THEY’RE STILL NOT DONE…. As 2009 progressed, it was nice to see “Birthers” quietly slink away. Right-wing activists started investing more time in attacking President Obama, not the legitimacy of his presidency.

The “Birther” legislation in the House (H.R.1503) picked up four co-sponsors in July, and one in September, before Republican lawmakers lost interest. By the fall, organizers of next year’s Conservative Political Action Conference announced that there will be plenty of panel discussions at their event, but not one for the “Birthers.”

Eventually, Lou Dobbs left CNN; Fox News moved on; and the whole insane crusade was left on the trash heap of stupid political stunts.

It’s worth noting, then, that some far-right members of Congress still haven’t let go. Dave Weigel notes that Rep. Nathan Deal (R) of Georgia — who is running for governor this year — recently asked the White House for proof that the president of the United States is a natural-born citizen.

Todd Smith, Chief of Staff for Representative Nathan Deal of the United States House of Representatives serving Georgia’s 9th district, has confirmed today that Deal has sent a letter to Barack Hussein Obama requesting him to prove his eligibility for the office of President of the United States of America. The letter was sent electronically the first of December 2009 in pdf format, and Mr. Smith said that Representative Deal has confirmation from Obama’s staff that it has been received. The letter did not have additional signatories. It originated solely from Representative Deal.

If we were dealing with a sane political dynamic, the political world would immediately realize that such a person should probably not be the chief executive of a state with 10 million people and a budget of $18.6 billion.

Party of Crazy” continues to strike me as an effective campaign theme, should a party want to pursue it.

Steve Benen

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.