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People who hate Obama are more apt to think he's Muslim

A number of people suggested yesterday that the rise in people who think Obama is a Muslim reflects the fact that people may simply be describing him this way to express general disapproval or anger over his performance.

Today, Post polling director Jon Cohen does a deep dive into the numbers and comes up with more evidence supporting this case.

Cohen points out that two polls released yesterday both found very different answers to the "Muslim" question. The Time poll found that 24 percent falsely think he's Muslim, while the Pew poll found that "only" 18 percent believe this? Why? It's all in the question's wording:

Time pollsters asked, "Do you personally believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim or a Christian," dangling red meat in front of the president's opponents.

The Pew question presented respondents with a more extensive list: "Now, thinking about Barack Obama's religious beliefs ... Do you happen to know what Barack Obama's religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, or something else?"

When given a stark choice between Muslim and Christian (the Time poll), more said Obama is a Muslim. When given a broader menu of religious options (the Pew poll), respondents presmuably were forced to focus harder on the question of what religion Obama really is. This may be why fewer were willing to slap the false relgious label on him.

Also supporting this view: A larger percentage (44 percent) of those who disapprove of Obama overall called him a Muslim in the Time poll, where they were given a stark choice, than in the Pew poll (30 percent), where they were forced to concentrate harder on the question.

So there you have it: The more people dislike Obama, the more apt they are to label him as a Muslim. One broader point: It's also possible that calling Obama a Muslim is a general stand in for claiming that he's not legitimately our president, that he has falsely represented himself to the American people in some way.

As dispproval with Obama's policies rises -- and as Obama sets about trying to transform America's relationship with the rest of the world -- it's apparently becoming too painful for a growing number of people to admit that Americans legitimately chose an African American with a Muslim name as leader of the free world. The notion that the president got elected by misleading the American people about his identity in a very fundamental way might be an increasingly easier thing for many people to accept.

UPDATE, 12:06 p.m.: Edited slightly from original.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 20, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

"it's apparently becoming too painful for a growing number of people to admit that Americans legitimately chose a black man with a Muslim name as leader of the free world."

Where on earth did the "black man" stuff come from?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 20, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- agreed, I prefer African American. It's hardly controversial or outlandish to suggest this may be about race, however.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 20, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

SBJ said the only reason he even voted in the last election was to vote against Obama. SBJ said that it been between Hillary and McCain, he would not have even bothered to vote.

That tells you all you need to know about this SBJ creature.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "It's hardly controversial or outlandish to suggest this may be about race."

That may be but Gallup and Pew and your own Cohen aren't analyzing any of these numbers about religion and drawing conclusions about race.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 20, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

edit:

SBJ said that had it been between Hillary and McCain,.......

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Republican base has an Old World mentality. White Christians are superior to the "Heathens" yadda yadda.

These people would be more at home in Georgia or South Carolina circa 1700 -- or Medieval Europe perhaps -- than in today's age of progress and modernity. Obama is possessed by demons! Bust out the leeches!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Anecdotally, my stepdad seems absolutely convinced that Obama is a Muslim, and refuses to acknowledge the possibility that it might not be true. Certainly he also hates Obama as president, which probably colors his perceptions.

More amusingly, my Croatian-Canadian roommate also thought Obama was a Muslim until I corrected him. However, being a young Canadian, he didn't see it as a particularly bad thing, and was actually surprised that the US had elected a Muslim.

Posted by: NicholasLeCompte | August 20, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that, Nicholas. I'd love to hear lots more anecdotal stuff along these lines from others.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 20, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry, Muslims fully accept Jesus Christ, our savior, as a prophet of Islam. It's all good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophets_of_Islam

Posted by: CalD | August 20, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"When given a stark choice between Muslim and Christian (the Time poll), more said Obama is a Muslim. When given a broader menu of religious options (the Pew poll), respondents presmuably were forced to focus harder on the question of what religion Obama really is. This may be why fewer were willing to slap the false relgious label on him."

I'm sorry, why is this a poll again? At all? In either case?

@Greg: "It's hardly controversial or outlandish to suggest this may be about race."

Just so long as you aren't suggesting any of these people would be going along with Obama's policies and loving on him if his name was John Kerry instead of Barack Obama, and his skin color was orange instead of brown. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Israelis and Palestinians set to start direct negotiations.

