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Birtherism, alive and well

Updated below.

The new CNN poll confirms what we all suspected -- that efforts by traditional news orgs to debunk the "birther" nonsense have done little or nothing to counter the right wing narrative about the Manchurian Muslim who has infiltrated the White House:

Forty-two percent of those questioned say they have absolutely no doubts that the president was born in the U.S., while 29-percent say he "probably" was.

"Not surprisingly, there are big partisan differences, although a majority of Republicans thinks Obama was definitely or probably born here," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Eighty-five percent of Democrats say that Obama was definitely or probably born in the U.S., compared to 68 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans say he was probably not born here, and another 14 percent of Republicans say he was definitely not born in the U.S."

That means some 41 percent of Republicans say Obama was probably or definitely not born in the United States.

It's probably worth noting that this is vindication of a sort for Markos Moulitsas. When he launched his lawsuit against Research 2000, alleging fraudulent polls, the right went mad with the claim that this proved the earlier Research 2000 poll finding widespread birtherism was part of a plot to smear conservatives. But CNN finds birtherism is, in fact, alive and well.

Also: You have to give right wing media figures credit. They are really good at floating insinuations that their followers want to believe. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others, Republican elected officials included, skillfully "joke" about birtherism or "flirt" with it, allowing them to maintain the appearance of sanity, or a semblance of it, even as they keep the idea alive among those who are already inclined to believe it.

People don't believe things unless they want to believe them, or unless the alternative is just too painful to contemplate. Those willing to say Obama just may have been born in another country find this notion easier to accept than the idea that an African American with a Muslim-sounding name was legitimately chosen by the American people to be the leader of the free world. What's startling is the amount of people who find this scenario so difficult to swallow -- so much so that they cling to birtherism like someone who's afraid of drowning clings to driftwood.

UPDATE: I was wrong to lump Glenn Beck in with those flirting with birtherism. In fact, he's aggressively criticized the birthers. Apologies for the error.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Tea Party  
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Comments

Actually I'm not very surprised by this at all (saddened, but not surprised). There are a number of prominent features of today's American conservatism that have a very tortured relationship with reality.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Greg, here is a partial headline you could probably put up every day until the election:

Republicans use the Southern Strategy again, this time they...

The specifics may change on a daily basis, but the strategy will remain the same: Obama (and therfore the Dems) don't look like us, and therfore they can't be true Americans.

Or, shorter: Scary black man! Scary black man! Scary black man!

Posted by: nisleib | August 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This should get laughs around the world.. Just more data piling up that Americans are the stupidest people alive. amazing..

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | August 4, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post. I don't often comment, but I do read you compulsively.

This is exactly right:

"Those willing to say Obama just may have been born in another country find this notion easier to accept than the idea that an African American with a Muslim-sounding name was legitimately chosen by the American people to be the leader of the free world."

The victory of irrationality.

Posted by: TomP4 | August 4, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Until the Tea Party movement officially and definitively states that there is no question this president was born in the United States, it cannot be taken seriously. It is relying on large numbers of deluded people for its core support.

Posted by: bertram2 | August 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

At what % does it become a mainstream Republican thing? 20%? 30%?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 4, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Greg: going back to the Clinton impeachment farce/fiasco, throughout it there was a constant 28% of the public that supported it- and the rest of the country firmly rejecting it. This 27-28% represents the hard-core right wing constituency of the US. These people have their own reality, they actually believe Fox News, and enthusiastically swallow garbage/nonsense like the birther argument. They also could not at all handle a black man being legitimately elected Pres. of the US- by a margin of 9.5 million votes no less. These people are simply a sub- set of ignorant, prejudiced fools who will never change their beliefs.

Posted by: cashbeardsley | August 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

2 words: white privilege...Obama is the first small crack in the massive wall of white privilege and Repubs are shamelessly feeding the covert campaign to delegitimize Obama as president so that what I call passive bigots (people that feel that they don't "personally" discriminate (data suggests that discrimination in hiring, lending, and housing is still widespread), but are happy to ignore the pervasive white privilege in our society) can feel like they are fighting against the deep symbolism of this country being lead by a black person, without acknowledging the racial component of their opposition to Obama.

Republicans may or may not be racists, but they are definitely using racial dog whistles to partisan advantage, motivating many (maybe a majority of) white people to oppose Obama by feeding their fears of losing their privileged position in society. All of this talk about "reverse racism" (there is no such thing as racism is much more than simple discrimination based on race) is part and parcel of the republican dog whistle campaign, just like birtherism.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And my conservative cousins post constantly that it is Democrats who have been playing the race card, viciously, maliciously, surreptiously, for 50 years. They seethe with resentment that conservatives are painted by the liberal MSM as the bad guys, while it's really liberals who are.

