Oy. Sarah Palin legitimizes the Birthers:
Transcript via Alex Koppelman at Salon:
HUMPHRIES: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?
PALIN: Um, I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think enough members of the electorate still want answers.
HUMPHRIES: Do you think it's a fair question to be looking at?
PALIN: I think it's a fair question, just like I think past associations, past voting records, all of that is fair game. You know, I gotta tell you, too, I think our campaign, the McCain-Palin campaign, didn't do a good enough job in that area. We didn't call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were, and perhaps what their future plans were, and I don't think that was fair to voters, to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of things that now we're seeing made manifest in the administration.
HUMPHRIES: I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama's past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?
PALIN: Hey, you know, that's a great point. That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son, a lot of people say, "Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid," which we have done, but yeah, so maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on the other one.
Steve Benen is spot on:
That last point about the bizarre notion that Palin's son is not her son was especially odd. The former half-term governor seems to think questions about Trig's birth certificate are a "weird conspiracy theory freaky thing" -- she does have a way with words -- but instead of arguing that all of the nonsense be taken off the table for everyone, Palin wants to see "the same type of thinking" applied to the president.
Palin tried to walk this back on her Facebook page:
Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.
No, you just suggest that the people who are asking and suggesting this have good reasons to do so. In other words, you just legitimized a bunch of far-right fringe cases.
While many are pondering what exactly Sarah Palin’s approving radio comments on the birther issue and her subsequent “clarification” mean to her possible 2012 run, there is a more fundamental question: what does this bode for our democracy? The answer is this is yet another indicator that extreme is the new mainstream.