Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 13, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... A couple of weeks ago, former Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg (R), hoping to return to Congress this year, was asked whether President Obama is a natural-born citizen. Walberg, apparently a Birther, replied, "You know, I don't know, I really don't know."

This morning, Zaid Jilani flagged another recent Walberg appearance, in which the candidate fleshed out his thoughts in more detail.

"Well I'm going to take [the president] at his word that he's an American citizen. I don't know why it's not resolved, other than the fact that the president hasn't resolved it yet. [...]

"If I had to do it I'd just simply of course I had to show my birth certificate to be on the ballot. If I were gonna do it I'd call Rush Limbaugh, Alan Colmes, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and maybe one justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Call 'em all into a room and lay out my birth certificate on a table ... and say all of you take a look at it show me what you find. Now go and report it. [...]

"The Executive has an awful lot of power to keep from showing certain things unless the courts will stand up to him. Or unless Congress in majority will stand up, up to and including impeachment. And Republicans don't have that majority."

As a substantive matter, this borders on madness. Walberg is blaming the president for Birther lunacy, envisions a bizarre scenario involving Rush Limbaugh and a Supreme Court justice, and raises the specter of presidential impeachment over an insane conspiracy theory. These are the kind of remarks one might expect from a deranged man yelling on a street corner, not a candidate for the U.S. House.

And therein lies the point. I don't care that Tim Walberg is an embarrassment to himself; I care that we've reached the point that seemingly pathological political rhetoric has become so routine, nonsense like this no longer even seems especially controversial.

A clip like this one should, under normal/healthy circumstances, end Walberg's career. The release of his remarks would, one can imagine, leave the politician feeling humiliated and discredited. People in Michigan would hear his name and think, "Isn't that the crazy guy who said crazy birther things at a local coffee shop?"

But in 2010, nonsense is the norm, and Republican congressional candidates seem to face no meaningful consequences for incidents like these.

Steve Benen 12:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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"The Executive has an awful lot of power to keep from showing certain things unless the courts will stand up to him. Or unless Congress in majority will stand up, up to and including impeachment. And Republicans don't have that majority."

Admittance of the GOP's plan if/when they assume the majority in January.

Posted by: TonyB on October 13, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's birth was way in the past. So like Joe Miller (republic senate candidate from Alaska), why should Obama even have to discuss his birth?

Posted by: Bill on October 13, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'd call Rush Limbaugh, Alan Colmes, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and maybe one justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alan Colmes?????

Of course, without Glenn Beck there it would be meaningless.

Posted by: martin on October 13, 2010 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see Mr. Walberg's birth certificate, but I'd need to have the physician who delivered him also available to prove that he really was born, and not dropped off by a passing UFO.

Posted by: c. on October 13, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if Tim Walberg commits iimmoral and unatural acts with small reptiles
I'll just have to take him at his word
I don't know if tim Walberg embezzles government funds
I'll just have to take him at hsi word

Posted by: frisco on October 13, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

A clip like this one should, under normal/healthy circumstances, end Walberg's career. ... People in Michigan would hear his name and think, "Isn't that the crazy guy who said crazy birther things at a local coffee shop?"

Why not? There are already plenty of loonie Republicans saying crazy Bircher things, and what's more, several of them are probably going to get elected.

Just as bad, movement conservatives will still complain about a "liberal media" whenever it's convenient.

Posted by: Gregory on October 13, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I still can't wrap my head around how Obama's mother, in labor in Kenya 40-some years ago, knew that her soon-to-be-born son would one day be president of the US.

Other than that, I'm with Walberg all the way.

Posted by: chrenson on October 13, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesnt Tim Walberg just release his birth certificate already. The rumors of him being a Canadian citizen posing as an American can be put to rest very easily. All he has to do is post the FULL SIGNED COPY of his birth certificate )with the raised seal) on his website.

Failure to do anything else just makes him look suspicious. Look, I take him at his word that he is a US citizen, but why doesnt he just put these rumors to rest? Every day that goes by without him releasing his birth certificate just raises more questions.

And his social security number.

Posted by: yep on October 13, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Why hasn't Tim Walberg posted surveillance video from every public restroom in North America dated from the moment he was born until today to prove that he has never performed a homosexual act in them?

I guess I'm going to have to take him at his word.

