awaiian lawmakers are considering making it illegal to request President Obama's birth certificate. Officials complain that they waste time and money responding to as many as 20 such requests a week from so-called "Birthers" — who doubt whether Obama was born in the U.S. — even though state law forbids the release of birth certificates to people without a "tangible interest." Under a proposed bill, repeat offenders would be declared "vexatious requesters" and put under special restrictions for obtaining government records. Is this a sensible measure, or will it just fuel the conspiracists' fire? (Watch Robert Gibbs address the Birthers' requests)
This will just fan the flames of the movement: You can't blame Hawaii for wanting to put an end to this "ridiculous phenomenon," says Akela Talamasca at Manolith. But threatening to ban conspiracists from all government records "would only serve to heighten the level of suspicion birthers already have for the whole process." There's really "no way to win."
"Hawaii to birthers: Quit it"
Don't ban the birthers, prove the birth: I've got a better solution, says Conservative Generation at Left Coast Rebel. Amend the law "barring the state clerk from revealing Obama's birth certificate." Then the birther requests "will not continue," no one will be "banned from requesting information," and it will likely prohibit "future birther movements."
"Bill to ban birther requests? How about a bill to release Obama's birth certificate"
Doesn't sound like much of a "vexatious" task to me: Cry me a river, says Don O'Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail. Can these state officials really not handle a paltry "20 e-mails a week"? I've got a better idea for Hawaii's "pathetic" lawmakers: "charge the idiots $100 per copy and make some money."
"Hawaii to outlaw birthers"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- The GOP must try to win over African-Americans
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Conspiracy theories spread in the wake of Malaysia Airlines flight disappearance
Subscribe to the Week