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Rep. Bill Posey Explains His Birther Bill

Freshman Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), who took some heat for introducing a bill that would force presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship, explains himself on a blog he writes for a local newspaper.

Why’d I do this? Well, for a number of reasons and the more and more I get called names by leftwing activists, partisan hacks and political operatives for doing it, the more and more I think I did the right thing. First, it’s easy to call people names. This week, I’ve been called some pretty nasty things. That’s fine. But none of these tolerant people actually want to discuss the issue at hand … whether or not a presidential candidate should have to file these documents with the government.

That’s a pretty deep hole Posey is digging. In a vacuum, sure, the issue is whether the mere scrutiny of the international media and biographers is enough to prove that presidential candidates are citizens. In reality, this issue has been pushed by conspiracy theorists, against all evidence, to sue the president.

I could easily fill up a page listing all the activities an American needs to show their ID for … everything from playing youth soccer to getting a drivers license, buying cigarettes and alcohol, to opening bank accounts and even playing little league. So I was pretty surprised to find out that to run for president, despite the constitutional requirement and the media scrubbing that goes on, it’s not required for a candidate to file these documents when they submit their statement of candidacy with the FEC.

“Little league” might be a lousy example.

But having been charged with reforming the elections in the State of Florida after the 2000 recounts and lawsuits, I thought I could offer a solution to this question on eligibility. There’s nothing anyone can do about changing past elections … the President won. All the lawsuits in the world are not going to change that. But if what some folks are worried about – that presidential candidates don’t have to submit to the same documentation that average folks have to submit to – well, then we can change that for the next election.

He’s trying to help Obama! What’s wrong with you people?

A recent AOL poll found showed that 75 percent of the people participating agreed with me. And many have expressed surprise it is not already a requirement.

That AOL poll was overrun by fringe websites like WorldNetDaily, which told readers to go and vote on it. Even if it hadn’t been, the “it was popular in a non-scientific web poll” is an unusual defense to come from a congressman.

Yes, the problem with the 2000 presidential election in Florida was clearly whether the candidates were eligible for office. You can follow TWI on Twitter here.

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