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The “birthers,” that formerly fringe element of the Republican Party who still question the citizenship of President Obama, are back in the news because of this video from a townhall meeting held by Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware.

The disturbing part of this clip is not the lady waving her own birth certificate around and screaming “I want my country back,” but the cheers she gets from the others in attendance, and the boos Rep. Castle receives when he says that President Obama “is a citizen of the United States.”

The reason I say this is a formerly fringe element is that this view is quickly becoming the mainstream of the Republican Party and the right.

Legislation has been introduced by Rep. Bill Posey of Florida, and co-sponsored by nine other Republican members of the House, five of whom are from Texas by the way, that would “require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate.”

De facto leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program that “Barack Obama has yet to have to prove he’s a citizen.”

When a caller to Lou Dobbs radio show said President Obama was “rushing all these programs through by whatever means, knowing he will soon be exposed as a fake, a fraud, a . . . Kenyan,” Dobbs’ response was, “Certainly your view can’t be discounted.”

Then there was Liz “Baby Dick” Cheney, who was on Larry King Live with James Carville. Instead of saying outright that the “birthers” are, to use Carville’s word “ludicrous,” Ms. Cheney tried to elude the issue by saying,“People are uncomfortable with a president who is reluctant to defend the nation overseas.”

When later asked for a clarification, Cheney gave the equally slippery answer, “I don’t have any question about Barack Obama’s right to be President of the United States.”

What these “birthers,” and those who continue to aid and abet their lunacy, are doing is to not only question Barack Obama’s citizenship, but his legitimacy as president of the United States. Let’s see, what could be their motivation? What is the difference between the 44th president and the previous 43.

Let me think about that, I’ll get back to you.

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