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As I write this, the taxpayers of Arizona are generously funding a vacatio investigative trip to Hawaii for a couple of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's henchmen. Also in further Arizona Crazy, the Arizona Secretary of State, Kent Bennet, is getting pimped by Hawaiian officials who are demanding that he provide them with evidence that he has an actual legitimate need to personally review the president's birth records.

Secretary of State Bennet, who is co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona, has received media face time by threatening to leave Obama off the Arizona presidential ballot unless he personally approves of the presidential placen birth records.

Sheriff Joe's, who has declared even Obama's "long form" BC a fraud, has dispatched his "Threats Unit" to the islands in order to...uh, well...it's complicated:

Arpaio declined to explain to the Arizona Republic why the threats unit was involved in the birth certificate investigation, instead making only a vague reference to “security issues…that I can’t got into.”

He said taxpayers were footing the tab for the airfare and hotel for the investigators, but he hopes the agency will be paid back through private donations. Before now, Arpaio has said the investigation was funded entirely through donations, which are being encouraged by the conspiracy website WorldNetDaily.

Arpaio’s volunteer investigator, Zullo, has even gone as far as to link up with WorldNetDaily’s top conspiracy theorist, Jerome Corsi, to co-author an e-book about the birther probe. The two men have said they’re splitting the profits from sales of the book.

But it's not just Arizona Crazy; Iowa Republicans want some of that mojo too:
As the old saying goes, history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as the Republican Party of Iowa.

Via Felicia Sonmez, it looks like the Iowa GOP has gone birther. On Monday, Don Racheter, chairman of the Iowa GOP's 2012 platform committee, told Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson about the state party's new platform. Racheter said the document, which is still being drafted, was deliberately written to call into question President Barack Obama's eligibility for office by including a plank mandating that the commander-in-chief be a "natural born citizen":

There are many Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not a 'natural born citizen' because his father was not an American when he was born and, therefore, feel that according to the Constitution he’s not qualified to be president, should not have been allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008, so this is an election year. It's a shot at him.
This comes at a time when right wing leading lights, including Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, are calling for the Romney campaign to attack Obama over Jeremiah Wright. How long will it be before some right wing Republican demands that Obama publicly touches a bible -- a real one, not the fake one he touched during his inauguration -- to prove that his skin won't smoke and burn when doing so?

Taken with the recent not-so-crypto-birther threads on RedState, Townhall, and many, many, many other right wing and Republican sites, this recent birther baby stepping indicates that racial fear and anxiety are still a deep and roiling current just barely under the surface of American society, politics, and discourse.

Some white people, especially some of us with the lowest difficulty setting, are not liking the browning of America and will abandon all shame and pretense in a futile effort to make real their deep seated first principle that straight, white, Christian, right wing Republicans are the only real Americans and that no one else should really be allowed to vote or even speak their mind publicly.

This issue may seem like a distraction. But, as voting patterns demonstrate, most of us vote to varying degrees based on emotion, not rational economic or even social self interest. A lot of white people, especially older ones, are voting based on their fears of a browner America. We should work to change the minds of those who are persuadable. The others, we must outvote.

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