This kind of paranoia is why it's so hard, for me, anyway, to give them credence for much of what they say or believe.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | August 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Until the Tea Party movement officially and definitively states that there is no question this president was born in the United States, it cannot be taken seriously. It is relying on large numbers of deluded people for its core support."

I wouldn't go quite that far. Both of the traditional parties rely on large numbers of deluded people for their core support.

Posted by: fzdybel | August 4, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Related: "Democrats Hate Birthers, Except When They’re Convenient"

"Pennsylvania Democrats helped gather signatures to put a birther on the ballot in the race to replace Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak.

"... According to documents from the secretary of state’s office ... Schneller needed 4,200 signatures to make the ballot as the American Congress Party candidate—and 3,800 of those were collected by Democrats."

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/242436/democrats-hate-birthers-except-when-theyre-convenient

Geraghty: "Now that Democrats have helped get a Birther on the ballot in Pennsylvania, I don’t want to hear another word from anybody in that party about how terrible they are."

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party movement cannot definitely state anything, since it's not really a party, but a loose affiliation of disgruntled people. That being said, I'd argue there are about as many birthers as there are 9/11 truthers.

To quote admitted conservative, writing at known right wing propaganda organ, Hot Air (on Andrew Breitbart, BTW, who has argued consistently against birtherism):

"Moreover, Breitbart is entirely correct, and perhaps even understated the case. In the earlier exchange with Schilling, she said that her boss was asking Obama to prove something rather than disprove Birtherism, to which Breitbart responded, “When has a president ever been asked to prove his citizenship?”. . . But in fact, Obama did do just that when he released the Certification of Live Birth in June 2008, in response to an entirely different question. That may have been the first time a Presidential candidate has ever done so, and the COLB is a document that could get Obama a passport, a driver’s license, and a Social Security number. It’s all the legal proof required. If that wasn’t enough, Obama’s political opponents found contemporaneous records of his birth in the Honolulu Advertiser from August 1961."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

See, really, the paranoia knows no bounds. Over in Colorado, the teatard running for Governor in the GOP primary sees the encouragement of bicycling as a UN plot to take over US cities.

They are nuts, I tell ya.

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes knows you might think bicycles and bicycle riding are harmless, but beware: "That's exactly the attitude they want you to have."

The Denver Post reports that Maes, a Tea Party friendly candidate facing former Rep. Scott McInnis in the August 10 Republican primary, has come out against a public bicycle program run by the city of Denver. Denver's mayor, John Hickenlooper, is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and a cycling supporter.

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes said at a small campaign rally last week, according to the Post. "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/co-gov-goper-maes-hickenloopers-bike-love-is-a-un-plot.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 4, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"That means some 41 percent of Republicans say Obama was probably or definitely not born in the United States."

15% of Democrats gave the same answer.

Posted by: ath17 | August 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I was quoting Ed Morrissey, btw. Didn't mean to leave the name of the guy I was actually quoting.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

And yet the very same people who keep demanding to see a copy of President Obama's birth certificate, had no problem with the actual fact that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and at the time he was born, he was not considered to be an American Citizen.

Obama born in the USA. There was even a birth notice published in the local paper, of the birth. McCain born in a foreign land, and had to later on have a special law passed to retroactively make him a US citizen.

Compare and contrast; and you will soon see that what those Birthers are really driving at, is that Obama is foreign born, because he does not look white.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Americans are idiots. What a bunch of sheep.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

So, a person would be more comfortable acknowledging a foreign born person was elected President than a "locally grown" one? How does that make sense? Either Barry's rejected because he's black or not. It's not like us wingers are more tolerant of foreign born blacks, right? Racists hate them equally, or do we?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that 41% of Republicans use drugs, like their fearless leader Drug Limbaugh?

Posted by: Garak | August 4, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

All, check out this stuff about the new book Eric Cantor is writing to rebrand the GOP:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/are_gopers_achieving_separatio.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

There is always a sizable minority of American Nativists that fear all those who look or sound different from them.

There has been two Catholics, both Irish Americans, that have been nominated for President.

In both cases, the big fear among WASPS was; "he will take orders from The Pope, and not follow the Constitution"

Fifty years later; now those self same Nativists are demanding that Pro-Choice elected officials, violate their oaths to uphold the Constitution, and take orders from the Catholic Bishops instead.

They even support those Bishops refusing communion to those who refuse to violate their oaths of office.

Of course; The Catholic Bishops also oppose The Death Penalty; but curiously enough, they do not refuse communion to those elected officials who support it.

Of course the Church moves in mysterious ways. It can excommunicate a wayward Nun, in a New York minute, but will protect and shelter pedophile priests for decades.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn: That is the most disjointed post I have read from you. I think that the case is fairly simple.

