With the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate several months ago, the far-right’s “birther” madness has, thankfully, disappeared almost entirely.

But as Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan helped prove this week, some pathologies are needlessly tenacious.

Responding to two questioners who brought up the issue of Obama’s birth place, Walberg did not tell the questioners that the issue had been settled by Obama when he released his birth certificate in April.

“Regardless of whether the license that he showed is true or fake, I’ve not seen it other than what was portrayed in the news. The House is controlled by the majority party being the Republicans, the Senate by the Democrats, the attorney general by the Democrats. That’s the answer.”

Walberg added he would “like to have that question finally answered as much as anybody else.”

Remember, Tim Walberg is not some deranged man yelling on a street corner; he’s an elected member of Congress. Even with most Birthers slinking away months ago, here we have a federal lawmaker arguing in public that that reality may be fake and the bizarre conspiracy theory may be true, even if all of the evidence says otherwise.

This is, by the way, the same Tim Walberg who last year suggested impeaching the president if he didn’t produce a birth certificate, which, of course, he’d already done. Now he’s a member of Congress in good standing, despite apparently being stark raving mad.

If Americans are going to improve their tattered political system, they’re going to have to start electing more sane people to power public offices.

Correction: I’d originally identified Walberg as representing Minnesota, instead of Michigan. I’ve corrected the text.

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.