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Why Romney's birth certificate joke isn't funny


Not known for his comedic skills and certainly not his comedic timing, Mitt Romney took a moment to enjoy a “moment of levity” by bringing up the hilarious birther conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States of America and therefore is not legally allowed to be president of the United States. Hilarious doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Most of Romney’s defenders waved away those of us who found the remark disgracefully unfunny: couldn’t we just unbutton our tight suit jackets, and put down our steaming mugs of political correctness and see how funny Governor Romney was trying to be? I mean, come on! What’s a little humor predicated on fear-mongering and race baiting? This campaign needs levity, people!

The real shame is that President Obama didn’t participate in the governor’s 2012 laff riot by making a joke about Mormonism, or polygamist compounds in Mexico or whether in fact Mitt Romney was born in the United States. That would have had everyone in stitches.

There will continue to be those who think that this is all much ado about nothing. Politics ain’t beanbag—and it certainly ain’t standup, either. But the idea that somehow—in one of the most polarized, toxic political environments in American history—a presidential candidate would choose to pick an intellectually and morally repugnant conspiracy theory for a cheap laugh?

If it wasn’t so irresponsible and truly pathetic—it would, in fact, be laughable.