1. many white people are uncomfortable with having a black president. I think it is because it threatens white privilege, but it could be simple discrimination, racism, ignorance and fear of those not "like" us, or a combination of all of these factors.

2. Birtherism is a way to oppose Obama as "different" and not "legitimatel"y president without having to face their own prejudices.

What is all this about people being comfortable with a foreign born president? I don't think anyone has suggested this...

"Either Barry's rejected because he's black or not. "

The way people feel and what they are willing to say in public are very different things. Even in the 60's it was impolitic to say that "I don't want to "mix" with or serve black people in my store or restaurant and I want separate but "equal" enforced" so "I believe in states rights" became code for keeping segregation without having to say that is one's goal.

Its called the southern strategy...

Birtherism is a way to say that Obama is not a legitimate president without having to say "I just can't stomach having the US led by a black man." Just like the bogus "reverse racism" meme that is spewed by fox and others on the right. It's all the lefties that are real racists, promoting blacks over whites. My own views that I don't want:
-blacks living in my neighborhood
-marrying my daughter or son
-supervising me
-going to school with my kids
-getting the same level of government services that I get

don't have to be aired or examined because "they" are getting "special" treatment

when I sold my house in Chicago in the 80s (where I was the only non-white on the block) to a very nice older black couple who kept the house and yard in far better shape than I did, my neighbors treated me like a non-person and wouldn't even speak to me. I am sure that they didn't consider themselves racists. They probably rationalized it by saying that they didn't want their property values to fall. Of course, I don't know because I became personal non grata after this sale.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"going back to the Clinton impeachment farce/fiasco, throughout it there was a constant 28% of the public that supported it- and the rest of the country firmly rejecting it. This 27-28% represents the hard-core right wing constituency of the US."

It goes further back than that. On the day in the summer of 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace some 25% of the country wanted him to remain in office and fight impeachment.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? He's already president. This is a waste of time. Birthers should channel their energy to states rights, liberty and freedom related issues. I think.

Posted by: kurttj2002 | August 4, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"states rights, liberty and freedom"

Yes, they should retreat to the standard Dixiecrat crap they've been bleating since before the days of desegregation.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

KevinWillis....you know I respect ya dude but that last post was EXACTLY what drives we on the left crazy...again it's an attempt to distract from a HORRIBLE flaw by trying to equate a flaw of the left with the specific flaw brought up of the right's.

You said..

"I'd argue there are about as many birthers as there are 9/11 truthers."

Then let's argue Kevin. That's just BS!!!
Greg's story uses two different polls to illustrate that 41% OF REGISTERED REPUBLICANS ARE MORONS!!! THAT'S JUST A FACT!

Now Kevin where are your surveys to show that 41% of Dems or anybody for that matter believe George Bush KNEW about 9/11 beforehand and was either complicit or somehow failed miserably.

We're not talking about the obvious that many Government failures led to 9/11 and we could debate whether Clinton should have gotten OBL with a drone or whether Bush did not pay enough attention to intel just before the attack...

To be honest I've heard so little about the so called "truthers"...that I'm not even certain what they're supposed to believe. The "truthers" did not get the coverage of even one birther..Orly Taitz.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha. What lunatics the teabagheads are. They would be too funny for words were they not such psychopaths.

Posted by: davidsawh | August 4, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Give me your tired, your poor.."BUT NOT IF
YOU ARE THE Following:Muslims,Blacks, Hispanics, and especially Pregnant Women, and all other groups that are not"white enough". We plan to change the Constitution so we will include babies we deem"unworthy of citizenship." Our plan entails:1. While drawing down in Iraq we can use the helicopters so when Sessions and Lindsey Graham hear about a woman ready to "drop" we'll fly her to the nearest un-American soil or into international Waters. If they are Turkish, we must put them on soil, their President gets upset when his citizens are killed in international waters. 2. Police can deport anyone who doesn't look like a "real American," even if they are citizens, because we have Homeland Security and Gitmo. 3. Israelis will always be exempt from deportantion, because when we are thru, they may be our only friends. And when Netanyahu comes to collect the 3.2 billion in taxpayer funding, he'll also have chocholate KY Jelly for Congressional members to plant the posterior kiss, and leave them smiling. 4. We'll keep enough minorities on hand for the war with Iran and any other Middle Eastern country that has oil, we can throw them into the meatgrinder of War. 4. After deporting everyone that doesn't lok like "us" we'll start a PR campagain so that "real Americans will take over the jobs the illegals had. We'll tell them they can earn $10 to $20 working in the fields, and the shacks in migrant camps we'll call time shares. No childcare worries, since their kids can work besides them.Other jobs like hospitals, private homes, hotels may be an easier sell. Each will be given a document saying they are "Real Americans" and their children will be dubbed "worthy to be citizens." Please do not tell WikiLeaks. But keep Sessions and Grahams number on your speed dial. The Birthers will be proud, and we will keep unworthy babies from our shores. Long live the Supreme Race, aka "Real Americans".

