The conspiracy theory that the first black president is an alien and not an American citizen is bizarrely growing a full head of steam and spitting out a wacky cast of characters, notes Eric Etheridge in the New York Times. The fact that Barack Obama has a Hawaiian birth certificate has had little impact on the so-called "birthers" whose ranks have been supported in recent days by Lou Dobbs, Liz Cheney, and 10 congressmen sponsoring a bill requiring birth certificates from presidential candidates.
"To believe the wild theories, one must accept that Obama's mother launched an elaborate hoax," writes James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times. "It would have begun in 1961 with her placing false birth notices in Honolulu's daily newspapers. Diabolical." So who cares? "The crazier the right wing fringe gets, the more dangerous they get," warns Gawker. "Encouraging people to believe the president is illegitimate encourages them to believe that he needs to be removed by any means necessary."