When lingering nonsense just won’t go away

Updated
 
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)
Associated Press

There was a fair amount of coverage yesterday of Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) arguing that the Affordable Care Act is somehow “racist” because it includes a tax on tanning salons. By Yoho’s reasoning, since white people tend to be the only ones paying the tanning tax, it’s fundamentally discriminatory.

Yoho told his constituents, “I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so I can come out and say I’ve been disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin.”

And while this seemed excessive, even by House Republican standards, there was something else Yoho told his constituents that also struck me as noteworthy.

Speaking at a town hall meeting earlier this month, Florida Republican congressman Ted Yoho promised that he would support possible birther legislation floated by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), telling the audience that after learning about a potential birther bill from Stockman while attending a Tea Party meeting, he called the congressman and agreed to back it.

While Yoho told the crowd that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate was a “distraction” from topics like the national debt, he said he was hopeful that a birther investigation could bring down the whole government: “They said if it is true, it’s illegal, he shouldn’t be there and we can get rid of everything he’s done, and I said I agree with that.”

So, let me get this straight. It’s the summer of 2013, and we still have elected congressional Republicans talking publicly about the birther conspiracy theory? We’re still not past this in some far-right circles?

I suggested on Friday that it’s become very difficult to see congressional Republicans as a serious governing party. The evidence to bolster this thesis is, alas, quite common.

Birthers and Ted Yoho

When lingering nonsense just won't go away

Updated