Posted by: midnightschild10 | August 4, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"Where are your surveys to show that 41% of Dems or anybody for that matter believe George Bush KNEW about 9/11 beforehand..."

Just helping out:

"Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure."

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/bush_administration/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

These poll results demonstrate once again how out of touch with reality most Republicans really are!

Posted by: flwood2341 | August 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Sargent: "What's startling is the amount of people who find this scenario so difficult to swallow -- so much so that they cling to birtherism like someone who's afraid of drowning clings to driftwood."

Speaking of clinging:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Sounds about right.

Posted by: converse | August 4, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, the truthers have been thoroughly discredited. Even the great orange satan has banned the topic from DailyKos. Of course, this is just a way to lead the conversation away from the race baiting techniques and dog whistles that repubs are using against Obama. You can't refute them and you won't defend them so you change the subject...

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

SBJ "Just helping out" Thanks for tryin but next time how about a credible source, more than one would be nice, Greg has just referenced two...and could we get something a little more recent than 2007.

Mostly thought SBJ what srw3 said...

"the truthers have been thoroughly discredited. Even the great orange satan has banned the topic from DailyKos. Of course, this is just a way to lead the conversation away from the race baiting techniques and dog whistles that repubs are using against Obama. You can't refute them and you won't defend them so you change the subject..."

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

Just helping out:
"Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure."

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/bush_administration/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 3:03 PM

SBJ, I can't IMAGINE why you didn't note that this poll was from 2007?! Even more telling, it was conducted by Rasmussen, which most reputable pollsters agree consistently produces the most "outliers" in terms of survey results.

If you can cite a similar current finding by Gallup, Pew or any other dependable sources, I'll be very surprised.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | August 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Most of the time the public opinion poll shows people's ignorance or prejudice at any point in time.

Posted by: ak1967 | August 4, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@kw:The Tea Party movement cannot definitely state anything

Kevin that is pretty weak tea. There are many state and local tea parties, the tea party patriots, the tea party express, tea party nation, etc. Any or all of these groups could come out and say "We believe that Obama is a US citizen and will denounce anyone who says otherwise."

And bringing up the truthers, who have been thoroughly discredited, has nothing to do with birthers.

The difference between repubs and birthers and dems and truthers is that 99% of dems have categorically repudiated trutherism, whereas there are several repub in congress who are birthers, birther curious, or using some kind of legislation for presidents in the future to show proof of citizenship before getting on the ballot which is birtherism through the back door.

As I said to sbj3, even the great orange satan bans diaries on trutherism.

One poll from 3 years ago does not a case make. Since Ras hides the actual questions behind a paywall, there is no way to know how the questions are phrased and how he is aggregating the data. Certainly we haven't seen any (or in the most generous case, very few) signs at dem rallies on trutherism but there are lots of birther signs at tea party rallies...

You are just changing the subject because you can't refute and won't defend the connection between birtherism and the "otherness" of Obama that has been used as a dog whistle for stoking racial bias against Obama.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't really have an opinion on where Obama was born. However, if the mainstream media was doing their job we would all know the answer to Obama's birthplace and college records.

There must be issues or we would have seen the truth.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | August 4, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent,

Any polling you would like to share regarding how many Democrats think Bush was in on 9/11? Follow up question: Why does the Post insist on having TWO (down from three, as we all know) biased bloggers on the opinion page? Why not one for your side and one for the other. 50/50. I'm not math expert, but that would seem to be a more balanced approach. So frustrating.

CW

Posted by: CW13 | August 4, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Setting aside all the BS, name calling and slander the underlying question is this;

Every U.S. president in history has been so thoroughly vetted and their life documented to the inth degree, why hasn't the media done so with Barrack Obama?

I am a lifelong conservative democrat, not a racist and I love history. I just would like the truth. What is being hidden from us, if anything?

Posted by: thehamptons1 | August 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

OK, if the birthers are so dumb, then why doesn't Obama prove it by releasing his...

* Long-form birth certificate
* Baptismal certificate
* High school scholarship application
* Adoption records
* Occidental College application
* Columbia application
* Visa records from his college trip to Pakistan

Why has Barry spent tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of dollars to fight lawsuits to see these and other documents?

Where there's smoke...

Posted by: pmendez | August 4, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The Right Wing Nut Jobs Dream Up Crazy Questions In Their Addled Craniums, and then conclude, since no one can answer their imaginary, crazy questions, some big cover up conspiracy must be taking place.

