In the last month, two representatives have questioned Obama's birth certificate. Expect more of the same until the election.
There is no serious debate over whether Barack Obama is an American citizen. He is.
Of course, that hasn't stopped people from saying otherwise. For example, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican representing Missouri's 4th district. Following the standard template for these things, she was asked by a constituent at a town hall about the president's birth certificate. And following the template, she failed to denounce or even disagree with this disproven idea:
I don't know, I haven't seen it. I'm just at the same place you are on that. You read this, you read that. But I don't understand why he didn't show that right away. I mean, if someone asked for my birth certificate, I'd get my baby book and hand it out and say 'Here it is,' so I don't know .... I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate, and I think a lot of Americans do, but they claim it is, so we are just going to go with that.
A spokesman clarified her comments to Politico today, but the explanation neither addressed her statement nor her actual views; after all, she repeated the statements to a reporter immediately following the original meeting.
Crazy, right? But not isolated. In March, Rep. Cliff Stearns -- the man whose questions about Planned Parenthood led to the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision to cut off funding for the organization -- made similar comments. "All I can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate," he said. "The question is, is it legitimate? That's where we stand now." When I contacted Stearns spokesman Paul Flusche to ask about it, his response was, "This office won't comment on every video posted by liberal groups" -- as though the video had somehow been conjured without Stearns' involvement.