I’m a Kansan born and bred. I graduated from a state school (K-State), and even cheer for the Jayhawks now and then (not when they play K-State, of course). But I’m feeling a bit embarrassed of my state officials today. Slate is reporting that there is a birther initiative to consider taking president Obama’s name off the ballot in Kansas on the grounds that he’s not really a citizen of the U.S. Here’s an excerpt from the article.
Evan McMorris-Santoro and Ryan J. Reilly have a good explainer on a news story that feels utterly surreal.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said on Thursday he and his fellow members of a state board were considering removing President Barack Obama from the Kansas ballot this November… The board will send records requests to Hawaii, Arizona and Mississippi for more documentation of Obama’s birth.
At this point, the birther cult is taking its cues Derrida. No text can be trusted. All texts must be deconstructed. Yes, yes, there are now publicly-available long-form and short-form birth certificates that confirm President Obama’s origins in Hawaii, and there are two contemporary newspaper announcements backing them up. But… what does it all mean?
Montgomery argues that Obama’s name should be stricken from the ballot because he does not meet the constitutional requirement that candidates have been “born in this country to parents who are both U.S. citizens, primarily to a U.S. citizen father.”
Montgomery asserts in his complaint that Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen. “Barack Obama Sr. retained his British and Kenyan citizenship and passed them on to his son, which Mr. Obama has publicly claimed on his Fight The Smears website,” Montgomery argues.
What do you think of this?
I actually think it would be a very good thing for them to do this. It would focus national attention on Kansas. This means that national reporters would dig around in the state, and some of the nutty stuff going on in Topeka might come into the light. Since there is absolutely no possible way that the president could actually win Kansas anyway, it seems like a silly waste of time and taxpayer money. Still, the symbolism of the move would be powerful. I for one hope that they follow through with it and remove his name from the ballot. I think it would do a lot of good to stoke the fire of the moderates in Kansas and raise awareness about what is happening in Kansas state government right now.