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Remember Tom Tancredo? He’s the former congressmen from Colorado who ran for president on a single issue: “Help! Scary Mexicans are destroying America!” (I guess I don’t have to tell you which party’s nomination he was seeking.)

He may be out of the national spotlight but that doesn’t mean he’s gotten any more rational. In delivering the kickoff speech Thursday night in Nashville at the National Tea Party Convention (I know; you’re kicking yourself for forgetting to register), Tancredo delivered this stellar piece of “other”-demonizing: “Something really odd happened — mostly because we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country. People who cannot even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. Name is Barack Hussein Obama.”

Actually, Tancredo should probably be careful what he wishes for. Most of those naturalized citizens he fears — the ones who perhaps speak Spanish — had to take a citizenship test and are probably pretty familiar with Constitution. Most of the teabaggers cheering Tancredo’s xenophobia probably think the Constitution consists of one item: their right to own a whole bunch of guns. I’d like to start Tancredo’s own “civics literacy” test with this question: Define “socialism.” Sorry, Tom, step out of the polling place — you’re not even close. — Anastasia Pantsios

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