Then they toss in their old BS about the media covering up for Obama.

Is that the same media that published all the Bush/Cheney/ Rumsfeld fabrications, that led us into the Iraq disaster, and never bothered to verify a damn thing.

I recall one of the primary debates between Hillary and Obama, on ABC.

Wee George, Charlie Gibson, and Hillary spent the first forty five minutes, beating Obama over the head, because he was not wearing a lapel flag pin.

The fact that none of those three people were wearing one either, did not seem to bother them in the least. No one would question their patriotism, because after all, their skin color was a lovely shade of Patriotic White.

Media Protecting Obama; My Arse!!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Where there's smoke...

Posted by: pmendez | August 4, 2010 3:54 PM

...............

Where there's smoke, there's idiots like you, that have inhaled too much of it.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Now, Liam, when you resort to calling people "idiots" instead of rebutting their facts, it pretty much means you lost the argument, doesn't it?

Posted by: pmendez | August 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If you're so sure Obama is legit, why don't you demand he release his long form birth certificate? You won't because you know he's a fraud.

Obama, show your long-form birth certificate!!!

Posted by: steveb777 | August 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

This article is laughable- again criticizing intelligent people who question Obama's eligibility because it hasn't been verified by the official documents that every other American citizen must present for passports,social security, marriage, etc. Obama pays attorneys millions of dollars to hide the truth about his birth, health,education and past legislative activities. I am Black and I have no prejudice in my opinion of the truth. We the American people have been lied to by a protective partisan press and this administration.

Posted by: sayitlikeitis | August 4, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Whopping 41% of the Republicans think Obama is not a legit President?

It is worse than I thought! The level of illiteracy and hillbillism. Or trailerism.

The rubes are doomed for sure.

Posted by: kishorgala | August 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This article proves or disproves nothing...it is a dumb poll on how many people "believe" he is or isn't...it isn't the truth of whether he is or isn't...no proof one way or the other. That is like 99% of african americans "believed" O.J. didn't commit murder of his ex-wife and 75% everyone else "believed" he did do it...even after the courts said not guilty. Majority beliefs don't make something true. Hard evidence one way or the other is and cannot be dismissed. The only thing that works on faith with or without proof is religion. I could tell you I am a multi-millionaire...and even if 75% of you believed me, access to my financial records would prove otherwise...

Posted by: mbahde | August 4, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's sum up the comments so far:

SIDE A: "Why won't Obama show us his long-form birth certificate, college records, travel records, etc.?"

SIDE B: "Side A is a bunch of idiots, hillbillies, retards, rubes, crazies, nut jobs, drug users, racists, sheep, and the stupidest people alive."

Posted by: pmendez | August 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Zogby 2007: 42% of Democrats believe either that certain elements in the US government
knew the attacks were coming but consciously let them proceed or that certain US government elements actively planned or assisted some aspects of the attacks.

http://www.911truth.org/images/ZogbyPoll2007.pdf

(page 8)

I would like to believe that 99% of Democrats don't believe in any of this trutherism carp - so please present the recent poll from a reputable firm with the 99% figure that supports this assertion

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's sum up the comments so far:

SIDE A: "Why won't Obama show us his long-form birth certificate, college records, travel records, etc.?"

SIDE B: "Side A is a bunch of idiots, hillbillies, retards, rubes, crazies, nut jobs, drug users, racists, sheep, and the stupidest people alive."

Posted by: pmendez | August 4, 2010 4:27 PM
====================================
Why does Obama have to show Side A ANYTHING! I am sure there are rules/regulations to follow before filing for candidacy and people who are responsible for checking must have determined compliance. This is not something that so easily fell through the crack!

May I add Inbred Yokels to the list!

Posted by: kishorgala | August 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Bush left office with 23% approval rating.
Nixon resigned with 25% still supporting him.

That's the hardcore neocon base of the GOP.

Posted by: sgtpepper23 | August 4, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Bush left office with a 23% approval rating.
Nixon resigned with 25% still supporting him.

That's the hardcore right-wing base of the GOP (aka Teabaggers)

Posted by: sgtpepper23 | August 4, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Considering a majority of Republican still think Dubya did a great job it is ot suprising they feel that way. Something like 40% of them still think Iraq had WMDs.

These morons are dumber than dirt.

Any vote for any republican anywhere is a vote for STUPID.

Posted by: alfa73 | August 4, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Considering a majority of Republican still think Dubya did a great job it is not suprising they feel that way.

Something like 40% of them still think Iraq had WMDs. Still.

These morons are dumber than dirt.

Any vote for any republican anywhere is a vote for STUPID.

