The United States House of Representatives amusingly and unanimously affirmed that President Barack Obama was indeed born in the state of Hawaii yesterday, in a strong bipartisan rebuke to the "birther" movement.
House resolution 593 was introduced by Neil Abercrombie (Democrat-Hawaii), celebrating the 50th anniversary of his state joining the union. The resolution also acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born there, a trick often employed by Republicans when they were in the majority.
The idea is simple enough, you find something that your political opponents don't want to go on the record about and toss it into a bill that they dare not oppose in order to force them to vote for or against something that is politically risky. In this case, voting against this resolution would be a vote not to recognize the anniversary – or birthday, if you will – of America's 50th state, quite the un-American position to take for an elected member of Congress.
A vote in favor, then, is also a vote of confidence that Obama was born in the state of Hawaii and therefore is indeed an American citizen, which will clearly upset the far-right fringe that the GOP has thus far lightly embraced for political reasons.
Known lunatic Michelle Bachman temporarily blocked the resolution from passing by a voice vote but after a quorum was established, the legislation passed without a single nay vote, actually creating a record of who voted for the bill – something Bachman may come to regret since her name is on the "Yea" column now and forever.
This not-so-subtle jab at the Republican establishment seemed to be more and more necessary as Republicans on the hill began pandering to right-wing extremists by refusing to say for sure whether or not a sitting president of the United States was even a legitimate citizen. A writer for FireDogLake has been chasing Congressmen and Congresswomen all over the capitol these past few days trying to get them on record as to their personal beliefs regarding the legitimacy of the President's citizenship. One Republican representative reportedly ran – literally ran away – while another holed up inside a shop to carefully consider buying a new set of pens (for nearly 20 minutes) rather than answer what would appear to be a rather simple and easy to answer question.
The so-called "birther" movement has been traced back to racist white supremacists who care more about the President being a black man than what his political beliefs are. This vote was clearly held to force the Republican party to take sides in the matter, and at least in the House, they've come down unanimously on the side of President Barack Obama.
But that hasn't stopped conservatives on the fringes of society from taking the conspiracy theory and running with it, only now they'll have a much taller hill to climb with the U.S. House of Representatives affirming President Obama as an American citizen.
220 Democrats voted for the resolution along with 158 Republicans. 55 Representatives did not vote, including 20 Republicans and 35 Democrats.
The countdown to the entire Republican party apologizing to Rush Limbaugh for this disgraceful behavior begins forthwith.
I thought it worth noting because this always seems to get lost in the shuffle: the birther movement began with a white supremacist on a right-wing radio talk show, unfortunately that man's name escapes me presently. However, the conspiracy theory jumped to the mainstream when Jerome Corsi picked up the theory and ran with it all over the television and radio.
For those who aren't aware, and you'll probably find that suddenly this all makes sense, Jerome Corsi was one of the leaders of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", one of America's most notorious smear and character assassination groups. Corsi appeared numerous times on Fox News to push the theory while he also happened to be pimping his brand new anti-Obama book. Corsi wrote "Unfit for Command", a book smearing John Kerry while he was running for president, and "The Obama Nation", smearing Barack Obama while he was running for president.
The man is a first class scumbag and the origins of this theory fit perfectly with his reputation as a character assassin and, as O'Reilly would say, a "smear merchant". I'd also note that I seem to recall reading that neither of Corsi's books were legitimate best sellers. Apparently a conservative organization bought a large number of Corsi's books en masse to push his book up the rankings artificially. His books never caught on with the public.
Corsi is a "9/11 Truther" and believes that oil is created naturally underground as the result of a chemical process, rejecting the scientific consensus that oil is created from biological matter. That is the veracity of the source of the birther movement -- a white supremacist and a 9/11 truther.
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