By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
There's a new dance craze sweeping the GOP--the "Birther" two-step. (OK, "sweeping the GOP" is a bit of hyperbole, but it does seem to be ... hazardously infectious.) "Birthers," of course, are fringe-nuts who insist that Barack Obama was really born in another country and so does not qualify constitutionally to be president. Vocal, nutty parts of the GOP base have embraced the theories enough that elected GOP officials are starting to nod, wink and play footsy with them. So Liz Cheney goes on Larry King Live and defended the movement. And some GOP members of Congress introduce a bill demanding that presidential candidates affirmatively prove that they're U.S. citizens.
Of course these are at least ostensibly serious pols, so having put one foot in to conspiracy land, they have to take that one foot out, back-pedaling just enough to acknowledge that no, they don't really believe the crazy nonsense they're abetting. So after dodging the question to the best of his ability, Rep. John Campbell, a birther bill co-sponsor, finally concedes that yes, Barack Obama is actually a U.S. citizen. And the morning after defending the conspiracy crowd, Liz Cheney tells Politico's Ben Smith:
I don't have any question about Barack Obama's right to be President of the United States.
My concern is with his policies. I am deeply troubled about the path he is taking this country down -- massively expanding the size of government, weakening our national defenses, increasing taxes on all Americans and nationalizing health care. These are dangerous policies for the nation.
Still no word from Losin' It Lou Dobbs.
But give it time. He's put two feet in, so he may yet pull one out. In the mean time he's shaking it all about. Did I say this was the "Birther" two-step? It's the "Birther Hokey Pokey."