Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., center, pumps up the crowd as [mc_name name='Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)' chamber='house' mcid='B000911' ] D-Fla., left, and Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla. listen at a Florida Democratic Party rally in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Let’s talk about Democratic Congressman and Senate candidate [mc_name name=’Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000556′ ] and his threat to file a lawsuit challenging the eligibility of [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] to be President on grounds that Cruz was born in Calgary and is the son of a Cuban immigrant.

One of the many things we have been told repeatedly over the past 7 years by liberal writers desperate to convince themselves of their personal superiority to Republican voters is that the “Birther” movement is proof that Republicans are all a bunch of nasty, irrational racists and conspiracy nuts who do things Democrats would never do. Never mind that questions about where Barack Obama was born were first raised by Democrats who were backing Hillary Clinton at the time in her primary race against Obama. Never mind that the controversy surfaced only after a public flap about whether [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ] was a natural-born citizen eligible to be President (note writeups from February 2008 discussing McCain’s eligibility don’t even mention a parallel controversy about Obama). Never mind that Democratic voters love conspiracy theories, ranging from the “AWOL Bush” madness that brought down Dan Rather to polls in 2006 and 2007 showing that half of all Democrats believed it likely that the Bush Administration “either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East” to the preposterous idea that Obama in 2014 was on the verge of being impeached.

Well, now here’s Grayson going full Birther on Cruz:

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) says he will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential bid if Cruz wins his party’s nomination.

Grayson said Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, is “unqualified” to be president “because he’s ineligible.”

“I’m waiting for the moment that he gets the nomination, and then I will file that beautiful lawsuit saying that he’s unqualified for the job because he’s ineligible,” Grayson said on Fox News Radio’s “The Alan Colmes Show” on Wednesday.

“Call me crazy but I think the President of America should be an American,” he added. Cruz is an American citizen.

As it happens, Cruz – like Obama – was born an American citizen by virtue of his American mother, regardless of the citizenship status of his father, and Grayson’s lawsuit would go nowhere, as he well knows. And Grayson may be a loon, but he’s no fringe figure in the context of today’s Democratic Party. Grayson is a longtime favorite of progressive activists at Daily Kos and a fixture on MSNBC. The NY Times lionized him in 2010 as “a proud firebrand”; Dave Weigel in 2013 called him the most effective member of the House, and two of the three public polls so far in the Democratic primary for the race for [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]’s Senate seat have Grayson leading Congressman [mc_name name=’Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001191′ ], most recently a mid-September PPP poll that had Grayson up six, in a race where Grayson has the backing of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

Now, if we’re all being frank here, let’s note for the record a couple of things about Obama Birtherism, which should help set the context. First, it always had less to do with Obama’s skin color than the foreign-ness of his biography – born to a Kenyan father who went back to Kenya, raised then by an Indonesian stepfather who took Obama back to Indonesia. If Obama had been a black guy named “Mike Robinson” who lived his whole life in Chicago (i.e., his wife’s biography), none of this would have come up. Second, what it mostly proves is that typical voters don’t follow the details as much as we political obsessives do, and are apt to believe bad things about politicians they dislike (especially “magic bullet” theories that immediately disqualify people from office). If you follow Obama’s biography closely, the idea that his mother flew halfway around the world from Hawaii to Kenya in secret (leaving no trace) to give birth to him there is ludicrous. But if all you know is the general outlines, as many people did in 2008 or 2009, it’s not that hard to say “hey, are we sure this guy was born here?” In fact, Obama’s own literary agent, in 1991, produced a promotional booklet describing Obama as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii,” suggesting either (1) how easy it was for someone working closely with Obama to get this particular part of his biography wrong and/or (2) that Obama himself was playing fast and loose with his birthplace at the time (which his agent now denies):

obama kenya bookbio

Third, in retrospect, while I have little enough good to say about Donald Trump, he did the nation and Obama himself something of a service, in his typically ham-handed, blustering, indifferent-to-the-truth way, by goading Obama so publicly over the issue of his birthplace that Obama ended up finally releasing his birth certificate in such a way that it killed the issue for all but a tiny fringe. And fourth, that fringe – the people who filed lawsuits over this stuff, the people who clung to it after 2011 – really are a bunch of conspiracy nuts and/or racists (much like the people pushing Birtherism this cycle against Rubio and Bobby Jindal, both of whom were indisputably born in the USA).

But Grayson, a Harvard-educated lawyer and a Member of Congress, has no excuse for going far out on the conspiracy-theory fringe. And it’s pretty amazing to see this card being played by people who simultaneously believe that (1) Birtherism is racism and (2) they really want in on some of that sweet, sweet racist action themselves. And if we’re playing by anything even remotely resembling the Democrats’ “Akin Rules,” every Democrat across the country should be asked to denounce Grayson and attest publicly that they believe Ted Cruz is eligible to be President of the United States.

And Republicans should be hoping and praying that Florida’s Democrats are crazy enough to nominate Grayson for the Senate. He will provide us with endless entertainment. Because Alan Grayson is a natural-born citizen of Planet Moonbat.