Friday, July 31, 2009

Birther defects

One of my ongoing themes has been the oft-supported hypothesis that conservatives tend to have a long distance relationship with reality.  How else do you explain this:

Poll: 28% Of Republican Base Are Birthers 

A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll finds that 77% of Americans believe President Obama was Indeed Born in the United States, with only 11% saying he was not -- but there's no clear verdict among Republicans.

Among Republicans, it's a much weaker plurality of only 42% who say Obama was born in the U.S., with 28% saying he was not, with a very high undecided number of 30%. Among Democrats, the number is 93%-4%, and among independents it's 83%-8%.

There really isn't room for on-the-other-hand-ism on this one. Birthers are manifestly several cards short of a full deck. 

I have been critical of the level of press coverage this nonsense has gotten, but the poll suggests that there is some justification for it. And the fact that the coverage has not put out the fire (if I had to bet, I'd say it has actually pushed the birther numbers UP), confirms that we are not dealing with a rational process: at best, evidence and logic are to these folks as a bicycle is to a fish.  At worst, efforts to correct simply hardens their resolve to remain bonkers.

On the one hand, the fact that the numbers are well short of the Bush era insanity is encouraging. On the other:

Birtherism is heavily concentrated in the South. Only 47% of Southerners say Obama was born in the United States, 23% say he was not, and 30% aren't sure.

Which means that Congress will continue to enjoy the contributions of the Inhofe/Shelby variety....    


Blogger malcontent said...

I agree that there seems to be an emotional rather than a logical undercurrent to this obvious trend. I'd be interested in correlating the hate radio and Fox News demographics to this same trend.

The care and feeding of our rage addicts may indeed become evidence of a media accountability issue that we can use to further erode their grip on our mildly disinterested zombie masses.

Teevee and radio conditions our population to crave strong emotion at the expense of critical thinking and citizen responsibilities. Listening to Savage radio isn't about learning, it is about getting your daily fix.

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