THE BLOG

The Birth of Desperation: Irresponsible Opposition

08/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Republicans are imploding, and the resulting compression into a black hole of nothingness is not pretty. Apparently nothing can escape this massive and growing object of right wing infinite density, not even light or logic. As a window into theater of the absurd, we have recently witnessed the governor of Alaska cutting and running, Republicans on the Hill embarrassing themselves trying to legislate an apology from the president, and bizarre extremists questioning Obama's birth certificate long after the false issue was put to rest.

This is the best the opposition can do? They have little to say, and less to say intelligently, about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change, a nuclear Korea, an ascending Iran, an increasingly belligerent Russia, energy independence, or the critical issue of health care reform.

The departure of Palin deserves no further mention other than to point out that her rambling, incoherent speeches prove the point of her irrelevance. More disturbing is the "birther" movement that began in the extreme right wing but metastasized to include moderate Republicans. Their time would be more productively and reasonably spent pursuing Sasquatch, Yeti and the monster lurking just out of focus in Loch Ness.

Hawaii's Department of Health director released a statement in November 2008 verifying the legitimacy of Barack Obama's birth certificate. While state law prohibits officials from releasing the birth certificate of a person to someone outside of the family, officials issued instead the following:

There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's official birth certificate. According to DOH Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, state law (Hawai'i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

She and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.

Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai'i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai'i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

Not to mention that Obama's birth was announced in a local paper in Hawaii, not Kenya. End. Of. Story.

As our health care system crumbles, our economy stumbles and we remain threatened by terrorism, remember that your Republican representatives are spending time, money and energy pursuing a ghost, a myth proven wrong by simple fact. Senator Jim Inhofe said the birthers "have a point" in questioning whether Obama is legitimately president. I suppose that I "would have a point" in insisting on the reality of the tooth fairy as well. If Inhofe wants to acknowledge a legitimate point, perhaps he can join in a call to investigate the numerous crimes committed by Bush and Cheney as they trampled our civil rights and sanctioned torture.

But just when you believe that the GOP can stoop no lower, they reach new depths. Even this loony quest to prove Obama a foreigner is, amazingly, not the nadir of Republican folly. No, that would be their effort to legislate an apology from Obama to the Cambridge Police Department. Anybody with a pulse will see this as ugly political grandstanding. With the legislative branch of our government facing a daunting list of critical issues, the GOP is consuming precious time and energy with silliness. Job losses? Who cares! We want Obama to say sorry. And they missed a good opportunity to raise a serious discussion about racial profiling.

The Republican Party has become deaf to the needs and concerns of the American people. Their opposition has devolved into a side show of diversion. With the misplaced focus on birth certificates and apologies they ignore the country's urgent needs, instead pursuing an embarrassing agenda of issues with no import to our daily lives and no concern for our future.

We can no longer take Republicans seriously. As much as I support Obama, I pine for a legitimate opposition. Olympic athletes usually break records when competition on the field pushes them to their limit. Reasoned opposition is healthy, creating useful debate and generating a greater richness of ideas and solutions. The GOP fails to fill that role as the Party shifts to an agenda of extremism as an accepted platform. The birthers have soiled our political discourse. Legislating apologies diminishes the institution. I once believed that GOP meant Gay Old Party to designate the numerous homosexual scandals rocking the right. But the meaning has shifted with time, so that now GOP has degraded further to mean "Completely Irrelevant." No, that makes no sense as an acronym, but making sense is no longer a concept associated with the GOP. If it were, we would not have a governor quitting mid-term with the explanation that she is doing so to save her state because you never know where the fish will run. After all dead fish float and go with the flow. Or something like that.