The president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, criticized the media during an appearance on the American Family Association's radio program today because they have allegedly marginalized Right Wing cranks who still insist President Obama wasn't born in this country. Perkins considers this a "legitimate issue."
PERKINS: [The media] have attempted to marginalize anyone who challenges this administration on those principles and that driving ideology. You know, it goes back to what they did to those that questioned the issue of his birth certificate. Look, I don’t know about all that, but I will tell you this, it’s a legitimate issue from the standpoint of what the Constitution says.
And I think what we’ve done is we’ve done great harm to foundation of our government by marginalizing and attacking anyone who brings up a legitimate issue.
How dare we treat racist nutjobs like the racist nutjobs they are.
The obvious, and easily substantiated, rebuttal is that questioning the legitimacy of the president's citizenship on the basis of his skin color and name has done more harm to the foundation of our government than the media's dubious-at-best rejection of dog-whistle politics.
Much of the opposition to the president is easily traceable to questions of his legitimacy, not his ideology, and even the opposition to his ideology is primarily informed by dog-whistle politics.
It's unlikely those questions will dissipate until the president either leaves office or spontaneously turns white and changes his name to John Smith.