Charles Krauthammer is very upset, because Palestinians should show more sensitivity, and keep their distance.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis, you're starting to sound like SBJ. Not good.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I would like Time to conduct a poll to determine what percentage of people believe John Boehner is:

A Crustacean, or an Orangutinghy?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

My dear grandmother, a conservative who detests both FDR and George W. Bush with equal furor, told me in 2008 that she wouldn't vote for Barack Obama "because he's a Muslim". I said, "but grandma, he's not--he's a member of Trinity Church in Chicago (her hometown). Don't you remember all the controversy around Obama's pastor, Reverend Wright?" Saith she: "oh, I think his pastor's just awful."

Posted by: JamesK1 | August 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

JamesK1 - My parents are the same way.

I hope I don't end up that... confused.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Here's something to ponder. Which comes first: the hatred or the ignorance?

Does hatred make people more clueless or does ignorance make people hate? Or is it really just more of a coincidence than a causal relationship in either direction -- e.g., does aspiration to general stupidity perhaps tend to select for both traits?

Posted by: CalD | August 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama needs to bring back Reverend Wright. Remember him? Isn't he a Christian minister? Wasn't Obama a member of his revolutionary church for 20 years?

How quickly people forget. Of course, Wright is Arican-American and wore all those African get-ups while preaching, so maybe he is a secret Muslim too. What do I know?

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

OT kinda:

NYC Firefighters, Police Sergeants Protest Lazio's Use Of 9/11 Imagery (VIDEO)

The firefighters letter, which can be read in full here, follows one by Ed Mullins of the NYPD Sergeants' union that calls it "outrageous and offensive" that Lazio would "exploit" the imagery:

"""The images are used in an ad in which ordinary New Yorkers criticize New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is Lazio's opponent in the upcoming election, for not investigating the funding of the proposed mosque to be built at Ground Zero.

It is both outrageous and offensive that Rick Lazio has chosen to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 by using graphic images from that day in his campaign," said Mullins. "For someone whose argument against the mosque is that it is insensitive to those who lost loved ones on that day, it is unconscionable that he would display similar insensitivity by evoking these painful memories for his own political purposes. I believe his actions are as irresponsible as they are reprehensible, and would hope that he do the right thing and apologize for using this footage to promote his campaign."""

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/nyc-firefighters-police-sargeants-protest-use-of-911-imagery-in-lazio-video.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

As a level-headed, intelligent Christian, I find that Mr. Obama should be asking himself this question: 'If I am a real Christian, perhaps I should be taking my faith a bit more seriously.' I have reason to question his authenticity based upon his actions (aka. 'know whose @$$ to kick' and 'lets put your mosque near that old rubble'). Honestly, I would be horrified if I didn't have enough evidence of my faith that people would know what I believed, as that is THE point of telling people you are a Christian. On another note...please at least use spell-checking in your articles, as the number of typos is fairly high for the Washington Post. Thanks a bunch!

Posted by: Workharder | August 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

As a level-headed, intelligent Christian, I find that Mr. Obama should be asking himself this question: 'If I am a real Christian, perhaps I should be taking my faith a bit more seriously.' I have reason to question his authenticity based upon his actions (aka. 'know whose @$$ to kick' and 'lets put your mosque near that old rubble'). Honestly, I would be horrified if I didn't have enough evidence of my faith that people would know what I believed, as that is THE point of telling people you are a Christian. On another note...please at least use spell-checking in your articles, as the number of typos is fairly high for the Washington Post. Thanks a bunch!

Posted by: Workharder | August 20, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Google chrome caused a triple-post. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Workharder | August 20, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Workharder,

As a level-headed, intelligent Christian, please tell me exactly how far away from "that old rubble" is an appropriate distance.

Thanks.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for explaining what happened. I was attributing it to you being a self proclaimed flat headed Christian.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan

"Kevin Willis, you're starting to sound like SBJ. Not good."

In fairness to Willis, some of the time it appears to be genuine ignorance on his part. I'm more forgiving of those that simply don't know better, because there's still hope they might at some point understand. Sometimes he's towing the anti-Dem line, sure. But sometimes I think he's just been manipulated by the spinmisters on the right and doesn't realize it.

