The birther movement--the class of right-wingers who suspect President Obama was born abroad and is thus ineligible to be president--has drawn lots of attention in political media in the past few weeks, and a prime reason for this is the notion that establishment Republicans might actually heed the conspiracy cries. Rush Limbaugh fashioned himself as a birther, as Marc pointed out; Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE), of moderate policies and mild-mannered demeanor, was hectored by birthers at a town-hall meeting. The Castle video makes birthers look like a vocal, terrifying segment of the GOP base, able to shout down an elected moderate and potentially to rile other conservatives and turn out votes on election day.
Should the GOP take the birthers seriously? Do they already? It's the source from which the birther movement draws its import.
Well, last night most House Republicans voted "yea" to a resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood, which included language recognizing Hawaii as Obama's place of birth.
As Greg Sargent noted, Rep. Neil Abbercrombie's (D-HI) office seemed to take impish glee in the potential jam this created for birther-fearing Republicans; Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) objected to the measure on procedural grounds, requesting a quorum, which spawned many suspicions of her birther inclinations on ThinkProgress's comment board.