Birthers Making Things Awkward for the GOP

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What do you do if you're a Republican officeholder unfortunate enough to represent constituents, known as birthers, who harbor conspiracy theories about President Obama's origins? How can you avoid sullying your reputation by sympathizing with crazy people, but also avoid insulting a politically active contingent, that, after all, may hold your political future in their sweaty, fist-clenched hands? It's quite the conundrum if you have no backbone and will say anything to get reelected — which probably describes most politicians. For some, the resulting balancing act can produce comically irrational and illogical positions. Take Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, for example. “They have a point,” he told Politico about the birthers. “I don’t discourage it ... But I’m going to pursue defeating [Obama] on things that I think are very destructive to America.” So let's break this down. Inhofe, supposedly, believes that the birthers may be right — that Obama's Hawaiian birth is a conspiracy that allowed him to unconstitutionally assume the presidency. But at the same time, it's not something he's too concerned about. Good God, man, if you think the president is illegitimate at least show some consistency and get upset about it.

GOP headache: The birther issue [Politico]