Posted by: alfa73 | August 4, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: I would like to believe that 99% of Democrats don't believe in any of this trutherism carp - so please present the recent poll from a reputable firm with the 99% figure that supports this assertion

I don't need a poll because I was referring to congresscritters. There are several republicans that are or have been birther or at least birther curious. OTOH, how many dem congresscritters have supported trutherism? Face it. In congress, Repubs flirt with birtherism all the time while dems utterly reject trutherism.

"OK, if the birthers are so dumb, then why doesn't Obama prove it by releasing his...

* Long-form birth certificate
* Baptismal certificate
* High school scholarship application
* Adoption records
* Occidental College application
* Columbia application
* Visa records from his college trip to Pakistan

Why has Barry spent tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of dollars to fight lawsuits to see these and other documents?

Where there's smoke..."

See sbj3: your side still thinks that birthers have a case.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@swr3: "And bringing up the truthers, who have been thoroughly discredited, has nothing to do with birthers."

Actually, it has a lot to do with it. Check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truth_movement

Just look at movies that have been made. 5 Truther Believer movies and at least one 9/11 Curious movie. Google "9/11 truth", go through the websites, and tell me it's a fully discredited fringe movement. How many public protests specifically on Birtherism have there been? There's been several for 9/11 trutherism. Heck, even former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Cynthia McKinney. And so is Jesse Ventura, for that matter. ;)

Also check out Scholars for 9/11 truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 truth . . .

On the other hand, do a search on birthers on Google. One actual birther site, then lots of analysis or critiques of birtherism.

Prominent Republican birthers include Alan Keyes, a former Republican presidential candidate, and Michael Reagan, a radio talk show host.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Just goes to show how "stuck on stupid" Republicans really are.

I bet those same people also believe it was Iraq that attacked us on 9/11.


Posted by: lindalovejones | August 4, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why I keep reading your "gossip column".

I can only question the demographics of the poll. Of course, CNN would certainly never slant the poll in any way.

Let's question this. Greene overhwelmingly won the democratic primary in SC. Speculation is that his win was because his name was first on the ballot. Since this was a democratic primary, we have to assume that all of the voters were democrats. You're right, democrats are so much more intelligent than republicans.

Posted by: bethg1841 | August 4, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

TO: srw3 who wrote:
"OK, if the birthers are so dumb, then why doesn't Obama prove it by releasing his...
* Long-form birth certificate; * Baptismal certificate; * High school scholarship application; * Adoption records; * Occidental College application; * Columbia application; * Visa records from his college trip to Pakistan…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

When George W. Bush ran for president, and said he is an American citizen, did the birthers ask to see GWB’s Long-form birth certificate, Baptismal certificate, High school scholarship application, Adoption records, College application, Columbia application, and/or GWB’s Visa records from his college trips?

No.

Convince a fool against his will, he’ll keep the same opinion still.

It isn’t that the birthers haven’t been provided with the truth, it’s that fact that birthers REFUSE TO ACCEPT the truth.

If a hard core az hole decides the sky is more green than blue, looking up isn’t going to change the az’s mind.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 4, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

TO: sayitlikeitis who wrote:
“…Obama's eligibility because it hasn't been verified by the official documents that every other American citizen must present for passports, social security, marriage…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Who did George W. Bush “present” his documents to?


Posted by: lindalovejones | August 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

rukidding: "Greg's story uses two different polls to illustrate that 41% OF REGISTERED REPUBLICANS ARE MORONS!!! THAT'S JUST A FACT!"

Like the CNN Opinion Research poll--the one that included 285 Republicans? That some apparently blithely extrapolate to essentially be no different than all registered Republicans?

Maybe so. But my personal experience is so tremendously at odds with that, that I have a hard time believing that the polling (according the PDF, it was "nducted"--with that kind of attention to detail, it's sure to be right) is an accurate reflection of reality. Of course, I'm not already predisposed to believe it, thanks to my incredibly low opinion of those people to reflects so poorly on.

"Now Kevin where are your surveys to show that 41% of Dems or anybody for that matter believe George Bush KNEW about 9/11 beforehand and was either complicit or somehow failed miserably."

Zogby in 2004: "It found that 49 percent of New York City residents and 41 percent of New York state citizens believe individuals within the US government 'knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act'."

Rasmussen, as you know, reported 35 of Democrats believed Bush knew about the attacks ahead of time, while 26% were not sure.

From Wikipedia: "In May 2007 the New York Post published results of a Pew Research Center poll of more than 1,000 American Muslims. It found that 40 percent agreed that "Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks," while 28 percent disagreed. Of the 28 percent that disagreed, a quarter (7 percent) believe that the US government is responsible."

"In September 2009, a National Obama Approval Poll, by Public Policy Polling, found that 27% of respondents who identified themselves as Liberals, and 10% as Conservatives, responded "yes" to the question, "Do you think President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?"

