GOP leaders scared to stand up to birthers

The Republican Party is being held hostage by its paranoid rightwing fringe — its fact-averse, conspiracy-mongering lunatics. Why else would GOP leaders such as John Boehner refuse to just disavow the crazy insistence that President Obama is not a citizen of this country? Boehner knows better, of course. But he’s afraid to challenge the birthers in the GOP base.

UPDATE: It’s no wonder they are afraid to challenge this craziness. A new poll shows that a majority of Republican voters are birthers: A 51% majority of national GOP primary voters erroneously think President Obama was not born in the U.S. 28% know that he was.
Slate’s Dave Wiegel commented on the phenomenon:

Another way of putting this is slightly more than one in four Republicans believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Does that mean that 72 percent of Republicans think Obama should be disqualified from the presidency? No. It suggests that birtherism has become another screen for extreme partisanship. . .

This doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Palin and Gingrich, more than other Republicans, have criticized Obama for policies they trace back to a lack of faith in America and its institutions. (It was Gingrich, remember, who promoted Dinesh D’Souza’s silly “Obama as Kenyan anti-colonialist” theory.) Birtherism, in this instance, is a logical response to the stimuli of 1) conservative opinion leaders saying that Obama’s policies amount to un-American socialism and 2) Republican leaders punting when asked whether Obama was born in the United States.

The most recent to punt was Boehner. Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he had an opportunity to simply state the fact that President Obama was born in Hawaii, the 50th state. (See the video below.) But he couldn’t bring himself to do so. As Think Progress notes,

Three separate times, Boehner told Gregory that “it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think”:

GREGORY: Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

BOEHNER: David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

GREGORY: But isn’t that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you are not standing up to obvious facts and saying these are facts, and if you don’t believe that it’s nonsense?

BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian, I’ll take him at his word.

GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance over whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t — it’s not my job to tell them.

Boehner, of course, tells Americans what to think all the time: He tells them that the health care law is a “job killer;” he tells them that tax cuts will create jobs; he tells them that the stimulus package didn’t help the economy. But when it comes to a matter of standing up to a bunch of crazies with a simple fact, he can’t bring himself to do so.

638 comments Add your comment

james

February 14th, 2011
5:07 pm

(3) is not bad but note the court’s use of “and” and not “or”

really a poor argument/ruling

Kamchak

February 14th, 2011
5:21 pm

(3) is not bad but note the court’s use of “and” and not “or”

really a poor argument/ruling

Huh?

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
5:21 pm

Politics first! Country later! — The true slogan of the Republicans.

Foolishness

February 14th, 2011
5:23 pm

Actually, I don’t see an issue with how Boehner handled this particular thing. He said he believes he’s a citizen and that he’s Christian. It wasn’t as if he said he wasn’t sure and simply shirked it off by saying, “Well, Obama says he’s a citizen and a Christian.” He accepted what Obama says as truthful and upheld what the state of Hawaii verified on Obama’s birthplace.

The Original Get Real

February 14th, 2011
5:26 pm

Always Bash Republicans the true slogan of Keep up the Good Fight

Fed-Up

February 14th, 2011
5:26 pm

I never bought into the “Birther” conspiracy either. That is until the new governor of Hawaii made such a big deal over proving Obama was a citizen only to find egg on his face. There are no records. HE WAS NOT BORN IN THE USA.

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
5:27 pm

Real…if you paid attention you’ll find that I do bash Obama and others…just not on the silly issues that you chose. Birthers are the ultimate in silly.

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
5:30 pm

McCain at least in the 2008 election was more of a leader than Boehner will ever be….and as the Republicans continue their move to the right, they get into siller and siller territory.

willie lynch

February 14th, 2011
5:35 pm

Okay, I give up where was Obama born?

Willie

February 14th, 2011
5:37 pm

Tucker is always working on the irrelevant fringe. Obama launches a massive increase in taxes and a cowardly budget and Tucker wants to talk about birthers.
I might be willing to play if Tucker and the progressives had stood up to their own Truthers.
As the hpocrite in residence at COX Tucker wants it both ways.

Fed-Up

February 14th, 2011
5:40 pm

Willie… All signs point to Indonesia. Oh well…Impeachment proceedings are a waste of time and $$$$$ and the damage has already been done. I just hope that a more strict screening process in place for all future presidential elections to present such a disaster from happening again.

james

February 14th, 2011
5:41 pm

last blog Kam- got caught up in the changeover-

or simply too high when I blogged- anyway the republicans just plain suck I suppose

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
5:42 pm

Willie..the irrelevant fringe is what % of the party?

