Arizona Burges Makes Lawmakers Laughingstock With Birther Bill
Arizona law makers continue proposing laws which get their sponsors honorable mention in the newspaper but which have little likelihood of standing constitutional muster. State Rep. Judy Burges (R-AZ) has taken the self serving tactic over the top and made Arizona the laughing stock of the nation with her ‘birther’ bill. According to the bill, President Barak Obama, and even Rep. Burges herself, will have to show their birth certificates in order to get onto the ballot.
The Burges bill, HB 2544, plays into the conspiracy theory of the far right, suggesting our Black President is not really a US citizen and therefore not eligible to run for office. It is a reflection of deep seeded racism against the first African American president.
Since Arizona can’t get Obama off the ballot based upon race, discussions which are only held in secret and perhaps not even by Burges, some conspiracy theorists suggest, conservatives are looking for long shot tactics in order to embarrass the president.
Too bad for Burges, the embarrassment is to the state of Arizona which has booted an estimated 300,000 people off of health care, stood casually by while transplant patients die, and made refugees out of 200,000 undocumented workers and their citizen families, while twiddling their thumbs in secret circles planning on theories to slam the middle and the left and wasting time on go-nowhere legislation that costs the state a bundle to defend. It is already a federal requirement that a presidential candidate be born in the US, but it gives legislators something to do as the state deficit has skyrocketed to the 2 billion mark.
This is the second time around for the “birther” bill in Arizona. Last year, the effort was passed in the conservative house but stopped by the Arizona senate. Fox News, whose ratings thrive on conspiracy theories, says there is support in the senate this year.
Maybe not. A few wise Republican law makers stood up to right wing Republican senators who tried to pass new rounds of anti-immigrant laws that were sure to get lots of press for Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce and cost millions to defend in court. One can only hope the trend of standing up against tom foolery continues so long as fools remain in office. Meanwhile, Rep. Burges has given the Arizona legislature a black eye trying to block the reelection of a black president.