THREE AND COUNTING…. For those keeping score at home, the number of conservatives who’ve publicly argued that Alaska’s proximity to Russia counts as foreign policy experience for Sarah Palin is three.

First, Fox News’ Steve Doocy on Friday that Palin “does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia.”

Second, Cindy McCain, asked about Palin’s national security experience, said yesterday, “[R]emember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia.”

And third, we have U.S. News’ Michael Barone, defending Palin’s credentials.

Foreign policy experience? Well, Alaska is the only state with a border with Russia. And it is the only state with territory, in the Aleutian Islands, occupied by the enemy in World War II.

On Friday, after Doocy’s absurd argument, Jon Stewart called him a “moron.” Since then, the argument seems to have been embraced by the Republican establishment as a perfectly sensible thing to say. Indeed, it’s apparently become an official talking point.

To reiterate a point from the weekend, Palin has never been to Russia. She’s never demonstrated any expertise on U.S. policy towards Russia. She doesn’t have any background in international relations at any level. But for Republicans, the fact that she’s lived in a state near Russia is somehow a qualification for national office.

I grew up in Miami, which is near Cuba and other Caribbean islands, and now live in Vermont, which is near Canada. I suppose that means I’m prepared to be Secretary of State in a Republican administration?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.