SBJ, on the other hand, definately understands the bullsh*t he spouts. I have no doubt he believes it, but he has shown time and time again that when presented with facts contrary to what his narrow worldview consists of, he simply ignores it, deflects it, or lashes out. It's that willfull ignorance for the sake of attempting to manipulate himself and others that makes it worse.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 20, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how there is already a mosque 4 blocks from ground zero and nobody seems to care, I'm guessing the appropriate distance must be between 2.5 blocks and 4 blocks.

But then again, the right-wingers are fighting against mosques in California and Tennessee as well...


Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Fire Department Blocks Florida Church's Plan To Burn Korans

Remember that Florida "church" with the plan to torch a pile of Korans in commemoration of 9/11? Turns out there's one thing they weren't counting on: a local Fire Department that's stingy with outdoor fire permits.

According to the Gainesville Sun, fire chief Gene Prince told the church "that under the city's fire prevention ordinance, an open burning of books is not allowed." Turns out town code 10-63, a "General prohibition on outdoor burning and open burning," specifically outlaws the burning of (section 6) "Newspaper" and (7) "Corrugated cardboard, container board, office paper."

Apparently, bound copies of Islam's holy text fall into those categories. But you didn't really think the Dove World Outreach Center was going to let a pesky fire chief stop its planned tribute to the men and women who died in the terror attacks, did you? The Sun reports that in an email message sent out by the church Wednesday, Dove World proclaims, "City of Gainesville denies burn permit -- BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS."

Prince says that if the church makes good on its promise, it cold be hit with a fine.

"It wouldn't matter what the book is they're burning," another fire department official told the Sun.

Meanwhile, the potential illegal book burning is just one among many controversies for Dove World and -- according to town fathers in Gainesville --another chance for the church to give the town a bad name.

The Sun reports that Mayor Craig Lowe "has called Dove World a 'tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community." He said he backs the fire department's finding that the Koran burning is illegal.

"Based upon the law and the ordinances that have been set forward by the city of Gainesville, I support and respect the decision," he told the paper.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/fire_department_denies_florida_churchs_plans_to_burn_korans.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

nislieb, thanks much for that link yesterday about the Creation Museum trip report. It was great!! :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"sometimes I think he's just been manipulated by the spinmisters on the right and doesn't realize it"

He's obviously got his wits about himself enough to know better. There is no excuse for someone who is willing to be "civil" in this era of partisanship yet so totally ignorant on so many issues that the civility is worthless. If you want to be "civil," A) at least read up on the basic facts of substantive issues so you know what you're talking about and B) stop voting for Republican candidates who are expressly *NOT* civil.

SBJ is a lost cause, agree with you there.

But I am not falling for Kevin Willis' bogus "civility" game.

In fact, I feel even more insulted by someone like Kevin -- who can write sentences without being insulting and touts his own "civility" but still does the wrong thing time and time again -- than someone like SBJ who is just clear off his rocker.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@Workharder

"Honestly, I would be horrified if I didn't have enough evidence of my faith..."

I won't question whether you are a Christian or not...but I will say that if you are, you're a pretty bad one. I suggest you put a bit more effort in understanding your own faith's values and teachings...as opposed to giving it the reputation of intolerance, ignorance, and general do*chebaggery displayed in your comment.

Thanks a bunch!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

What Kevin has been posting about his views, is well within the historical mainstream of acceptable political discourse. You do not have to agree with him, he would be the first to say that, but you appear to believe that he has no right to disagree with you.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

it's clearly largely, though not solely, about race and people who get the vapors at the mere suggestion that a good proportion of poeple in this country, and an even larger proportion of frightwingers and republicans, aren't motivated by race is either extremely self deluded of nakedly disingenuous.

some people seem to claim that if someone doesn't physically or verbally assault every minority they come across, then they cannot be racist. that's just not how it is.

as lee atwater told us, it's not even necessarily about the race of the individual pol, but about who people think benefit from the pol's policies. that's where we get reagan's pandering about (black) 'welfare queens.'

you can deny this, but doing so is transparent and destroys your credibility.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

A note of caution, if you have ill feelings toward Obama or his policies as I do, don't voice them to the White House or you will get a personal visit from the Secret Service and local LEOs who will investigate you take your picture and run a full background check on you.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | August 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Kevin tries to be civil, but he must live in some reality free zone.

