Florida Representative Bill Posey, the original author of the so-called "Birther bill" that has earned the crackpot fringe its only thin shard of legislative legitimacy, is taking heat from his hometown Orlando Sentinel. In today's editorial, the Sentinel draws a bead on Posey, and quite rightly describes his bill as "ridiculous":
If freshman Congressman Bill Posey of Rockledge doesn't want people to think he questions President Obama's citizenship, he'll have to do more than vote with the House in celebrating Hawaii's 50 years and its status as Mr. Obama's birthplace, as he did Monday.
He'll have to withdraw his ridiculous bill that compels candidates for president to produce their birth certificates -- a measure latched onto by tin-hatters who claim Mr. Obama was born in Africa and thus can't be president.
Besides, Mr. Posey should know that birth certificates don't put out fires. Candidate Obama produced one. But Mr. Posey said he couldn't swear on a stack of Bibles whether that meant Mr. Obama really was a natural-born U.S. citizen.
Mr. Posey should withdraw the bill, unless his real intent is to fire up opposition to Mr. Obama.
The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel offers one of his typically smart takes, pointing out that ever since he put forth the bill -- and drew criticism for having done so -- Posey's been trying to have it both ways, playing what Weigel describes as an "inside-outside game":
As I pointed out on MSNBC last week, he has bellyached about mean local coverage of his quest to prove that Obama's a citizen, but he's appeared on fringe radio shows to compare Obama's reluctance to produce more documents to a drug user's reluctance to take a drug test.
One of the things that really made Posey cry? Getting made fun of by Stephen Colbert!
COLBERT: I am demanding a DNA test to determine whether Florida Congressmen are part alligator. I have had enough of the reckless whispering. But the rumor is, that the morning after the great Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928, Posey's grandmother got stranded with a gator, and fell in love. Now, obviously I don't want to go into any details, but they say the swamp rang with her screams of ecstasy, mingled with the insistent but gentle hissing of her reptilian Romeo.
Back in April, Posey whined to the Sentinel: "I expected there would be some civil debate about it, but it wasn't civil...Just a bunch of name-calling and personal denigration...There is no reason to say that I'm the illegitimate grandson of an alligator." JUST PUT THE RUMORS TO REST, MR. POSEY!