A side question raised by the D.C. shooting: Will GOP members of Congress who have pushed so-called “birther” legislation in Congress drop this crusade, now that it’s emerging that the suspected shooter may have been a “birther,” too?
TPM has unearthed a writing of James von Brunn that seems to show that he’s a “birther,” one of those hearty souls who’s questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s election because he isn’t a natural born American citizen.
The point is not that the “birther” talk is directly to blame for violence like this. But it seems fair to ask whether this kind of stuff, and related fringe wackitude, is playing some kind of role in helping egg it on at a moment when Obama’s agenda is coming into focus.
I think the answer is probably “no”. The members who are pushing it are the lunatic fringe of a party that is itself the lunatic fringe of the country. I don’t see them backing down now.