Erick Erickson, the Daily Beast's number 13 most important journalist on the right, tells birthers and 9/11 truthers to stay away from RedState.com. "Birfers and Truthers are not welcome here. Period. End of Story," he writes -- before spending another 476 words explaining why:
The tea party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation for allowing birfers and truthers to share the stage. At the National Tea Party, Joseph Farah treated the birfer issue as legitimate. In Texas, tea party activists have rallied to Debra Medina who, just yesterday, refused to definitely dismiss the 9/11 truther conspiracy as crackpot nonsense. If a candidate cannot do that, we cannot help that candidate. It’s that simple.
So we arrive at one of those moments where I am fully prepared to part ways with the individuals and groups willing to share the stage and treat as legitimate the crazies who believe the President was born in Kenya, the crazies who believe our government was complicit September 11th terrorist attacks … two groups, incidentally that increasingly overlap.
This sets us up for attacks from the left and from within that we must anticipate. It is one thing to separate ourselves from these individuals and groups. It is quite another to know that these people are among us. We should be careful. All of us have an obligation to vet those who we ally with. Just because someone is stridently against the size of government does not make him an ally if he also believes the U.S. Army blew up the World Trade Center. Such a person brings disrepute on us all, deservedly so.
Erickson is correct that mainstream conservatives need to not only keep their distance from the kooks, but state clearly and unequivocally why. But then Erickson goes on to complain about the double standards of the press, and here he loses me a little bit:
The media never runs stories about the Communist Party USA’s routine pronouncements in favor of Barack Obama. The media has never run legitimate stories about Barack Obama’s ties to the communist oriented New Party in Chicago. Obama gets a pass even on radicals whose support he personally solicited and those he personally befriended for years. But the moment a birfer opens his mouth and spouts his stupidity from the stage of a tea party rally it becomes headline news on every news network. Complain all you like that that’s not fair, but it’s the world we live in.
All of that stuff was reported before the 2008 election, and it made no headway with voters. It's pointless to keep harping about it. Obama's policy prescriptions and his inept record governing from the Oval Office is the story now. I think Erickson gets that, but even though he acknowledges the double standard as a fact of life, the digression is too distracting from the larger point to be worthwhile.