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Via Think Progress, here's Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns debating whether Obama's much-vetted birth certificate is "legitimate" in a recent meeting with constituents:

I guess we're going to ramp this birther stuff back up again for the general election. It went away for a while, though only after President Obama took a little time away from killing Osama bin Laden to get it released (but the PDF! The pixels! Lily-white halos!) which was itself more than I think any other president has had to do. Alas, the president could not satisfy the more basic demand of a certain set of Republicans that he stop being black, and so MuslimKenyaBirthergate goes merrily along, at least for that small group of people.

I would expect it of the Republican base. Let's face it, if you're still in the Republican "base" after the Bush years, you're either a dim bulb, not paying any attention, or have certain issues that force you into being Republican no matter how badly they screw up. Having so many high-profile Republicans pander to that, though—that's what's new about the party. Believing in conspiracy theories has become a litmus test for office. You have to believe certain sciences are a "hoax," and that reforming national health insurance options equals "death panels," and that the president isn't a true Christian because, um, because he spent kindergarden in another country and was thus indoctrinated into their evil ways or something to that effect, and so on. Like I said, conspiracy theories.

As reminder, Stearns is the one leading the House GOP's "investigation" into Planned Parenthood, the one that the Komen foundation used as cover for ending funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. So he's no stranger to the idea of "investigating" things as purely political endeavor.

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