James Holmes

Missouri Birther Law Passes First Hurdle

Filed By James Holmes | March 29, 2012 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: birthers, Missouri, Rep. Lyle Rowland

Oh Missouri. You continually remind me why I don't make it home very often. On Wednesday, the Missouri House of Representatives passed by voice-vote a measure requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates to present their birth-certificates to appear on the ballot.

The vote came after heated debate on the House floor where Republican's fended off charges or racism, with many arguing this has nothing to do with President Obama. Bullshit.

The bills main sponsor, Rep. Lyle Rowland (R-Cedarcreek) explained his reasoning for the bill:

I have not been a representative that long [2010]. If I was a representative in the 1930s and 1940s, I would have brought (the bill) to the U.S. at that time. We have a flawed process. Early man ate with their hands, now we eat with a fork. We have come a long, long way, we have progressed.

First, that makes absolutely no sense. This is progress? Sounds more like Rep. Rowland would like to take the country back to the pre-Civil Rights era. I'm sure he would have changed a lot of things in the 1930s and 40s - like fight against socialist Roosevelt's New Deal, or rail against our homegrown President Truman's desegregation of the military. Just a guess.

When Rep. Jacob Hummel (D-St. Louis) asked Rowland if he thought President Obama was a US citizen, the House Speaker struck the question from the record because this law would not go into effect until 2016 and would not effect the president.

That is what I find most telling - how much effort the Republican's put in to explaining how this is NOT about Obama.

Rowland said he developed the bill after one constituent approached him about a U.S. Senate candidate. Under questioning from Hummel, Rowland said he thinks Obama may have come up in the conversation but was not sure. Rowland also said that 300 people emailed him over the issue, but noted he has not met most of them.

I would be able to stomach things a little better if this was just another crazy state politician ranting - he comes across as uneducated and ill-informed - but it PASSED! Ugh.

At least there is some hope the bill will not make it onto the books. The Missouri Senate looks unlikely to take up the measure this session, and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has promised to veto the bill if it does, but I have a feeling this will not be going away anytime soon - and not just in Missouri.

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