeach the president tomorrow” if given the opportunity, though he added the matter would go nowhere in the Democratically-controlled Senate and thus would probably be a strategic error. Watch the exchange HERE.
Farenthold joins a “handful of Republicans [who] have already announced their desire to impeach Obama for various reasons, including Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trey Radel (R-FL), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).”
Birther king Donald Trump, who was headlining a conservative gathering in Iowa featuring several potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders, also reiterated his doubts about the president’s birth certificate.
Sadly, we are also seeing a resurgence of other offensive and racist attacks. Last week, protesters outside a presidential event in Arizona waved racist signs, including one referring to the president as “47 percent Negro.” Over the weekend, protesters in Florida along the route of the presidential motorcade waved signs calling for the president’s impeachment and another that read, “Kenyan Go Home!”
The Missouri State Fair also apologized for a racially-tinged incident in which “the organizers of the fair’s bull riding exhibit brought a clown in an Obama mask into the ring and goaded the bull into chasing him around the enclosure” while an announcer made anti-Obama jokes.
BOTTOM LINE: As the GOP pulls out all of the stops to prevent millions of Americans from receiving the security of quality, affordable health coverage for the first time, it’s unfortunate and offensive that some seem to believe the only way to stop Obamacare and the rest of the president’s agenda is to call into question the very legitimacy of the president himself.