Just Plain Embarrassing

The more he says, the worse he sounds.

Last spring at a Glenn Beck/Tea Party rally in his hometown, state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, called President Obama “God’s punishment on us.” Then recently Rep. Berman filed a bill in the Texas Legislature that would require a presidential candidate to submit an original birth certificate before qualifying for the ballot in the state. He justified the bill by calling into question whether President Obama is a native-born American citizen:

“This bill is necessary because we have a president whom the American people don’t know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place.”

Claims that President Obama isn’t — or hasn’t proven that he is — a natural-born citizen were debunked long, long ago. But the loony right won’t let it go. Monday night Rep. Berman further embarrassed himself on Anderson Cooper’s CNN news program, AC360, by repeating absurd claims about President Obama based essentially on deceitful rumors, Internet spam and ignorant blather from right-wing websites and crackpots. Talking Points Memo was watching:

One representative exchange came after Berman asked why no one has access to any of the President’s school records. “Why don’t we know anything about a president who has such a radical agenda?” he said.

Cooper asked him: “Have you seen George W. Bush’s transcripts from college?”

Berman replied: “I can see anything I want from George W. Bush.”

“Actually sir, you couldn’t,” Cooper fired back. “Under federal law the schools cant release that information.”

Berman, unable to respond to this, soon moved on: “Where are the president’s passports and his travel records that got him to Pakistan in the early 90s, when no U.S. citizen could get to Pakistan at all?”

Cooper replied: “What you just said is factually incorrect,” adding that Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 when Americans could still go there. “That’s just an internet rumor that you’re spreading,” Cooper said.

Religious-right groups — like Texas Eagle Forum — a few weeks ago were calling for Berman’s election as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in January. Berman is apparently not seeking that post now, and right-wing groups are instead backing Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, and Ken Paxton, R-McKinney.

12 thoughts on “Just Plain Embarrassing

  1. The consistency of the Palinesesqu propaganda themes and symbols a la Tea Party are far too tightly defined and disseminated to be the works of a ground swell of spontaneous generation. Not even Josef Goebbels or Noam Chomskey could come up with such a widely accepted catechism of absolutes.

    Who is putting it together and who is paying for it? Much of the shadows behind the curtain have a Texas flavor to them, as in Texas, public debate is obscene and all decisions are made behind closed doors by those who, if you don’t know, you aren’t cleared to know.

  2. Am I missing something? I traveled to Pakistan in 1986, and have never heard of a travel ban on Americans going there. Did they mean to say “Afghanistan?”.

  3. TFN should bring Anderson Cooper down to Texas to give a high profile speech somewhere. That would generate some fireworks!!!
    Thanks, Mr. Cooper.

  4. I’ve been looking at the idiocy being put forth by Glenn Beck and David Barton over at Glenn Beck University. In one instance Barton talks about the huge role evangelical Christians played in the Revolutionary War. In fact, according to Barton, George Washington himself was an evangelical Christian. And Washington-the-evangelical is something not just Barton but numerous operatives from the nutjob right have spent a good deal of time marketing. (Barton also claims all but 3 of the 50+ Founders were evangelicals.)

    Was Washington really an evangelical Christian? Well in 1827 James Madison, in retirement at Montpelier, was interviewed over a period of several days by Boston historian Jared Sparks. In that interview Madison told Sparks that “Washington never attended to the arguments for Christianity, nor did he have any definite opinions on religion. He simply took those things as he found them existing and faithfully observed the Episcopal rituals in which he was brought up.”

    Hmm. Since Madison actually knew Washington and worked with him on and off for over 20 years I have to agree with him on this one. Sorry Beck and Barton and the rest of the theocratic right but you’re a bunch of liars. So there.

  5. Maybe we could enlist Anderson Cooper in our anti-hooey crusade and he could get Barton on his show and give him a good thrashing with the truth.

  6. Anderson Copper or how ’bout John Stewart? I doubt Barton would do either interview though, he’d likely adopt the Palin-O’Donnell mantra that the liberal media can’t be trusted, only Fox News tells the truth.

    Professionial liars, or in the case of Palin & O’Donnell professional idiots, can’t stand the harsh light of reality.