Hoekstra trims proposed birther agency


After the world got a look at him advocating for a national birther agency, former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra told the conservative Mackinac Policy Conference that the whole birther discussion is just so ridiculous. There must be a term for this kind of response – something like passive-aggressive, but I don’t think that’s quite it.

The Michigan papers describe the latest from Hoekstra this way:

The West Michigan Republican grew animated and loud as he defended remarks he made earlier this month at a Michigan tea party gathering, suggesting he would not have broached the topic if he had not been asked.

“This is an absolutely ludicrous discussion to be having four years after a presidential (election),” Hoekstra said at a near shout. “It is an absolute waste of time and energy. We have trillion dollar deficits. We have eight percent unemployment. We have a health care system that is collapsing. And somebody is asking about the birthing issue?”

It would be one thing if someone had asked about the “birthing issue” and Hoekstra had said only this:

Sure. I mean, I think – you know, I think, throw something at me if you want, I think with this president, the book is closed, all right? It’s kind of like, I hate to say it, but I think the debate’s over – we lost that debate, and we lost that debate in 2008, when our presidential nominee said, ‘I ain’t talking about it.’ OK, I’m sorry.

But that was just the first part of his response. Hoekstra didn’t stop at lamenting John McCain’s decision not to join the birther cause; he suggested perpetuating the birther cause as part of the taxpayer-funded bureaucracy. He continued:

“But I do now believe that I’d like to establish a three-person office in Washington, D.C., OK – knowing it, we’ll go to five. But there’s no reason why we should have this kind of question, you know, for the president of the United States. So that at any future election, all right, that someone would have to walk into that office, and prove that they meet the minimum qualifications to be president of the United States.”

For the record, Hoekstra now says the office for the issue he considers so ludicrous could be staffed by one or two people – that might count as austerity.