The Supreme Court has swatted down one of a likely series of challenges to the legitimacy of Barack Obama's election as President, this one being argued on the ground that the foreign citizenship of Obama's father put the son in a condition of "dual citizenship" that makes him ineligible for the White House. This was one of the saner challenges, since the professional poker player who launched it concedes a point that others won't: that Obama was born in the United States. Many of the others contend that the Hawaiian birth certificate on file in that state is a fraud.
To answer my own question, I think these challenges are off the partisan scale. We're dealing with a different degree of paranoia in these cases. The litigant in the case dismissed today was no partisan; he held that Senator McCain was also ineligible to become President. He may be a monomaniac caught up in the notion that he's discovered a constitutional truth that can change the course of history. Other challengers clearly abhor the idea of Obama becoming President, perhaps because they really do believe that he is the anti-American monster of the radio-activated imagination. He'll never be legitimate in some minds, just as George W. Bush has never been legitimate in the minds of many liberals. But most of the conservative media isn't going along with this obsession. On the Keith Olberman program I saw a quote from David Horowitz, as rabid a rightist as you can find, denouncing the challenges as the tantrums of sore losers. But as I said, I suspect that the challengers are driven by pathology more than partisanship, as if they personally, rather than the Republican party, have lost something this year, or could lose something terribly precious in the next four years. Like the 9-11 "truthers," they'll probably be with us a long time, and being Americans, we're stuck having to tolerate them.