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The tea party wing of the Republican Party has an entire inventory of myths that it cherishes even though the facts to the contrary are readily available. Here is a partial list.

Thirty percent of conservative Republicans believe that the president is a Muslim, and the percentage is increasing. This myth expands despite his well-documented membership in the United Church of Christ for decades. And of course being a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or an atheist does not disqualify anyone from any public office. It's in Article VI, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution. You could look it up.

A person not a natural-born citizen cannot be elected president of the United States. The current president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His birth certificate says so. Two contemporaneous birth announcements in Honolulu newspapers say so. But still there are Republican candidates who are afraid to acknowledge this proven fact for fear of being "primaried" this year. On the other hand the "birthers," as they are called, have no problem with the candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, who was admittedly born in Canada and whose father was not an American citizen at the time.

An argument can be made that this passage in the Constitution has outlived its usefulness. There is little danger of an English nobleman or royal winning our presidency, which was the fear of the founding fathers. But while it is the law, it must be applied equally to President Obama, who was born in the U.S., and to Cruz, who wasn't.

There is the faux scandal caused by IRS employees applying the letter of the law with respect to nonprofit organizations filing under Section 501(c). The Republicans complained that organizations with Republican names were being unfairly singled out. In fact organizations with Democratic-sounding names were also being scrutinized. By screening for likely violators, the IRS was just doing its job. Political organizations have no right to 501(c) status, period.

The myths perpetrated about the Affordable Care Act are beyond belief. For example, some Republicans call the ACA socialism. But was Romneycare socialism? If so, why did the Republicans nominate him for president? The ACA is directly modeled on Romneycare.

And finally, we have the trumped up Benghazi scandal. Initially the administration stated that the U.S. Consulate (in reality a CIA outpost) was attacked by Muslims upset by a video that derided the Muslim religion. Susan Rice expressed this view in a series of interviews. The right-wing chest thumpers insisted on an investigation to expose the alleged coverup. Finally The New York Times conducted extensive interviews in Libya. Its report found that the faction that attacked the consulate was not affiliated with al-Qaida but was a faction that had received U.S. support.

Further, at least part of the motivation for the attack was indeed the insulting video. Nevertheless, Rice had to withdraw her candidacy to be named as our next Secretary of State. There was a time where politics stopped at the water's edge. No more.

The various myths propagated by the extreme right wing have done real harm. Good public servants have resigned. Rice was denied a high post because she repeated talking points that were essentially accurate. The IRS is now apparently afraid to enforce the law as it is written. And Republican politicians of every persuasion are afraid to acknowledge the known facts about the president's birthplace and his religious affiliation.

The American people deserve better from the Republican Party. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Bernard Baruch and others have stated in essence, every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

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