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Birther renaissance?

Progressive website Think Progress suggests that there may be:

Though amateur political analysts might have assumed the birther movement would die out after Obama won reelection in 2012, it’s enjoyed something of a renaissance recently.

Think Progress said that in the context of yet another town meeting where a Congressman responded positively to a birther. This time it’s Freshman Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who in the photo looks a bit like comedian Adam Sandler. I invite you to read the article at the Think Progress web site. Mullin is reportedly a climate-change denialist too.

This comes on the heels of another town meeting birther-friendly quip by Rep. Ted Yoho and talk of a birther investigation bill from Rep. Steve Stockman. While 3 (or even 10) is a small number in a 435-member House of Representatives, it looks like the voters need to do some House cleaning, come 2014.

Update:

Rep Mullin now says that he "misspoke" and that he is not a birther.

Update 2:

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas joins the list, replying to a birther at a town meeting:

I think, unfortunately, the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue. The original Congress, when his eligibility came up, should have looked into it and it didn’t. I’m not sure how we fix it.

See article at Salon.com.

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48 Responses to Birther renaissance?

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Renaissance. I do not think that word means what they thinks it means!

  2. avatar
    alg August 9, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    I don’t think Mullin’s a birther. I just think he got caught off guard and didn’t posses an effective means of politely deflecting this individual from interrupting his meeting with an issue he had no intention of bringing up. I think Yoho got caught in the same kind of situation.

    What’s happening is right-wing media sources like Carl Gallups are motivating people to harass their congressional representatives about the Zullo follies and these elected panderers are unprepared for dealing with it. So they say something stupid that gets picked up in the regular media.

    Count on the GOP leadership to come up with more effective and timely talking points for their members so they can avoid the inevitable embarrassment.

    This too shall pass like a bout of bad gas.

  3. avatar
    Bob August 9, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    “Renaissance” or “picking at scabs?”

  4. avatar
    realist August 9, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Sounds, looks, and acts like Miki Booth to me. In fact, it seems Mullin calls her Miki at one point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXJd5ug4uto&feature=player_embedded

  5. avatar
    JPotter August 9, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    And Okieland puts another one on the board! Mullins is a local plumbing scion. His qualifications for Congress (and I base this on his relentless campaign advertising) was that his grandaddy fought in WWII, and his father gave him a plumbing business.

    That and he’s willing to dance to the party tune, and shuck-and-jive for the winger faithful.

    After a little birf, he’s trending on Twitter. Way to go, Mark. Take one for the team, go play the victim and up your red cred.

  6. avatar
    Thinker August 9, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    It is probably worth noting that the members of Congress who have gotten caught up in birfer nonsense recently haven’t been in Congress for very long. Stockman and Yoho are in their first term. Duncan and Mullin are in their second term. They will learn very soon that the best way to deal with birthers is to ignore them.

    Mullin made the mistake of trying to convince Miki that birtherism is a losing issue. If he has not yet figured it out, he will soon learn that birthers will not be swayed by logic or evidence. Pandering to birfers is a lose-lose proposition. Birfers will not accept anything less than a full-throated endorsement of their BS, so it doesn’t win them any birfer support. And flirting with birfers alienates sane conservatives and moderates.

    Please proceed, birthers. 🙂

  7. avatar
    Reality Check August 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    That is definitely Miki Booth. Did you notice Mullin’s reaction when Miki starting walking up to give him a copy of Zullo’s nonsense? It was not friendly.

  8. avatar
    Thomas Brown August 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Birtherism: The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.

  9. avatar
    Bob August 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    All they do on BirtherReport is grouse about people in power not doing anything about the (nonexistent) problem of Obama’s ineligibility.

  10. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Thomas Brown:
    Birtherism:The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.

    Now there’s a film I would gladly riff.

