Friday, February 4, 2011
State lawmakers in Nebraska have introduced a "birther" bill aimed at mollifying ongoing concerns that President Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States. While much of the proposed legislation's language resembles that of similar bills in Arizona, Texas, Connecticut and a number of other states, Nebraska's bill has a distinct twist: in addition to the long-form birth certificate of the potential candidate, it requires the long-form birth certificates for both of his or her parents.
Unfortunately, the recent history of the U.S. is filled with such divisive legislative crusades, from Proposition 187 in California in 1994 to last year's SB 1070 in Arizona, both of which were defanged by federal judges.
So why stir up a national debate with proposals that have little or no chance of becoming enforceable laws?
Because it's easier to scare people and make them angry than it is to fix anything.