by Joe Tone
It looks like Kris Kobach is giving up on his once-grand political aspirations -- resigning himself instead to being the lawyer who fights illegals and looks pretty on Fox News once a week. Either that, or he's just not as smart as his trifecta of alma maters suggests.
Kobach -- the Harvard-Yale-Oxford-educated lawyer who has crafted many of the nation's anti-illegal-immigration legislation -- has also been making a halfhearted run at the Kansas Secretary of State's office, pinning his hopes to the sham that illegal immigrants are "stealing" elections. But while Kansas politics have already proved that Kobach's rhetoric needs to slide toward center for him to win, he just keeps inching right. And occasionally he says fuck it and dives that way, as he did last night when asked about the president's citizenship.
Kobach has been accused of running with the birther movement before. Last year, he caught flack for trotting out an unoriginal joke -- lifted, apparently, from Rush Limbaugh -- about what God and Obama had in common. Neither, the punchline went, has a birth certificate.
Kobach blew off the ensuing criticism, urging liberals to "lighten up." But yesterday, at an event in Overland Park, he avoided another opportunity to distance himself from whatever is left from the birther movement. The Topeka Capital-Journal has the story:
A candidate for Kansas secretary of state says President Barack Obama could end questions about his citizenship with more disclosure.
Republican Kris Kobach says he isn't doubting Obama is a U.S. citizen but thinks questions are fair if Obama doesn't produce a detailed birth certificate.
Kobach made those comments at an event Thursday evening in Overland Park in response to a question. His campaign spokesman said Friday the issue comes up regularly.
It seems to be a pattern with Kobach. He left the Attorney General's Office in 2004 to run for Congress, but refused to distance himself from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, despite that group's ties to extremists and racists. He handed Democrat Dennis Moore his biggest win to-date.
Now, six years later, riding a wave of name recognition from authoring Arizona's controversial but popular illegal immigration law, he would seem poised to make a serious run at the Secretary of State's office, and put himself closer to his ultimate goal: to become the Michele Bachmann of the Plains.
But what Kobach can't seem to figure out is that to become a bat-shit crazy office holder, you have to have an office to hold. And unless he can subvert his inner demagogue -- by, I don't know, not giddily palling around with a human rights-abusing sheriff under federal investigation -- he's destined for a (quite lucrative) career spent riding the political winds from town to town, testing the legal boundaries of racism, until, one day, America picks a more fashionable enemy, and he's left alone with his framed copy of S.B. 1070 and the occasional collect call from Joe Arpaio.
(Yes, operator, he will accept the charges.)