  11. avatar
    donna August 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    michael steele said today “if you don’t have to have a town hall meeting, don’t have one – just send off a notice to your constituents and say it’s great to be back in the state and i hope to see you at the next fish fry”

  12. avatar
    Rickey August 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    donna:
    michael steele said today “if you don’t have to have a town hall meeting, don’t have one – just send off a notice to your constituents and say it’s great to be back in the state and i hope to see you at the next fish fry”

    Mullin’s town hall meeting appears to have been sparsely attended. I see quite a few empty seats in that clip.

  13. avatar
    realist August 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Reality Check:
    That is definitely Miki Booth. Did you notice Mullin’s reaction when Miki starting walking up to give him a copy of Zullo’s nonsense? It was not friendly.

    Yes. It appeared he knew who she was and knew what she was trying to hand him. I’d guess she shows up at every town hall held spouting her same lies and passing out the same crap.

  14. avatar
    DP August 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Well, in a way, I can almost appreciate it, because this is how our system is supposed to work. If you’re up in arms about something, tell your representative. Go to his/her meeting and explain it face to face.

    In this case, however, it’s also cringe-inducing. The natural instinct is to look away as this woman makes a complete fool of herself. If nothing else, birtherism has been a useful reminder that, insofar as the human experience goes, there is no bottom. It’s only a personal commitment to try and achieve some level of objectivity about the fantasies floating around in our head that can save us.

  15. avatar
    Curious George August 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    At the very beginning of the video the woman refers to herself as the Birther Princess. Are these people actually living on the same planet?

  16. avatar
    BatGuano August 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    “But Ashley Kehl, communications director for Mullin, says that it’s simply not the case. “It is completely inaccurate,” Kehl told The Atlantic Wire by phone. “Congressman Mullin is not a birther. He’s never been a birther.”

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/08/non-birther-oklahoma-congressman-comes-out-congressman/68182/

    altho she accuses thinkprogress of splicing the video to change mullins’ comments, at least it’s an official response on the reps beliefs on birtherism.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    That’s my reaction.

    DP: In this case, however, it’s also cringe-inducing.

  18. avatar
    Thinker August 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    I’m not surprised to hear that Rep. Mullins is saying he misspoke. He was giving a nod to birferism, but he also made it clear through his words and his demeanor that he believes the birfer issue is BS and not helpful to the Republican or conservative cause. His biggest mistake was engaging her in a conversation about it in the first place. He should have thanked her for her comments and moved on to the next person right away.

  19. avatar
    JPotter August 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    BatGuano: But Ashley Kehl, communications director for Mullin,

    Kehl was also quoted saying that ThinkProgress “has never been a supporter of Markwayne Mullins.” LOL!

    1) Why would they be?
    2) Duh.

    Hilarious hearing someone on the right accuse someone on the left of manipulating video. The left only does that for comedic value; it’s obvious, and it’s hilarious. The right to smear and fire up the faithful in a 2-minutes hate. One engenders laughter, one engenders hate. Hmmm.

  20. avatar
    Crustacean August 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for making that reference, Thomas. You inspired me to go read John Belushi’s Wikipedia page. Apparently that sketch was a little bit of an inside joke; after an exhausting day of rehearsals or filming, Belushi was known to just walk unannounced into nearby homes (of friends AND strangers, according to Wiki), scrounge for food, and fall asleep.

    Thomas Brown: Birtherism: The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.

  21. avatar
    Graham Shevlin August 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Is Miki Booth even a constituent of Rep. Mullins?

  22. avatar
    justlw August 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Update:

    Rep Mullin now says that he “misspoke” and that he is not a birther.

    Where do we ship these here nuke plants, Rep. Mullin?

  23. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Thinker: Mullin made the mistake of trying to convince Miki that birtherism is a losing issue. If he has not yet figured it out, he will soon learn that birthers will not be swayed by logic or evidence.

    These new members should pay attention to how Senator McCain handled a similar situation during the campaign, I think, when an elderly lady asked him some inane question about Obama and he stopped her and said, “No, that’s not true.”