He says he lives in the south, like I do, but doesn't think people in the south are more racist than people in other parts of the country. Now I could provide links to various studies showing that he is wrong, but it became clear pretty quickly that nothing anyone said, ever, could change his mind on this.

I call that "willful ignorance." His political identity DEPENDS upon him not facing up to reality.

What is the point of arguing with someone like that? I could put a ton of evidence in front of him and his response would be to put his fingers in his ears and squeal, "na na na na na na na," so he didn't have to address the issue.

But compared to the vast majority of right wingers online he is honest and forthright in his debating; which may sound like a big compliment, but really isn’t.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"you appear to believe that he has no right to disagree with you."

He has no right to disagree with FACTS.

Nobody does.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1 - No Problem.

Scalzi rocks. He doesn't do politics very often, but when he does it is a thing of beauty.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom + nisleib FTW.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Barrack Obama is not a Muslim. That is a fact. Just like 2+2 = 4. The 18 per cent of the population that believes he is a Muslim are wrong. Don't mince words here. If you believe Barrack Obama is a Muslim you are WRONG. Are these people ignorant? Are they mentally deficient? Are they blind? Is our educational system so poor that it can produce people so unable to separate fact from fiction? That should be the real point of this story - the state of an educational system that produces such a large percentage of people who cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | August 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"you appear to believe that he has no right to disagree with you."

He has no right to disagree with FACTS.

Nobody does.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:19 PM

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

In the words of the late Senator Patrick Moynihan:

Ethan,

"You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own set of facts."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"I'd love to hear lots more anecdotal stuff along these lines from others."

Well, I know this guy who has a brother who has a roomate, and apparently the roomate's cousin is, like, totally convinced that Obama is neither a Muslim nor a Christian, but is instead an atheist because, of course, all Marxists are atheists. I guess its a rule or something.

On the other hand, I have a neighbor who has a work colleague who swears that Obama is definitely a Christian because why in the world would God come back to earth in the form of man and NOT be a Christian? (Well, there was that Jesus guy who apparently was God and a Jew, but back then there were no Christians so I guess a Jew was the next best thing.)

More anecdotes, please!

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@ethan -- thanks

sorry all for the bad grammar and syntax. over ample caffeination + hurry = garbled transmission

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan

"He's obviously got his wits about himself enough to know better..."

True, and I don't discount the fact that at times he can be just as mind-numbingly boring as SBJ's tired right-wing vitriol and dodging.

However...you have to rememeber that propaganda works, even on smart people. I have seen flashes where it really did seem like he simply didn't know better. As if he were a child just repeating what a parent told him, or that his only actual knowledge of an issue was what he learned on FOX.

That certainly does not excuse it. Knowing better is also knowing better than to trust any single source completely, sure. But as I said, willfully ignoring facts when they are presented to you because you will do anything to push an agenda is different than simply having a hard time letting go of your own preconcieved notions.

Also, please don't confuse my saying "it's not as bad" as me still holding some level of respect for him. It's something more akin to (though not exactly) pity. I try to be slightly more corgial with him than SBJ, but beyond that I merely hope that at some point he figures out he's been duped.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 20, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Vitter Used TAXPAYER DOLLARS to Transport Aid to Court to Defend Drunk Driving Charges!

"To briefly recap, Furer is the aide Vitter kept on his taxpayer-financed payroll, despite Furer having held his ex-girlfriend hostage, threatening to kill her, and attacking her with a knife. The right-wing, scandal-plagued senator knew about this, and not only kept Furer on his staff, but tasked him with helping oversee women's issues for the Senate office. Making matters worse, Vitter, when asked about this, appears to have lied.

Furer had also been arrested on four other occasions -- three times for DUI, and once for cocaine possession. We're learning this week that Vitter used taxpayer dollars to send Furer to Louisiana, apparently so he could defend himself against some of his criminal charges."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025301.php

Which is the more "Conservative":

a) Illegally buying sex from a prostitute while married

b) Using tax-payer funds to help political associate defend criminal charges

c) Standing up for oil drilling -- and against clean energy -- just weeks after worst oil disaster in history

*cue Jeopardy theme song*

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

exactly the kind of pedantry we've come to expect from scott...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

blah:

"...pedantry..."

