Rep. Mike Coffman Isn’t Sure What Country the President Is From

 

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)—last seen in these parts warning that undocumented immigrants would vote en masse for Obama this fall—suggested at a fundraiser last weekend that President Barack Obama might not have been born in the United States. It was awkward:

“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first.

This comes just one month after another GOP freshman, Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler, expressed her own doubts about the President’s place of birth.

Okay, so birthers are still a thing, and will probably always be a thing; cut the head off a conspiracy theory and it sprouts eight more. (There are still people who maintain that Zachary Taylor ate poisoned cherries!) But here’s the problem for Coffman: As David Nir notes, Coffman’s not running in the same district that elected him in 2010:

Colorado’s 6th Congressional District was made significantly bluer in redistricting, going from a seat John McCain won by a 53-46 margin to one Barack Obama won, 54-45. That’s made Coffman extremely vulnerable this year, yet he’s still acting as though he’s running in the district that repeatedly elected Tom Tancredo to Congress.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has listed Coffman’s seat as a “Red to Blue” pickup, meaning it’s going to be a top battleground in the fall. Running a birther campaign and smearing Latinos—a rapidly growing demographic in the Mountain West—might not be the best strategy if he wants to keep his job.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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