BRYAN FISCHER TAKES A STEP TOO FAR?…. Bryan Fischer, one of the top officials at the right-wing American Family Association, has become one of the most sought out conservatives in the country by Republican presidential candidates.

In recent weeks, in addition to all the GOP members of Congress who’ve reached out to Fischer, he’s welcomed Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich to his radio show.

It’s hard to say if there’s literally anything this nut can say that would force prominent Republican leaders to keep their distance, but I’d like to think remarks like these would do the trick.

Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.

As Jamelle Bouie noted, Fischer effectively arguing that the problem with “welfare” is that it “encourages black people to fornicate.”

Remember, Republican presidential candidates keep reaching out to this clown, treating him as credible, important conservative voice.

In an entertaining twist, the American Family Association republished Fischer’s piece, and in the hopes of making it appear less flagrantly racist, changed the text. There’s no mention of the fact that the piece has been edited — standards aren’t the AFA’s strong point — but Right Wing Watch has a screen grab of the original.

His remarks are obviously nauseating to decent people, but the offensive content is Fischer’s daily m.o. He is, after all, one of the nation’s most hate-filled crackpots. He wants Muslim Americans to be “deported” (to where is unclear); equates gay sex with “domestic terrorism,” and is convinced that the U.S. military is being run by “fundamentalist Muslims and homosexual activists.” A couple of weeks ago, Fischer argued on the air that Muslim Americans do not deserve protection under the First Amendment.

So, the questions remain the same: why are Republican presidential candidates palling around with a shameless bigot? Will there be political consequences? Will reporters on the campaign trail even ask?

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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.