Moderate Line

February 14th, 2011
5:48 pm

I like CT cut out the rest of the interview.

james

February 14th, 2011
5:50 pm

18.297% heading to the square root of 72 I think is the goal

anyway- birthers, tea partiers, conservatives, republicans- they all suck and should be be-headed
we all know they are just plain stupid

willie lynch

February 14th, 2011
5:53 pm

Fed-Up

February 14th, 2011
5:40 pm

What signs?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

February 14th, 2011
5:57 pm

Assigning all birthers to the GOP is like assigning all “warmers” to the Democrat party.

Hmm, which party is Bill Maher. Didn’t he state last week that Obama wasn’t a Christian?

The Crying Game

February 14th, 2011
5:58 pm

Boehner’s statement is fairly innocuous. Said he personally believes BHO is a citizen and a Christian but that other people are free to believe what they want. The reporter clearly was trying to bait him into saying something controversial.

willie lynch

February 14th, 2011
6:02 pm

I’m just glad the emotionally unstable guy didn’t start crying.

Miner 21

February 14th, 2011
6:09 pm

He was born in Hawaii, grew up in different parts of the world including Indonesia, went to school in NYC at Columbia, went to law school at Harvard, worked in Chicago AGAINST the Machine, became a U.S. Senator and was ELECTED President. To those that continue to doubt it, Get over it! Some of you may want to ask yourselves if he wasn’t African-American and a republican would you ask the same question?

[...] GOP leaders scared to stand up to birthersAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Republican Party is being held hostage by its paranoid rightwing fringe — its fact-averse, conspiracy-mongering lunatics. Why else would GOP leaders …44: Secretary Clinton: House Republican budget cuts will endanger national …Washington PostRepublican Budget Would Hurt Security, Clinton SaysBloombergThis Week In PoliticsNPRAFP -The Epoch Times -TIME (blog)all 799 news articles » [...]

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 14th, 2011
6:24 pm

It’s 6:24 pm on 2/14/2011 and we still haven’t seen obozo’s birth certificate, just sayin…

Oh, and by the way, these are the same libs that whined about McCain being born on an overseas US Naval Base.

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
6:26 pm

Whiner…you have seen the birth certificate and the State of Hawaii’s official assurance even before the election.

Just sayin….

Stuart

February 14th, 2011
6:28 pm

When I’m discussing politics with someone, and they start talking about Obama’s birth certificate, I end the discussion. Because like my father always told me (a Republican, by the way) “you can never win an argument with an idiot.” And life is too short and too precious to waste my time with the kind of simple-minded, mouth-breathing, morons who entertain this idiocy. These are the same people, by the way, who are also convinced he’s not really a “Christian.” Well, they should know. 95% of the people I’ve met who say they’re Christian aren’t Christian, either. They can’t decide if they wanna kill somebody or torture them first, as long as it doesn’t keep them out of Sunday school, where can they talk about how much they love Jesus. And which Jesus is that, by the way? If I’m not mistaken, the Jesus I always read about was tortured to death. How do you rationalize that? Or is that too complex a thought for you to wrap your ever-expanding foreheads around? If any of you Obama experts really want the general public to start taking you seriously, please, for God’s sake, find someone to represent you that doesn’t sound like they barely squeaked by in grade school.

willie lynch

February 14th, 2011
6:34 pm

Stuart

February 14th, 2011
6:28 pm

Ouch! Hillarious!

CT has more class in her little finger than you have in your whole body

February 14th, 2011
6:40 pm

Boehner is an IDOT. For him to say that the American people have the right to think what they want to think and it’s not his job to tell them is cowardice.

Boehner as the speaker of the house should tell his voters that what they are claiming is fact is NOT TRUE. He does not want them to think any different so that the votes can swing his way.

THAT IS SO LOW DOWN AND DIRTY. Is this the person we want as speaker of the house?

I DONT THINK SO.

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
6:43 pm

Obama is our first Black President and our first Muslim President. Go by his actions not his lying words. And if Obama wasn’t Black all of you negros and liberals wouldn’t give one damn about him accept to ask where’s my check amd where’s my government job. Just like a mindless liberal democrat progressive. Do what you told by the DNC.

It's Crying Time

February 14th, 2011
6:44 pm

All of you Republicans need to start crying if this is what you want as speaker of the house. This man has no guts or morals. Why would he not tell people they are wrong about President Obama? Why – because he wants them to.

Is he setting a good example for our children? I DONT THINK SO.

ITS CRYING TIME PEOPLE!!!!!

Keep up the good fight!

February 14th, 2011
6:49 pm

Truthbe….racist, birther and xenophobe…..The Trifecta of Crazy!

bowhuntr

February 14th, 2011
6:49 pm

There is nothing classy about CT. We have a lot more things in this country to worry about than this. Please move along.

What Goes Around Comes Around

February 14th, 2011
6:49 pm

@TruthBe February 14th, 2011 6:43 pm

Is that why all of you meth smoking, trailer park trash, cracker, lice infected, red necks do give a damn because he is black.

