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Only in Romney's Right-Wing Bubble Is Birtherism a Joke

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So Mitt Romney thinks he's a comedian.

As reported in The Huffington Post and elsewhere, earlier on Friday, at a public event in Commerce, Mich., Governor Romney crossed a line he had not crossed before.

He went birther.

Now, I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital, I was born in Harper Hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.

Although Romney has said he believes President Obama was born in the United States, the unspoken assumption in his remark is that we may not really know where his opponent was born and raised. That little piece of inside information is the punch line.

There is some evidence that the people around Mitt Romney actually think this is funny. As HuffPost's Luke Johnson notes, the Governor's son Matt Romney made a similar "joke" last December, when asked if his father would release more of his income tax returns.

I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and his birth certificate... then maybe he'd do it.

Matt's older brother Tagg clearly realized that this was embarrassing, and jumped in to clarify, stating "that was not my dad saying that." Matt later apologized via Twitter for the comment.

But this isn't one of the Romney boys. This is the Republican nominee for President of the United States. And it fits within a broader theme that has run throughout this campaign, one that has seen Mitt Romney repeatedly try to portray Barack Obama as not a real American, and to weaken his support among white Americans by falsely playing on racist stereotypes about welfare.

Romney has said that Obama "doesn't understand America," that his ideas are "extraordinarily foreign," and that he would "poison the very spirit of America."

Now, Mitt Romney is "joking" about an issue that is thoroughly soaked with the worst kind of racist paranoia about a biracial president.

I honestly don't understand how he can look at himself in the mirror.