Montana’s TEA Partiers seem obsessed with making Montana into the mecca for right-wing nutters.
The legislature is no exception. The same day that the state TEA Party Republicans pushed a radical Arizona-style immigration law, they embraced the “birther” conspiracy about President Barack Obama. The Flathead Beacon reported today that state House TEA Party Republican Bob Wagner (R-Harrison) has introduced a birther bill would require Obama and any future federal candidate to show her birth certificate to order to be included on the ballot in the presidential election.
But the birther bill could potentially backfire against the Montana GOP if the public comes to believe that such nutty extremism drives their whole agenda. While the TEA Party wing of the MT GOP has yet to explicitly link its birther bill with the anti-immigration, black helicopter, anti-UN, anti-victims of domestic violence, anti-Indian, anti-vaccine and other conspiracy theory based legislation, it seems clear that all of these initiatives spring from the same desire to play to the right-wing base. The same GOP lawmakers are behind most of the proposals, after all.
By the way, isn’t the fact that Obama’s “illegal” human (as the Helena IR would write) status old news by now? How is Rep. Wagner just now getting around to pandering to the crazies about this? He just likes the Constitution you say? Sure, he loves it. He loves it so much he chopped it up into pieces, put it in the blender, and freebased it with a little baking soda.
But these bills won’t improve the lives the state’s crackpot conspiracy theorists and TEA party ralliers-nor will they create higher paying jobs or attract innovative businesses to Montana. They will simply humiliate the legislators who’ve endorsed the measures by making them (and our state) the laughingstocks of the nation-a task they set out upon achieving even before they were elected. The birther bill–and the other black helicopter, Area 51-level conspiracy, racist, sexist and fundi bills–are all forms of reactionary hysteria, but much of this legislation could actually cause profound substantive harm to Montana residents.
The more these ideas are linked, the better.