As far as the politicians go isn’t it sort of incumbent upon them to show up at conferences and events even if they don’t endorse all of their views? I seriously doubt Romney is going to go full bore Bircher any time soon but the political cost of skipping out on these meetings prior to the primaries even starting could be high for any viable candidate.
As far as Birchers going mainstream… Most people aren’t as familiar with their full slate of craziness as they are with populist slogans like avoiding debt and patriotic jingoism. At first blush I’ve found many groups to resonate with my views on some issues until I’ve looked under the covers and run away.
Shedding light on these activities is good- but don’t go as far as guilt by association for those candidates and representatives who are only doing the obligatory PAC circuit in a warm up to 2010 and 2012.