Just how nutty are Tea Party leaders?

How about nutty enough to claim — as Tea Party darling Christine O’Donnell did on Fox News in 2007 — that “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains”?

That’s a real live quote from the real live GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, the most notable rising star in the Tea Party movement.

Obviously, these are people who cannot absorb and retain simple facts, cannot deal logically with basic arguments, and who subscribe to elaborate conspiracy theories that defy any sort of reasonable credulity, such as the notion, widely held among Tea Party types, that there is a nation-wide conspiracy reaching back to the early 1960s in order to promote the supposedly false idea that President Obama was born in Hawaii, and not in Kenya or Indonesia, as several competing conspiracy theories favored by Tea Party partisans suggest.

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