"In September 2006 an Ipsos-Reid poll found that 22 percent of Canadians believe 'the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden and were actually a plot by influential Americans.'"

From Talking Points Memo: "But Democrats shouldn't be too eager to laugh at [birtherism]. On the other side of the political spectrum, there's some significant 9/11 Trutherism among Dem voters. We've got 32% of Jersey Democrats who say that George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. In addition, another 19% of Jersey Dems are Truther-Curious, in the undecided column."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

TO: sayitlikeitis who wrote:
“…Obama's eligibility because it hasn't been verified by the official documents that every other American citizen must present for passports, social security, marriage…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Who did George W. Bush “present” his official documents to?

Who "verified" George W. Bush's official documents?

Why would you even think that President Obama's documents haven't been verified, and how did you come up with that idea?

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@swr3: "The difference between repubs and birthers and dems and truthers is that 99% of dems have categorically repudiated trutherism"

Not true, at least according the polls. And since 285 Republicans polled by CNN can stand in for 55 million people, I'm sure the polls I cited in my previous comment will do.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there are some non-Democrat truthers and some non-Republican birthers, just to be clear. But to suggest trutherism is virtually non-existent while birtherism is some kind of political leviathan (or pick your less hyperbolic comparison) is . . . well, it seems more like wishful thinking to me.

I don't believe for a second that 41% of registered Republicans are actually birthers. Any more than you probably believe 35% of registered Democrats are truthers. I also don't believe that trutherism is significant, I just don't think birtherism is significant, either.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones : I was quoting another poster, pmendez. I am not a birther or a truther...Sorry for any misunderstanding.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, birther-people: He's president, it's done, we've seen a birth certificate, but even if we didn't, he's the frickin' president.

Ideological battles aren't won on technicalities. But if Obama was named Barry Olberman and was pushing the same agenda, you'd be cool with it because you'd seen his long form birth certificate?

I really don't get that line of attack. You don't think there are plenty of indisputable (which, frankly, Obama is) citizens of the US that wouldn't pursue much more aggressively liberal policies, if elected president?

He's in the Whitehouse. He was elected. He clearly passed the test for citizenship. Done and done.

Remember the Twelfth Amendment, which forbids electors from voting for someone from their own state for both President and Vice-President? Given that Dick Cheney and Bush were both from Texas, Cheney had to rush to change his state of residency to Wyoming. If you weren't complaining about that, you can't complain about Obama's birth certificate and the *notification in a Honolulu newspaper about his birth on his birthday* isn't "enough evidence" and we somehow need more before he can be sworn in as president. Which he already was.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@sgtpepper: "Nixon resigned with 25% still supporting him. That's the hardcore right-wing base of the GOP (aka Teabaggers)"

Not for Nixon, who implemented wage and price controls, declared defeat in Vietnam, created OSHA, the EPA, and otherwise enlarged and expanded the federal bureaucracy, put teeth in Affirmative Action regulations and authored the COLAs for Social Security . . . you're saying the Tea Party folks hard-core love that guy?

Interesting.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 4, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@kw: I was referring to congresscritters who flirt with birtherism (lots) with those that flirt with trutherism (few).

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@kw: Tea Party folks hard-core love that guy [Nixon]?

Wouldn't surprise me what with the signs at tea parties saying keep your govt hands off my social security and medicare. Supporting Nixon isn't really much of a stretch... The tea party grasp on reality is tenuous at times...;-)


Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

srw3< "Wouldn't surprise me what with the signs at tea parties saying keep your govt hands off my social security and medicare."

You know, that's a commen lefty meme but I'm pretty sure it's bogus. Barry, Krugman, Inglis (a defeated Repug. no less, hmmm, I wonder why?), Alter, and even that old rapscallion John Breaux used a variation of it when Hillary tried to take over healthcare. I guess somebody could have said it, but I suspect this is a story that's just to good to check. Think about it, it's just too perfect, particulary coming out at a time of heated debate (the fun to watch town halls). It's the same reason I never bought the Gore is a pervert (when everyone knows he's an idiot) story. Come on, New Age lingo in the infamous "release my second charkra" line? Some Pink song pissing and moaning about Bush? Like Gore never got over it? A little to on the nose if you ask me. But what do I know, I'm a TeaBagger!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut: the signs were at tea party rallies. there are interviews of people saying it at the rallies. I don't have time do dig up the pics or find the quotes right now, but they are there....try the google if you have time....

http://healthspectator.com/2009/09/06/keep-your-government-hands-off-my-medicare/

Sue chickens for checkups Lowden, "Harry Reid's big government health care plan will raise taxes, put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor, ***weaken Medicare***, kill jobs, push us further into debt. I'm Sue Lowden and I approve this message because ***government run health care is wrong.***"

It's no wonder with "very serious" analysts like Arthur Laffer are appearing on CNN and saying things like this (and getting away with it unchallenged):

"If you like the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government."

