To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Ritze’s Birther Balderdash



If the Legislature is not too busy with the affairs of state they might well take time to resolve that April 27 be designated Rep. Mike Ritze Buffoon Day.

President Barack Obama pulled one of the legs off Rep. Ritze’s political milking stool by releasing the “long form” of his birth certificate. It should come as no surprise: the President was born in Hawaii, as has stated so many times.

Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, makes his political living being conservative to a fault. The “birth” issue – the President was foreign born – has been a mainstay of the Tea Bag/Ultra conservative complaints about the president.

The release of the “long form” should put the matter to rest. It won’t – to do so would mean Ritze and his cadre of clowns would have to admit they were wrong.

The representative has long been leader of the Birther Movement in Oklahoma. As far back as 2008 Ritze asked U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe, not the greatest thinker to grace the Senate chambers, and Tom Coburn, who never met a constituent he didn’t mind back-stabbing from the political shadows, to block the certification of President Obama’s election.

Using conservative talk shows and Town Hall meetings Ritze regaled crowds of Obama haters with his tales of daring-do to have the President disqualified as President. He appeared with various loonies who claimed to have “proof” that Obama was born in Kenya, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

The long-form release fosters questions: Did Ritze actually believe, after all the vetting and background checks Obama had been subjected to during his political career, only he and a bunch of people in Tri-corn hats, funded by a couple of brothers in Kansas, saw the truth. Did Ritze really believe the FBI, Secret Service, CIA and any number of investigative agencies, news services, the Democratic and Republican Parties actually fell down on the birth issue?

Did Ritze believe the President of the United States was foreign born? Did he care? Or was this political snake oil he rubbed on his constituents to keep them in fear of the first mixed race African-American President.

Ritze has a college education, a medical degree and subsequent certifications. It would be reasonable to assume that given his educational background he would have, at some point, been required to engage in analytical thinking – at least, one would think. Perhaps the thinking process dulls once one attaches to an agenda as political way of life.

Perhaps it is, that having engaged the agenda, truth no longer matters. Perhaps, it no longer matters if an issue is valid, only that people believe it to be an issue.

Only Ritze knows what he believed. Only Ritze knows what he knew and when he knew it.

What is called for now is an apology.

Ritze, and his fellow travelers, needs to apologize to the President of the United States for fostering this false issue. Ritze needs to apologize to the people of Oklahoma for undeserved embarrassment he has brought upon the people of the state. Ritze needs to apologize to his colleagues in the Legislature for dragging them into his parade of fools. Ritze needs to apologize to the people of his district and his donors for pursuing a wrongheaded issue that a thinking person would have disavowed at the outset.

Finally, Ritze needs to resign – today.

Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Martian Llama Racing Explained, is available at


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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.