On Morning Joe today, Scarborough suggested that the birthers are no different than left wing conspiracy theorists. He claimed the birther craziness is just being propagated by a few radio and tv shows, some websites (Mike Barnicle said the problem is we’re a nation of 300 million commentators and bloggers) Eugene Robinson feebly tried to respond to Scarborough, at first saying that he would, of course, concede that there are wackos on both sides, then finally pointing out that what’s different now is that a majority of Republicans either don’t think Obama was born in the U.S. or aren’t sure.
Robinson was on the right track, but needs to drive the point home. The birther nuttiness is not just something Glenn Beck is foaming about. Republicans members of Congress are helping sustain this lunacy. Eugene Robinson should have asked Scarborough what would have happened if Democratic members of Congress talked up 9/11 as an inside job. They would have been rightly pegged as crazies. I’d also point out that it’s not just birther nonsense. Today’s right wing is home to birthers, people who think the government is gearing up to euthanize the elderly, and those who call doctors who perform abortion murderers. And those are just examples of the dangerous extremism that marks the party–both its rank and file members and its elected officials.
As I said before, the media and elected officials are acting irresponsibly here. They have a duty to expose the lunacy we’re seeing from the birthers. They also have a responsibility to accurately describe what is going on. Scarborough’s attempt to minimize what we’re seeing today in terms of extremism among Republican party members and of elected officials is simply irresponsible.