As Inigo Montoya once said, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

OT, KY-SEN:

Conway Jumps 10% in Two Weeks

When asked which candidate they would support if the election were today, 41.7% of likely Kentucky voters said Conway and 41.2% picked Paul. The survey of 801 voters was conducted Aug. 16 through 18.

[...]

The results reflect a 10-point jump for Conway from the last statewide cn|2 Poll taken Aug. 2-4. Support for Paul has held steady at around 41 percent for each of the three statewide cn|2 Polls.

http://politics.mycn2.com/2010/08/19/rand-paul-and-jack-conway-locked-in-tie-at-41-new-cn2-poll-shows/

(h/t benen)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

As a society, superstition seems to be in vogue. Matthew Yglesias has interesting poll data showing that 76% of the population believes in at least one of ten listed supernatural beliefs (the existence of ghosts, the validity of astrology, etc.):

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/things-people-believe/

I feel as though in my own lifetime people in America are ever less inclined to want to even consider facts before legitimizing their own feel-good belief systems.

I think this national enthusiasm for superstition has something to do with the anecdotes here about how some people are aware Obama was a member of the congregation at Trinity Church, yet also believe at the same time that he is a Muslim.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "But I am not falling for Kevin Willis' bogus "civility" game."

Dang, foiled again. And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids.

@BBQ: "but beyond that I merely hope that at some point he figures out he's been duped."

I respectfully decline your pity, as it's not necessary. But thanks. I pretty sure that I haven't been duped.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "As Inigo Montoya once said, I do not think that word means what you think it means."

There's a lot of that going on around here. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

scott,

actually, i do know what it means and your last comment further bears it out.

please, will you or kevin tell me what *you* think means?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@nsleib: "Kevin tries to be civil, but he must live in some reality free zone."

Apparently.

"But compared to the vast majority of right wingers online he is honest and forthright in his debating; which may sound like a big compliment, but really isn’t."

I can't figure out whether I'm being damned with faint praise, or praised with faint damns.

I'm not sure which is preferable. I think probably the latter.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

will you please expound on your comment about my use of 'pedantry'?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin

"Just so long as you aren't suggesting any of these people would be going along with Obama's policies and loving on him if his name was John Kerry instead of Barack Obama, and his skin color was orange instead of brown. ;)"

Maybe not "love", but would I suggest that some of these people would actually support the policies Obama has implimented if he were a white man named John Kerry?

Yeah. I'd suggest that, and I'd suggest it in a heartbeat. I'd be right, as well.

I've described current policies/legislation to dozens of Dems and GOPers alike as "Kerry's proposals from the 2004 campaign" and gotten solid support from both sides for it. A common reaction has been "See! I can support a middle ground, I would be fine if Obama would do something like that."

Then I tell them that's exactly what Pres. Obama is doing, and they immediately jump into spin mode...some have done it so quickly and starkly that they themselves realized it. Some would dismiss me as a liar, some would dismiss me as misinformed, but most would merely say that Obama probably has some loophole or something anyways so they just won't like it.

I certainly don't have a sample size of hundreds (yet), but I'd say it has been double digits out of several dozen. That, in of itself, disproves your using the word "any" in your statement. However, I think it's also enough to extrapolate out a bit and say there is a legimate percentage of people who would support policies if they didn't come from "this" President...an African-American named Barack Obama.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 20, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@liam:

"You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own set of facts."

Exactly Liam.

He is smart enough to research facts. He chooses not to and plays off his ignorance by being nice? Bogus.

@bbq:

As you said, there is no excuse.

I'm not saying everyone automatically knows the facts on every issue. But, speaking for myself, if anything I say is questioned I like to know about it because I always prefer to be factually-correct than willfully ignorant. As such I have changed some of my positions numerous times over the years. Corn ethanol is one example. The more I read about the drawbacks to it, I realized that the facts did not support using corn as a biofuel feedstock. Another more recent example is credit default swaps. While they exploded under Bush -- and he did nothing -- it was Robert Rubin's advice to Clinton that allowed CDS trading to exist in an unregulated dark market. When I was presented with the facts, I stopped blaming Bush for creating the dark market. I blame him and the GOP congress for not STOPPING the unregulated dark market, but my proclivity towards Clinton did not get in the way of the fact that he mistakenly allowed the deregulation of the CDS market.