    No need for any clarifications when you meet the nonsense head-on.

  24. avatar
    JPotter August 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Finally got to watch the clip of my (almost) congressmen (his district is just down the street) birf’n.

    If he ‘misspoke’, he misspoke a LOT. He serially misspoke!

    He’s on a 1st name basis with Miki … his own fault LOL

  25. avatar
    JPotter August 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Thinker: Mullin are in their second term.

    Mullin is a first termer. Don’t worry, he’ll be there as long as he wants. This is the area that keeps electing Inhofe. 🙁

  26. avatar
    Steve August 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    CarlOrcas: These new members should pay attention to how Senator McCain handled a similar situation during the campaign, I think, when an elderly lady asked him some inane question about Obama and he stopped her and said, “No, that’s not true.”

    No need for any clarifications when you meet the nonsense head-on.

    While I respected McCain for doing that, I think there are some people on the right who think that cost him the election. I’m not sure how it cost him the election, but there seem to be some people who think it did.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    These new one’s are Teapublicans and integrity is not their strong suit.

    CarlOrcas: These new members should pay attention to how Senator McCain handled a similar situation during the campaign, I think, when an elderly lady asked him some inane question about Obama and he stopped her and said, “No, that’s not true.”

  28. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Steve: While I respected McCain for doing that, I think there are some people on the right who think that cost him the election. I’m not sure how it cost him the election, but there seem to be some people who think it did.

    Actually a couple more incidents like that could have helped him. He lost with the middle of the roaders not the wackos.

  29. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    These new one’s are Teapublicans and integrity is not their strong suit.

    You’re right. They’re zealots. The end justifies the means.

  30. avatar
    jdkinpa August 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Here is a much better video of Miki and her attempt to get her Congressman into the ‘birfer’ fold.

    http://wonkette.com/525180/up-and-coming-oklahoma-rep-markwayne-mullin-vs-the-birther-princess-the-physically-fit-poors

    He calls her by name several times. He’s probably been keeping her at arms length since he was elected. I could almost feel sorry for him.

    More here….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtpiVW5bQ7A

  31. avatar
    JPotter August 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Actually a couple more incidents like that could have helped him. He lost with the middle of the roaders not the wackos.

    Exactly. National elections are a battle for the middle. Whichever extreme is currently offensive to the mainstream will lose a Presidential election. Developing an issue/position that is a wedge between the base and the rest, a must for the extremists but a dealbreaker with the general public, is Death to a national effort. It’s division rather than union.

  32. avatar
    Steve August 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Actually a couple more incidents like that could have helped him. He lost with the middle-of-the roaders not the wackos.

    There’s a school of thought that he needed the wackos more than the middle-of-the-roaders, that it’s easier for conservatives to be more excited about a far-right candidate than a centrist. They’re more enthusiastic, more likely to make phone calls, knock on doors, etc.
    Of course, if that were true, Ron Paul would be President now.
    Edited for punctuation.

  33. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 10, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Steve: There’s a school of thought that he needed the wackos more than the middle-of-the-roaders, that it’s easier for conservatives to be more excited about a far-right candidate than a centrist. They’re more enthusiastic, more likely to make phone calls, knock on doors, etc.
    Of course, if that were true, Ron Paul would be President now.
    Edited for punctuation.

    There’s always talk about how candidates have to please their base first. That’s true in the primaries, especially today with our Gerrymandered legislative and Congressional districts, but once you’re in the general election you have to get other folks in your tent.

    Richard Nixon explained it many years ago. To paraphrase: “You go right in the primaries and then when you you run back to the middle of the road for the general election.”

  34. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 10, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    JPotter: It’s division rather than union.

    Unfortunately it has become increasingly so in the last quarter century.

