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Taitz to Stockman: You have nothing to lose

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/images/1/16/Steve_Stockman.jpgOne of the great false hopes put forward by the Zullo/Gallups/Volin triad was Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas who was, according to Mike Zullo “still on board pursuing this matter” in an October 3, 2013 YouTube recording titled “Team Arpaio: Rep. Stockman On Board; There Will Be Obama ID Fraud Action.”

While Stockman made some remarks about impeaching Obama, he never said anything about ID Fraud as a reason.

Tea Party candidate Stockman was crushed by establishment Republican candidate John Cornyn in the recent Texas Republican Primary for the US Senate, and so Stockman will be leaving Congress. Buh-bye.

But wait! Couldn’t the lame duck do something? Orly Taitz thinks so, writing today:

Stockman ran unsuccessful against Cornyn for Senate. He also, spoke out on the issue of Obama’s bogus IDs. As he is leaving Congress, he has nothing to lose, he has everything to gain in bringing to the committees an official complaint and an official request to hold hearings on the issue of Obama’s bogus IDs. Please, contact Stockman, ask him not to talk, but to file the actual complaint and a request for congressional hearing[.]

Stockman may not matter

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Rep. Steve Stockman was the great birther hope for a Congressional investigation into Obama’s birth documents with the Zullo crowd saying he was “on board” despite official silence. Stockman was on the impeachment wagon, authoring a book: “Impeach­able Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.” One might think that a very con­ser­va­tive politician was tailor made for advancement in the very con­ser­va­tive state of Texas, but Stockman is not faring very well in a primary battle for the US Senate, as indicated by these University of Texas / Texas Tribune numbers:

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It’s a bit of a mystery where Steve Stockman is, the usually punctual Stockman missing 17 straight votes in the House this year, and disappearing for two weeks from the Senate campaign. He was briefly spotted in Egypt reports Politico, but nothing since. This hasn’t helped his popularity among potential voters.

Stockman combined his two passions, guns and anti-abortion, in the memorable Tweet:

If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.

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Birthers for Cruz!

The Opposing Views web site carries a new article today about WorldNetDaily publisher Joseph Farah, his birther opposition to Barack Obama and his support for foreign-born potential presidential contender Ted Cruz. The article also cites support for Cruz from birther-friendly congressman Steve Stockman.

Both seem to like Cruz’ birth certificate more than Obama’s, even though the latter is the only one with a paper trail and official confirmation. Could the problem with Obama’s certificate be that word “African” on it—I mean as a fact, not an anomaly.

Doc’s State of the Birther Address

The conspiracy theory I call “the birther movement” has been around 5 years now and over that time we’ve seen an Internet rumor grow to a national phenomenon, where most people know about it and at one point more than half of Republicans believed it. Books were written, web sites created, over 200 lawsuits were filed (all without success), and the President himself addressed the issue in a special press conference on national television.

Where are we now?

Clearly much of energy behind birtherism was political. Support for such beliefs was strongly skewed toward people leaning to the right politically, and if any one birther demographic were signaled out, it would be old conservative southern white guys. Today, however, political motivation is waning as the focus of presidential politics moves from Barack Obama to the 2016 election. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said the a political movement based on “angry white guys” is not sustainable.

The 9/11 truthers were largely left-leaning at the start, and focused on President George W. Bush. In 2006, as the administration of Bush wound down, activism from the left died down, and truther activists are now comprised mainly of far right groups: Constitutional Party and Libertarian supporters, folks who are prone to conspiracy belief in general. What we see among the Truthers is a shift from political motivation to classic conspiracy theory thinking, and an overall decline in activism.

With the birther movement, I think that we’ll a see similar shift this year. The racial bias that underlies much of the movement will remain and I expect that “angry white guys” will continue to be the core demographic, but general right-wing activism will decline, while general conspiracy thinking and racial bias will provide any new converts. The President is scheduled to leave office in January 2017, and that leaves hardly any opportunity for new lawsuits, although Orly Taitz continues her individual legal efforts to pry documents out of the federal government.

One interesting development is the election of a number of Tea Party affiliates to Congress. These individuals, who may be described as “fringe” in many of their beliefs, and characterized by a general non-application of critical thinking to their public positions, are ripe candidates for new birther converts, or may be “closet birthers” already. We’re waiting to see what if anything will come from Representatives Stockman and Yoho. We may see resolutions or bills introduced (but not approved) relating to birther issues. We may again see allied legislation (to require birth certificates from presidential candidates) offered in States in the run up to the 2016 election. Now that they cannot be accused of being attempts to block Obama’s candidacy, some of these “birther bills” may actually pass.

What I see today is a lack of enthusiasm among birthers. Many birther web sites have gone inactive. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse is about the only news-making activity going on, and that initiative really has nowhere to go1 besides making money from Mike Zullo’s new book. On the other hand, I think that low-level birtherism is with us for the long term, settling down among all the other many conspiracy theories (Freemasons, black helicopters, New World Order, chemtrails, HAARP, alien abduction/UFO cover up, and on and on) that haunt the back alleys of the Internet.


1Maricopa County lacks jurisdiction to prosecute any alleged crimes involving President Obama, plus the County Prosecutor seems to be level-headed enough to recognize that the Posse doesn’t have any evidence.

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.