McClellan: Bennett’s birther ploy just doesn’t sit well - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

McClellan: Bennett’s birther ploy just doesn’t sit well

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Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:35 pm | Updated: 5:07 pm, Thu May 24, 2012.

If it wasn’t so sad it’d be laughable.

The “it,” of course, is the renewed Birther movement right here in Arizona, which is fast becoming the petri dish for the bizarre.

For two sessions in a row, the far right loons (sorry, there’s no better word) in the legislature introduced — and in last year’s session, passed — birther bills, legislation targeted at President Obama.

Fortunately, saner folks prevailed, and the birther bills died.

But now, well, Birtherism is reborn ... in the Secretary of State’s office.

Ken Bennett, a Republican and possible candidate for governor in 2014 (though, of course, politics had nothing to do with his behavior here), has asked the state of Hawaii to confirm that President Obama is indeed a natural-born citizen of the U.S.

Something that state had done repeatedly.

But Bennett is only responding to “constituents,” 1,200 of whom, according to Bennett, emailed him over the last couple of months requesting he investigate.

Let’s see, 1,200 people out of a state of how many, 6.4 million? That would be about, oh, one quarter of 1 percent of our state’s citizens have contacted him.

I guess the rest of the 6.39 million don’t have the same concerns as that one quarter of one percent.

But never mind, our crack secretary of state’s on the job. And he’s told one radio talk show that he thinks the president is a citizen, or in his weasel word, “at least I hope so.”

More like “hopeless.”

Which is what the rest of us are in this silly birther issue.

No evidence at no time no where will convince the birthers that the President was in fact born in Hawaii. No, these folks see conspiracy afoot. Of course, many of them are the same ones who see conspiracies everywhere.

And so Ken Bennett dives into this, possibly because he wants to be on the right side of the Right Side in our state, hoping to woo those people to vote for him in 2014. And even if Hawaii once again confirms Obama’s birth, the birthers won’t care.

But Bennett has forgotten, apparently, that he is Secretary of State for the entire state, and not just for the lunatic fringe.

So while Ken Bennett might’ve sewn up the all-important Birther vote, come 2014, many of us will remember — to his regret — his role in resurrecting this debacle, once again shining the national spotlight on Arizona.

No amount of tax cuts and business subsidies will attract large national corporations to our state as long as behavior like Bennett’s is the norm for our public servants.

Sadly, all too often, it is.

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