  35. avatar
    JPotter August 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Another clip of Miki v. Mullins for the record, found at Wonkette. Another angle (from Miki’s side of the room!), alternate audio.

    http://wonkette.com/525180/up-and-coming-oklahoma-rep-markwayne-mullin-vs-the-birther-princess-the-physically-fit-poors

    No mention of this kerfuffle in local media. I certainly didn’t expect them to report “Mullins birf’d!” (quite the opposite), but possibly a mention that a local citizen’s antics had gained Mullins some more notoriety.

    I did also learn that Mullins tore his esophagus during the campaign last year (ouch!), and ended his campaign $327K in the hole. Ironically, he outspent his opponent $1.6M to $1.2M …. his willingness to spend what he didn’t have made all the difference …. and Okieland’s entire congressional slate is now red.

    For those wondering who will take Bachmann’s crown as the Queen of the Loony Quote, keep an eye on Mullins. Only on the job for 7 months, and he’s showing great promise.

    And he’s no stranger to controversy … a plumbing magnate, he’s had some questionable employees (bound to happen in a business of some size?) … including giving guns to a felon.

    My favorite was that, not only was he running campaign ads like crazy, his company was advertising itself like crazy during the election. A plumbing company running a massive local campaign … ? While it’s owner just happens to be running for Congress … ? That got the FEC’s attention …. but no action. Kinda strange considering the lack of advertising preceding the campaign …

    I trust he will continue to do Okies proud.

  36. avatar
    G August 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Yeah, in terms of a “renaissance”, I find it quite laughable, considering that this OK incident and the recent FL one simply stem from two crazy, die-hard birthers still birfing. I mean this is Mikki and John we’re talking about. So ROTFLMAO. Good for them. Taking their craziness directly to a local representative is within their right (to an extent…when the rep tries to shoo them away, they *should* start to get the hint… but then again, they are birthers…so being extremely dense to the reality around them is not surprising at all…

    All they have accomplished in their folly is to trick their own reps into making a foolish gaffe of pandering to them in a way that results in national mocking and alienates sane voters, even among their own broader support base…

    Fools…hahaha!

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    Renaissance. I do not think that word means what they thinks it means!

  37. avatar
    JPotter August 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Trump birfs away on This Morning:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/donald-trump-sen-ted-cruz-perhaps-not-eligible-for-white-house-if-born-in-canada/

    He even stoops to the level of grade-school semantics when the interview affirms that he is “pretty sure” Obama was born in Hawaii. Humorously, using the same type of semantics silliness, I can report that Trump later in the clip says “Obamacare is a very positive thing for America!”

    Yeah, this is a lots of “re-“s of birther expressionism … rehash, resurgence, renewal, repeat … but, with nothing new, it’s only a very sarcastic “renaissance”.

    Trump is threatening to ensure that 2016 is a do-over of 2012. To that I say …

    Go, Trump, go!

    It will be hell to live through, but the end result will make it all worth it.

  38. avatar
    G August 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Yeah…heard that too… He claims he’s even willing to spend over half a billion of his own $$$ if he actually “runs”. I’ll believe it when I see it. He’s been quite the perennial wanna-be candidate. He’s simply wants attention and his ego stroked, as always…

    JPotter: Trump is threatening to ensure that 2016 is a do-over of 2012. To that I say …

    Go, Trump, go!

    It will be hell to live through, but the end result will make it all worth it.

  39. avatar
    Jim August 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    G:
    He claims he’s even willing to spend over half a billion of his own $$$ if he actually “runs”.

    Funny how he seems to forget the obvious, just like a birther. Just because you’re “eligible” doesn’t mean you’re “electable”.

  40. avatar
    G August 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Agreed. He’s merely a clown, not a serious contender.

    Jim: Funny how he seems to forget the obvious, just like a birther. Just because you’re “eligible” doesn’t mean you’re “electable”.

  41. avatar
    Suranis August 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I doubt trump is capable of spending half a billion cents if he limits himself to his own money.