"The final irony, of course, is the peculiar conviction that contributory government plans are not run by the government at all. Town hall protesters (and nearly 40 percent of Americans in a recent poll) have urged reformers to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” This says something about the cynicism of reform’s opponents. But it says much more about our longstanding and debilitating fascination with social insurance." --http://www.laprogressive.com/political-issues/healthcare-issues/hands-off-my-medicare-the-deadly-legacy-of-social-insurance/

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

Quick google but I saw only one sign, at bottom right of page. Guy looks a little young for Medicare. Maybe Medicaid, but I suspect he was just funnin' with us rubes.

I would have thought that a simple google search, under the images tab, would have resulted in a dozen pics of handmade signs on the first page. Again, I think it's an urban legend, like Diebold cheating in Ohio in 2004. Your mileage may vary.

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=keep+your+government+hands+off+my+Medicare&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn: Did you miss the documented examples of people criticizing weakening of medicare while decrying government control of health care, (ie medicare)?

"Harry Reid's big government health care plan will raise taxes, put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor, ***weaken Medicare***, kill jobs, push us further into debt. I'm Sue Lowden and I approve this message because ***government run health care is wrong.***

Govt run health care (ie medicare) is wrong but don't weaken govt run health care (ie medicare). And this was the republican establishment choice for Nev. Senator!!!!!

""If you like the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see ***Medicare, Medicaid*** and health care ***done by the government***."" Actually we see medicare run by the govt every day and seniors really like it. This is the famous Laffer, of curve fame.

Come on...

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

I get Sue Lowden's point. She was speaking first to, in regards to Reid's bureaucrat, those with non-government insurance coverage. Specifically, I think, to the various new government required mandates (in addition to the idiotic ones the State of Nevada has already required) that will be added in, increasing the cost of their insurance and essentially inserting a bureaucrat into the loop to tell them what they must have in their insurance, as if Reid's constituents were to dumb to decide for themselves. The "weaken's Medicare" is true in that there are something like half a trillion dollars in cuts to a program that will be covering millions more people. Again, this is more of a first principles discussion, but I think it is legitimatly argueable that a half a trillion dollar cut in an expanding program does in fact "weaken" it. As far as the "goverment run health care is wrong" line, considering that all government run health care programs are currently both bankrupt and riddled with corruption, I again think it's a legitimatly argueable position. Just because the programs do in fact exist, does not make them right. Finally, this commercial is not the same as a home-made sign carried by some woefully misguided Medicare recipient at a town hall. It does not demonstrate that the incident Barry copied from John Breaux actually happened at a Tea Pary rally, or even by an attendee at a congressional Town Hall. I repeat my claim that if said "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" incident did indeed happen, there would be many pages of pictures from a Google Images search.

The Laffer comments I also beleive are salient, for reasons that you would probably disagree with. Medicare is financially (and I would say morally) a disaster and is completely unsustainable. Given that it is a government run program, like how the DMV and Post Office are government run offices (though the DMV is a state run agency [the same logic applies as far as I'm concerned]and perhaps "your local Social Security office" might have been more pertinent)and, regardless how the end user feels about their treatment by said offices, they are universally acknowldged to be financial disasters and models of supreme corruption. Considering that Obamacare will increase the governments role in these agencies, and considering that (first principles arguement coming) that anything the government has expanded has ended up more innefficient and corrupt not wanting "more gvernment hands" in said disasterous programs seems to me a legitimate arguement. Again, not a homemade sign carried by a feeble old lady at a Congressional Town hall. Like I said, think the meme in bunk.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the doubters actually don't know Hawaii is part of the US?

Posted by: Arachnae | August 5, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It shows how laughably idiotic the right-wing is....not really anymore that needs to be said

If idiots want to believe this stuff, let them while the rest of the country laughs at them

Posted by: Bious | August 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

BATTLE HYMN OF THE UNSINKABLE BIRTHERS!
(Sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic")

Mine eyes have not yet seen
Obama's birth certificate.
It is in the Devil's Vault,
Where only God's Right Hand can get.
Obama's C. O. L. B. is a
Lousy counterfeit.
It's truth we're marching for!!!!

Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
It's truth we're marching for!!!!

We shall fight the Masked Usurper
On the beaches, in the hills.
We shall fight this Painted Joker
On the seas and in the fields.
We shall fight to Hell and back
And into court and with appeals.
It's truth we're marching for!!!!

Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
Orly! Orly! Hallelujah!!!
It's truth we're marching for!!!!

(Author grants permission to reprint on web or in print and to perform in public)

Posted by: showusnow | August 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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