Earlier today, I speculated that the "birther" movement is actually helping Obama and that the White House has no interest in further marginalizing the birthers by releasing Obama's "real" birth certificate. Now Marc Ambinder reports that the White House's strategy going forward on health care is along those lines: paint the astroturfed crowds harrassing members of Congress in their districts as crazy people. The danger for the GOP is clear:
The challenge for Republicans is to prevent the media from labeling everyone who attends a meeting with a Democratic lawmaker and who calls him or herself a conservative as a crazy person. Some polling suggests that the percentage of Republicans who don't know whether President Obama was born in the United States is fairly high, although it is hard to say how much of that confusion stems from ignorance or from a generally jaundiced, perhaps racist, view of the President.
That's why Obama doesn't want to do anything to encourage the GOP to distance itself from the birthers. If the Republicans are tied to crazy people, they're all going to start looking a bit crazy, too. Of course, the danger with not standing in the way of the opposition's embrace of crazy people is that those people might one day end up in power.