You almost have to laugh at this latest chapter in the seemingly endless “birther” saga, because about the only alternatives at this point are tears and/or nausea.
It was embarrassing enough when members of the Georgia legislature — including, to Columbus’ acute humiliation, two members of the local delegation — drafted a “Presidential Eligibility Assurance Act” in the last legislative session.
Now Georgians get to enjoy the added spectacle of their secretary of state, Brian Kemp, warning the president (let that sink in — warning the president) through a White House attorney that failure to appear in a Georgia court would be “at your own peril.” Really, Mr. Secretary? Is that a threat? …
Georgia, no thanks to some judgment-impaired officials and certainly without the consent of the governed, has been slumming in the Orly Taitz nuttery neighborhood way too long. Please, for the sake of the state’s already battered image, let’s just quietly tiptoe out of this putrid political ghetto and back to the daylight side of town before we attract any more ridicule.
And a column by Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Under state law, Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi’s job was to gather the evidence in the case through the hearing process and then issue a recommendation on whether Barack Obama’s name should remain on the Georgia ballot. His role in the process was to serve as a fact-finder rather than final arbiter.
According to the birther movement, Malihi told their lawyers during pre-hearing conference that he would enter a “default judgment” against Obama for refusing to appear and for refusing to even send lawyers to participate in the hearing, and that he would in fact recommend Obama’s removal.
I think that’s highly dubious. I know you will be shocked to hear this, but Orly Taitz and others have a record of claiming important legal victories that turn out to be inglorious defeats. Among other things, it keeps the contributions flowing in. Nothing presented in the absurdist comedy of that courtroom yesterday would justify barring a sitting president of the United States from the Georgia ballot. It was a farce. The birthers’ only chance is a recommendation from Malihi based not on their “evidence,” but on the refusal of the Obama camp to put up a defense against it.
Until I sat in that courtroom yesterday, I wasn’t sure why the Obama legal team had chosen not to appear. But in hindsight, they were right. Showing up to refute the nonsense presented would have given the birther arguments a dignity they do not deserve. You cannot refute air and sheer fantasy. How many times can an opposing lawyer say, in so many words, “Your honor, this is just really and truly stupid”?