    G:
    He claims he’s even willing to spend over half a billion of his own $$$ if he actually “runs”.

  42. avatar
    aarrgghh August 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    if there were ever any doubt that captain combover is so completely fulla sheet (i know, i know … just being rhetorical) …

    the donald doesn’t spend his own money on anything. and the fact that he’d need to convince a lotta high rollers to give him millions he won’t take out of his own pocket for a vanity run means that it ain’t never ever gonna happen — and he knows it. if his friends are feeling particularly burned by the romney campaign (and they are), they’ll just pat trump on the head and tell him that those grapes are really quite sour anyway.

  43. avatar
    donna August 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    “captain combover” is just trying to beef up his low ratings –

    Though Donald Trump’s team insisted to Salon that the show will be returning despite having been left off the NBC schedule, the ratings were down 24 percent from last year, with a mere 5.6 million viewers tuning in to see country singer Trace Adkins claim the top prize. Until today, last year’s finale ratings had been the lowest in “Apprentice” history, at 6.8 million; before that, the 2011 finale ratings had been sharply down, too, coinciding with Trump’s emergence as a leading voice of the “birther” movement.

  44. avatar
    G August 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Yeah, he really screwed the pooch with his birtherism and playing footsie with politics. He had a brand and a successful show gig. He’s done incredible damage (likely lasting) to both with his nonsense. His 3 adult children seem like decent people and have been smart enough to stay completely out of his political follies and birfing madness. For a man who is supposedly all about “business”, he’s really done a heck of a lot of damage to his “brand value”…

    You mentioned the drop in ratings of the last Celebrity Apprentice season (a solid concept gimmick that seemingly was working fine and successful, until his political nonsense…unlike just regular “Apprentice”, which was starting to feel “stale” after awhile). What is really shocking about such a drop is that this last Celebrity Apprentice season was an “All Star” one…so it really should have followed the mold of other “All Star” reality seasons and brought strong “returning favorites” numbers, instead of plummeting like that….

    Trump has always banked a certain portion of his “brand” reputation on being a loud mouth sensationalist, who wasn’t afraid to pick media fights…but political birtherism has proven to be a step of crazy sleaze that is certainly a step too far for many people. It is way beyond his trading stupid insults with Rosie O’Donnell, that’s for sure.

    donna:
    “captain combover” is just trying to beef up his low ratings –

    Though Donald Trump’s team insisted to Salon that the show will be returning despite having been left off the NBC schedule, the ratings were down 24 percent from last year, with a mere 5.6 million viewers tuning in to see country singer Trace Adkins claim the top prize. Until today, last year’s finale ratings had been the lowest in “Apprentice” history, at 6.8 million; before that, the 2011 finale ratings had been sharply down, too, coinciding with Trump’s emergence as a leading voice of the “birther” movement.

  45. avatar
    The Magic M August 12, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    G: He’s been quite the perennial wanna-be candidate. He’s simply wants attention and his ego stroked

    I believe he’s continually testing the public response to a potential candidate with his views – it provides the GOP (or their handlers) with an outlook how a Trump-like candidate (read: loud-mouth fringe-view loose cannon) might ring with their base.
    As far as Trump himself goes, he might try and run in the primaries to stroke his ego, but I don’t think he’d run for President even if he actually won the primaries.

  46. avatar
    Dave August 12, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    Trump has established a pattern of talking endlessly about running for President and not doing anything about it. This occurred in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. I believe the only time he even bothered to get himself on a ballot was in 2000, only for the primary in CA.

    I really don’t see how anybody can take him seriously.

  47. avatar
    G August 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Agreed.

    Dave:
    Trump has established a pattern of talking endlessly about running for President and not doing anything about it. This occurred in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. I believe the only time he even bothered to get himself on a ballot was in 2000, only for the primary in CA.

    I really don’t see how anybody can take him seriously.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    This article has been updated again to include birther-friendly remarks by Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold.