POSEY’S DELICATE SENSIBILITIES…. In March, Rep. Bill Posey, a far-right Republican freshman from Florida, introduced a bill to require presidential candidates to present a valid birth certificate before seeking national office. It was, of course, legislation driven entirely by ridiculous attacks on President Obama.
Posey was widely mocked for his foolishness, and even Posey’s conservative colleagues declined to endorse his bill or sign on as co-sponsors. Most notably, Stephen Colbert mocked Posey, arguing that questions about the president’s birthplace are about as legitimate as questions about the Florida Republican’s background: “To quell the persistent rumors about Posey himself, I am demanding DNA tests to determine whether Florida congressmen are part alligator. I have had enough with the reckless whispering…. This is just something I’ve heard: Bill Posey’s grandma, allegedly, [had relations with] an alligator.”
Apparently, the freshman lawmaker isn’t enjoying the ridicule.
Making national cable news can be a coup for a freshman congressman — unless the show is the satirical Colbert Report and its anchor calls you “part alligator” while mocking one of your bills.
Such was the fallout when U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, introduced legislation last month that would require all presidential candidates to submit a birth certificate when qualifying to run. Posey said the intent was to prevent a repeat of what happened last year, when fringe critics of then-candidate Barack Obama questioned his citizenship.
Instead, the bill fell flat — it has yet to attract a co-sponsor — and Posey took a beating from late-night comedy-show hosts and liberal media, who accused him of kowtowing to extremists in his party.
“I expected there would be some civil debate about it, but it wasn’t civil,” Posey said. “Just a bunch of name-calling and personal denigration. … There is no reason to say that I’m the illegitimate grandson of an alligator.”
He now says that he has “no reason to question” that Obama — born in Hawaii to an African father and an 18-year-old American mother — is a U.S. citizen. Initially, though, he told the Orlando Sentinel that he couldn’t “swear on a stack of Bibles whether he [Obama] is or isn’t [an American].”
How would you like to be this guy’s press secretary?
Note to Posey: fewer people will mock you if you make fewer ridiculous moves. Just a helpful hint.