Ken Bennett Courts Ridicule with More Birther Nonsense
The fun begins around 6:55 in
What in tarnation is wrong with Ken Bennett? Before he drank the birther Kool-Aid, then publicly spat it up, Arizona's Secretary of State was regarded as a moderate Republican with a lick of common sense.
But a month after the flap over Bennett's asking the state of Hawaii to verify something it's verified umpteen times before (i.e., President Obama's birth certificate), then apologizing for embarrassment brought on the state of Arizona in the process, he's stuck the other wingtip in his gob. This time, copping to an altogether different birther-related conspiracy theory.
That is, that Obama supposedly "fibbed" that he was born in Kenya so he could get into college and/or advance his career. Seems Bennett conveyed this latest foray into tinfoil-hattery at a recent meeting of Legislative District 12 Republicans.
"Now, I know there's a lot of people that...are very skeptical as to whether the president was born in Hawaii," Bennett explained to the assembled. "Personally, I believe he was. I actually think he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college and doing things like writing a book and on and on and on.
"So if there was weird stuff going on, I actually think it was happening back in his college days. Because I think he has spent one and a-half or two million dollars through attorneys to have all of the college records and all of that stuff sealed. So if you're spending money to seal something, that's probably where the hanky-panky was going on."
Where does this latest bout of insanity come from?
Well, in May, Breitbart.com discovered an old pamphlet from a literary agency that erroneously stated Obama was born in Kenya, and posted a screenshot of same.
And like a conspiranut game of telephone, it's morphed into conjecture by bloggers and speculation by Rush Limbaugh, that Obama claimed he was born in Kenya in order to get ahead in life.
See, the birthers are not even responsible for birtherism, it's Obama himself who started it all by "fibbing." Obama was the original birther mastermind. Genius!
The left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters effectively tears a new hole in this one with those troublesome things called "facts." Read on:
"News outlets were reporting in 1990, prior to the pamphlet's publication, that Obama was born in Hawaii. The literary agency, Acton & Dystel, has explained that the `born in Kenya' line `was nothing more than a fact checking error.' [And in] April 2011, the White House released a copy of Obama's original, long-form birth certificate -- the one birthers demanded after being unsatisfied with Obama's certificate of live birth."
When Bennett made his initial blunders over the birther stuff, I wrote that I "almost" felt an ounce of sympathy for him. As a prospective gubernatorial candidate, he has to cater to local GOP base that thinks Obama is the spawn of Satan and is willing to believe any paranoid conspiracy theory that discredits his presidency (in their eyes), no matter how ludicrous or ignorant.
However, whatever tiny reservoir of sympathy I may have had for Bennett is currently bare-bones dry.
Later in his remarks, Bennett defends himself against calls for him to step down as Arizona co-chair of Mitt Romney's campaign, so as to maintain his impartiality as the state's chief elections officer.
I agree that Bennett shouldn't step down. Because the longer he remains in that role, the more chagrin he causes the Romney camp. And that seems some mild recompense for the chagrin he's causing the state.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.