Posted by: chrenson on October 13, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Vox populi, vox dei

Cheers,

Alan Tomlinson

Posted by: Alan Tomlinson on October 13, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

What amazes me is the fact that the State of Hawaii long ago released his certificate of live birth--the truly official birth certificate. That official certificate of live birth is recognized in every court in the nation. I guess Hawaii is in on the conspiracy along with Obama's late mother and everybody else in his past. This is insane.

People are saying these nutjobs are going to take over Congress in a couple of weeks. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 13, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

It has been a bit maddening to watch the Republican election strategy go from the rhetoric of obfuscation to the rhetoric of obstruction to the rhetoric of delusion and now to the rhetoric of perversion! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

"...Now go and report it."

Walberg thinks Limbaugh reports on stuff, or could. He thinks Limbaugh, shown a legal document, can comprehend its significance and authenticity, and then accurately report his findings.

Walberg's obviously a moron. He's had awhile to think about this and can't do any better. Limbaugh probably believes Obama is a U.S.-born citizen, but he has a radio show to do.

Posted by: Half Elf on October 13, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah, Ron Byers? And since when is Hawaii part of America? I mean, isn't it ruled by a king, Kamayamayahahaha? And aren't they called the Cannibal Islands? Brush up on your history/geography, sport!

Posted by: DAY on October 13, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yoda says: "the stupid is strong in this one. Quite strong in far too many actually. Weep for future I do, intelligent electorate pray for I however disappointment getting used to not, learn ever will I? That forty years war on education produce numbingly stupid electorate willing to corporate fuedalism vote in tragic especially. However, accident that is not, by design mmm-hmmm. Immolate in own hubris you shall, avaricious leeches included. Laugh then will you? Hah!"

Posted by: jsacto on October 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

What Ron says.

Apparantely the word of the Republican Governor of Hawaii is insufficient for these morons.

Posted by: Lance on October 13, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have this fantasy that an actual reporter will talk to one of these folks and calmly say, "The official birth certificate has been posted on the internet, the state of Hawaii has verified that it is official, birth announcements were posted at the time. Why should anyone trust you with their vote if you are in such a tremendous state of denial over easily verified facts?"

Posted by: danimal on October 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think Democrats should start saying of the Republican opponents "I am going to take Mr/Ms word that they are an American citizen"

Posted by: ET on October 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

It persists because most Dems won't come out and say, "All Birthers are Fucking Idiots that don't understand simple facts". Instead they leave it up to the press to knock down this nonsense. The press won't knock down any moronic thing said by the GOP because they are spineless themselves.

Posted by: AustinDem on October 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

What is also painful to realize is not only that many extremists and buffoons such as Walberg are about to be given power by an ignorant electorate, but that they will then qualify for generous (as I understand it) retirement and health benefits. It's kinda like salt being rubbed into taxpayer wounds.

Posted by: -syzygy- on October 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

"These are the kind of remarks one might expect from a deranged man yelling on a street corner, not a candidate for the U.S. House."

And assuming the candidate is a Republican, the difference between these two would be......?

Posted by: dcsusie on October 13, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

A clip like this one should, under normal/healthy circumstances, end Walberg's career. The release of his remarks would, one can imagine, leave the politician feeling humiliated and discredited. People in Michigan would hear his name and think, "Isn't that the crazy guy who said crazy birther things at a local coffee shop?"

The fact that Walberg believes the Oxycontin Kid is qualified to determine ANYTHING should automatically disqualify him from running for any public office. If this were a sane world, of course.

Posted by: josef on October 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

This extremist CAN NOT make it back to Washington! I just donated to Mark Schauer's campaign to make sure Walberg doesn't win. You should do the same! Go to www.markschauer.com/contribute

Posted by: Liz on October 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone thinks it will get better after the elections, you are wrong! It will only get worse if the republics take control. They will feel their tactics work and the American people approve.

I never underestimate the stupidity of the majority of Americans

Posted by: mmw on October 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Hawaii part of America?"
no it is not. Despite common liberal belief that Hawai'i is not a province of British Kenya, nobody can see Russia from Hawai'i. so, it is not part of the USA.
Indisputably Kenyan:
http://pacificislandparks.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/hawaii_state_flag.png

QED

Posted by: Timmy-Tim Walberg on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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