Not being informed on the issues -- and having the intellectual curiosity and honesty to approach issues from a factual basis -- is one thing.

But there is *NO* excuse for willful ignorance. Zero, zip, none, nada, nein. Period. End of story.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "You do not have to agree with him, he would be the first to say that, but you appear to believe that he has no right to disagree with you."

Thanks for that. Although, I actually respect Ethan's consistency in challenging me, and between accusations he occasionally makes a good point or two that makes me think.

The idea that I'm making some nefarious effort to trick people into a normal conversation with a Scary Republican is actually really funny. I'm enjoying it, and--while I'd love to have a more open dialog with anybody--I have to admit I would miss it a little, if it went away forever.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

blah:

pedantry: narrow and ostentatious concern for details or rules.

p-e-d-a-n-t-r-y

pedantry

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out: Video of Ron Johnson blaming climate change on sunspot activity has surfaced:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 20, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

scott,

just can't stop being pedantic, can you? tell me how your silly mock anecdotes weren't pedantic (you might want to recheck the def).

kevin,

seriously, why to you think my characterization of scott's drivel as pedantry was inaccurate?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

As a progressive who has wrangled with Kevin_Willis for a long time at Ezra's blog, I am firmly convinced that his civility is genuine, and I am genuinely grateful to hear from a thoughtful and civil conservative. If there were only nasty trolls to argue with, there would be no reason to bother commenting at all.

And, as a recent arrival at this blog, I will also respectfully offer the opinion that it gets tedious to see commenters discussing their negative opinions about the sincerity and motivations of other commenters, as though they were talking about the features of various animals in the zoo.

I don't believe that such talk advances the discourse about political issues and public policy in any useful direction.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "Maybe not "love", but would I suggest that some of these people would actually support the policies Obama has implimented if he were a white man named John Kerry?"

I think you're wrong. Maybe I am, but I just don't think so. If he was a Republican named John Kerry (no relation to that other John Kerry), then, maybe. But I don't think the melanin content of his skin is a big factor in why.

I think it's something clearly some folks have no problem in making racist remarks about, since they already disagree with his politics. Were Republicans excessively scared, or particularly racist, about Condaleeza Rice or J.C. Watts or Alberto Gonzales? Or my favorite Supreme Court Jurist, Clarence Thomas? ;)

"I think it's also enough to extrapolate out a bit and say there is a legimate percentage of people who would support policies if they didn't come from "this" President...an African-American named Barack Obama."

Well, then, perhaps I will have to reconsider. I hate to lower my opinion of people, but I'm sure you are witnessing what you are witnessing. The only other explanation could be that it's easier to say, "Well, I suppose Johny Kerry's ideas there were pretty good--but since he's not president, and is never going to be, there's is no consequence in me saying that, yes, that sounds like a fine idea." But I'm not saying that's the explanation, or that the racism you see isn't the more likely culprit.

It just seems very odd--and (this may be as a result of my ignorance, willful or not, that numerous commenters have helpfully pointed out) very hard for me to get my head around--that any significant number of people object to the policies and the president (and also so many of the caucasian Democrats in congress) based on the shade of Obama's skin. But, I'm not denying that it could be the case, or that it hasn't been your experience, just that it is (a failing on my part, I am sure) very hard for me to accept that people are making such a strange distinction. Most of what he is doing would be okay with them if he were a few shades lighter? I have a hard time grasping that, conceptually.

I suppose we learn something every day.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I encourage those who question Obama's belief to be a christian to also question the actions he's taking in America and what his motives are for doing so. ARE THEY BENEFITING THE PEOPLE OR HINDERING.RACE IS NOT AN ISSUE, THAT IS A DISTRACTION FROM WHAT IS. AN ISSUE IS AMERICAS SECURITY WITH HIM AS PRESIDENT.OBAMA IS BURYING US ALIVE IN DEBT. AS A CHRISTIAN WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO GOD AND TO THE PEOPLE WE GOVERN.WE WILL ALL BECOME SLAVES TO THOSE WE OWE DEBT. PLEASE PRAY AMERICA ONLY GOD CAN TURN THIS AROUND.

Posted by: keneippmmme | August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

i'll ask again, in all sincerity, why do you think my use of 'pedantry' was inaccurate?

please, i'm not trying to trick you. i just want to know what you meant by your comment.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin: I'm glad you find humor in the fact that you're clearly willfully ignorant about multiple, possibly many, issues.

