Score one for operation unicorn! And score one against the birthers (i.e., the nuts pushing the conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn’t actually born in America, even though it’s been proven again and again)
The Arizona official in charge of elections in that state has now backed off his absurd, birther-induced threat to keep President Obama off the ballot in November:
After days of ridicule for launching a conspiracy theory-fueled investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on Tuesday backed off his threat to keep the president off the ballot in November and apologized to his state.
“If I embarrassed the state, I apologize, but that certainly wasn’t my intent,” Bennett said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR. “He’ll be on the ballot as long as he fills out the same paperwork and does the same things that everybody else has.”
For those not familiar with the story, Bennett issued the threat to keep Barack Obama off the ballot because of “questions” whether the president was born in America. What provoked him to do so? Sternly worded emails:
Bennett, the state’s No. 2 elected official just below Gov. Jan Brewer (R), said his investigation isn’t personal. He said the reason he started looking into it is because he got more than 1,200 emails asking him to do so. (source)
Well, over at Left Action, we decided that if 1,200 emails were enough to get the top state elections official to investigate a tinfoil-hat, bullshit conspiracy theory, we wanted to rally support to investigate a theory of our own: That Mitt Romney was a unicorn.
There has never been a conclusive DNA test proving that Mitt Romney is not a unicorn. We have never seen him without his hair – hair that could be covering up a horn.
No, we cannot prove it. But we cannot prove that it is not the case. And if Mitt Romney is or may be a unicorn, he is not Constitutionally qualified to be president.
Well, we got more than 1,200. We got 17,000. And that provoked a whole heap of well-earned ridicule for Bennett, including this gem from Talking Points Memo:
At least one progressive online network, Left Action, took up the cause this week under the theory that if 1,200 emails can convince Bennett to investigate one conspiracy theory, maybe they can cobble together enough support to get him to investigate anything.
As of Tuesday afternoon some 15,000 people and counting had already put their names on Left Action’s online petition asking Bennett to investigate whether Mitt Romney is really a unicorn. (Yes, a unicorn. The petition even has its own domain name: MittRomneyIsAUnicorn.com.) That’s more than 10 times the number of people who asked Bennett to investigate the president in the first place.
While Roberts [Bennett's spokesman] said he hadn’t seen the unicorn petition, he’s heard about it through a litany of nasty emails in recent days.
“We have received emails containing that request,” he said, “usually followed by some colorful language suggesting things I don’t think I can physically perform.”
The next day, Bennett reversed himself.
Never underestimate the power of well directed satire — especially when your opponent’s position is so asinine as to come with its own satire built right in.
(p.s. – this won’t be the last of “operation unicorn.” If birther stupidity arises again, we’ll be standing by, ready to throw our “horn” into the ring)
(p.p.s. – what the heck, we’ve now put up a Facebook page for the unicorn effort)