Keep your racist, ignorant rantings to yourself. You ignorant fool. Go get some class and I don’t mean a GED class.

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
6:49 pm

I don’t care for Boehner either. All of them are nothing but career corrupt politicans including your boy Obama (democrats and republicans). Need ALL new people in Washington.

Catch 22

February 14th, 2011
6:51 pm

Miner 21,
Wasn’t the President in receipt of financial aid/a scholarship that was only available to foreign students (this means he either was a foreigner or committed fraud).

Real Scooter

February 14th, 2011
6:51 pm

CT has more class in her little finger than you have in your whole body

February 14th, 2011
6:40 pm

Tomorrow is going to be another nice day. You should think about going to fly your kite.

Catch 22

February 14th, 2011
6:53 pm

Miner 21,
Let me ask another question…why do people say that President Obama is “black?” He is half white and half black by birth and raised (pretty much exclusively) by the white parent and by her white parents (his grandparents). What about that experience makes him black?

gm

February 14th, 2011
6:53 pm

TruthBe : Ok Mr. Idiot, all you Anti Americans fear haters answer this question:
What race have killed more Americans in the United States
A. American Muslims
B. White Americans males

If you answered b, you are correct, so all you bigots, stupid birthers you should not be scared of Muslim, you should be scared of these crazy white males who have killed more Americans yesterday and today.

TruthBe: Blacks never questioned some of the ill moral white President we have had in this country, blacks have a little more respect for the office of the President then you racist idiots birthers”"”"

Tundra Dude

February 14th, 2011
6:54 pm

:

GREGORY: Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

BOEHNER (shudda said)
David, ignorance simply means a lack of knowledge. Neither I, nor anyone else has ever seen the original hard copy of his Birth Certificate. Never mind the crude forgery of the “Certification of Live Birth. In Hawaiii, this can be issued to someone born outside the state. Btw, the COLB was a forgery because they forgot to change the security pattern for the year it was issued.

BOEHNER (shudda said) The president says he’s a muslim. I accept him at his word.

“You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,”
Obama to interviewer George Stephanopoulos (2008)

Jon K. (non-voting legal immigrant)

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
6:55 pm

What Goes Around Comes Around , What hit a nerve. The truth about you and your black racism hurts. Blacks vote for Blacks. Remember the Mayor’s race what the Clark Profressors said during the election ” Get out the vote and vote for Reed don’t let Whitie win”. And the Reed campagin didn’t say a thing about that racist statement nor did the bias media or you.

Real Scooter

February 14th, 2011
6:56 pm

What Goes Around Comes Around

February 14th, 2011
6:49 pm

You must be one of those tolerent libs I’m always hearing about. NOT!!!

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
6:58 pm

gm, Welcome back when did you get out of jail. Do you covert to Islam while you were in jail like so many of your brothers.

Real Scooter

February 14th, 2011
7:01 pm

If you didn’t vote for Obama then you must be a racist! :roll:

willie lynch

February 14th, 2011
7:01 pm

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
6:43 pm

What’s wrong with a government job? Doesn’t Boehner have a government job?

gm

February 14th, 2011
7:04 pm

TruthBe : Hard for you face that fact I threw at you: Take your time I will give you a minute while you clean your trailer,.

What Goes Around Comes Around

February 14th, 2011
7:05 pm

@TruthBe February 14th, 2011 6:55 pm
@Real Scooter February 14th, 2011 6:56 pm

If the two of you don’t have any intelligent comments to make – go reinact the civil war and shoot yourself.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY BOYS

Owl

February 14th, 2011
7:05 pm

Even when there’s no tone to tone down…the other side creates a racist, viscous tone. I find this dear author quite dishonest.

gm

February 14th, 2011
7:07 pm

Real Scooter

If you did not vote for Bush, Clinton, Nixon etc you must hate white people:
This is how supid white people are acting over the first President of Color”’

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

February 14th, 2011
7:10 pm

@gm February 14th, 2011 6:53 pm

Don’t forget that most child molesters are white men!!!!!

@TruthBe February 14th, 2011 6:55 pm
@Real Scooter February 14th, 2011 6:56 pm

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
7:10 pm

gm, Why clean my trailer as you say when I can just order you to clean it for me boy.

TruthBe

February 14th, 2011
7:12 pm

Tell the Truth and shame the devil, That was a bit nasty to say about someone you don’t know. You must be talking about you own family.

TGT

February 14th, 2011
7:14 pm

“Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?”

Gregory should pose the same question to the pro-abortion progressives, who for decades have ignored the clear science and morality of life in the womb. Of course the liberal MSM has aided and abetted the lefts “ignorance” in this matter.