It is precisely that attitude that confirms to me that you are not a serious individual and that your civility is a facade.

@Patrick: I appreciate your weighing in on this issue. However, I do not trust any Republicans regardless of their apparent sincerity, and am happy to tell that to their faces. This is particularly true after it becomes clear -- as it inevitably always does -- that they are less interested in facts than they are in ideological positioning.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

it's not necessarily or solely the race/ethnicity/whatever of the particular politician. it's who people believe benefit, more than they think they themselves do, from the pol's policies.

as i wrote above, that's where reagan's pandering about (black) 'welfare queens' came from.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

blahg: "kevin, seriously, why to you think my characterization of scott's drivel as pedantry was inaccurate?"

I wasn't passing judgement on your use of that particular word, or Scott's comments, one way or the other. However, I do like that quote, and it does remind me of some of the comments I've seen directed at me. ;)

@BBQ: "As if he were a child just repeating what a parent told him, or that his only actual knowledge of an issue was what he learned on FOX."

While I may not have earned all of my opinions (there are only so many hours in the day), I have earned most of them. I know it is hard to accept that people who disagree with us may have given as much time and thought to an issue, if not more, than we have, but it does actually happen.

@Ethan: "He is smart enough to research facts. He chooses not to and plays off his ignorance by being nice?"

This is inaccurate, just FYI. Because I know how much you care about accuracy. ;)

"But there is *NO* excuse for willful ignorance."

I agree with statement, 100%.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "I'm glad you find humor"

That part is correct. This part is not:

"in the fact that you're clearly willfully ignorant about multiple, possibly many, issues."

Just FYI.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"very hard for me to get my head around--that any significant number of people object to the policies and the president based on the shade of Obama's skin"

What freaking planet are you on?

You live in TENNESSEE furchrissakes.

You think there's no racists in your state? Even, yes, among Democrats or Indies who might otherwise have supported the President? Gotta be kidding me. Forget 'willfully ignorant.' You'd have to be completely numb to the world to hold some of the positions you do.

This is beyond willful ignorance I think. It is literally impossible to be alive in today's world -- particularly in the South -- and as plugged in to politics as you are, Kevin, and have that position.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I avoid using the word pedantry, to avoid coming across as looking somewhat pedantic.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: 'I wasn't passing judgement on your use of that particular word, or Scott's comments, one way or the other. However, I do like that quote, and it does remind me of some of the comments I've seen directed at me. ;)'

thanks for eventually answering. but i gotta tell ya, this strikes me as still more disingenuousness. you had to have known your initial comment would seem like a validation of scott's claim and you ignored several of my requiests for clarification.

but, if past is prelude, you'll shrug, say 'aw shucks' and insist it wasn't intentional.

okay.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@liam: '

I avoid using the word pedantry, to avoid coming across as looking somewhat pedantic.

Posted by: Liam-still '

i'm aware of the danger and i think kevin held off answering for just that reason.

btw, you didn't exactly avoid it with your little bon motte either...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

As one enters the Jefferson Memorial, carved in marble with letters as large as your head, it reads:” I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.” Free to think any way one desires is the mark of a free nation, the First Amendment to the Bill Of Rights and the conduct of free peoples. Therefore the president can believe in any religion he sees as righteous.

What citizens are concerned about is the president saying what the public wants to hear rather than real conviction. Obfuscation, flip flops and fabrication are our experience: The denial of the War on Terror, dithering over military reinforcements and apologizing for our country overseas. We witness the politics of fear that frames every move toward socialism, “or catastrophe.” We see a denial of the debt being heaped on our children – who have no say in it.

We see denial of the recession suffering, whistling past the grave yard, saying, we saved x number of jobs, “Don’t let Republicans scare you.” Or, dismissing counter arguments as “talking points.” Be sincere Mr. President or people will have doubts over anything you say.

Posted by: corneliusvansant | August 20, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!!

Think about your own logic -- people are saying he's a Muslim because they don't like him. Based on what?

I've never heard him say he's a Christian, although I have heard him say he's a Muslim.

Whatevs! People are just tired of the BS, Muslim or not.

Posted by: Tar1 | August 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

corn,

so, are you implying he's a secret muslim or that he's a secret commie?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"You live in TENNESSEE furchrissakes."

Indeed. Perhaps, like a fish in water, I am too immersed in it to observe it objectively. Maybe a 4th generation New Yorker like yourself could help someone like me come to understand what a backwards and bigoted state I live in.

BTW, there is a little snark in the above paragraph (I admit it), but I'm willing to keep an open mind. I sat and listened to Canadians tell me I was inherently and inescapably racist, because I was born in the south. Didn't quite get it, but they were 100% sure. Then I saw one of them do what was, frankly, a kind of racist piece of performance art. But it wasn't racist, because they were Canadian.

"You'd have to be completely numb to the world to hold some of the positions you do."

Okay.

"You think there's no racists in your state?"

Now, I didn't say that. "very hard for me to get my head around--that any significant number of people object to the policies and the president based on the shade of Obama's skin" does not, to me, equal "no racists in my state".

In fact, even if there were a lot more racists than I want to admit (because, frankly, I like to think the best of people, and clearly in some circles that makes me a ***hole, but, oh well), that doesn't mean they'd have a different opinion of a white Democrat advancing HCR over a black Democrat. They could still, and probably would, object. I heard some awfully terrible stuff about Clinton, and I don't think that was primarily racist in nature.

"It is literally impossible to be alive in today's world -- particularly in the South -- and as plugged in to politics as you are, Kevin, and have that position."

No, actually, I'm pretty sure it's not. Since you understand judging the merits of political policy based on skin pigmentation better than I do (clearly), perhaps you can enlighten me?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

your premise is ridiculous.

i couldn't care less about the man's religion.

he gives most of us at least half a dozen reasons to think poorly of him, and those reasons rank far higher in importance than religion.

how about this one, for starters: "you're likable enough, hillary."

the man is a a bold-faced liar.
the man is arrogant.
he plays the race card.
he campaigns dirty.
he has no qualifications for his job.
he would make narcissus blush at how much more self-admiring he is.
he blames everyone else for his many faults.

should i keep going?


Posted by: potomacfever00 | August 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick

"I don't believe that such talk advances the discourse about political issues and public policy in any useful direction."

That might be true, but in some cases the derision involved serves a purpose. Some on this board really don't deserve the credibility of being debated with. To do so would merely give credence to their disengenuous arguments. It'd be like saying it's debatable that the earth is flat. You dismiss it as nonsense and move on. If the same person keeps making arguments of that type, at some point you stop treating them as a credible person in general. You have to, as to be able to continue having any legitmate debate with those that aren't total f*ckwads.

@Kevin

"I don't think the melanin content of his skin is a big factor in why."

The problem is that you're conflating when I say "some" people into a "big factor". I'm merely saying it can be a factor, and yes in some it's likely a major factor. But being a major factor in a minor percentage of people doesn't mean I'm painting the GOP with a broad brush.

What you really are seeing is hatred by a thousand cuts. There's a core of the GOP that simply HATE Democrats. They hate them. They don't trust anything they say, and they hate any policy they present simply because they present it.

Now you combine that core group, and you feed it. You feed it by stoking white resentment. You feed it by stoking religious fear created by the pain of 9/11. You feed it by stoking communist/socialist fears, which are partly rooted in religon as well. You feed it by stoking economic fears. You feed it by rewriting how we got to where we are. And you feed it 24/7 on a national TV network.

The GOP's strategy is to build a big-tent party...where hatred is the tent. Whatever soft spot or open wound they can find, they prod and salt the wound while telling you it's "his fault". Their goal is to make people simply hate Obama, so not only is there no way they'll vote for him, but they'll automatically oppose anything he presents.

Some of the top GOPers may believe some of the utterly disgusting and extreme views that are used to stoke this hatred. But I think many more know better, and simply use it like a tool for their own party's political gain - which I feel is much more insidious. And tt's working, to an extent.

But I generally try not to just come out and call people racist or homophobic or whatever. Instead, I try to remember this video (it's about race, but can be applied to many subjects):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 20, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Shorter cornelius:

"The Jefferson Memorial and Bill of Rights say that we have the right to free speech, and I am going to abuse that right by lying."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The 20% whose heads exploded when Obama was elected.

Their entire white/Christian-centric world view collapse. They had believed the lies and deceits of 30 years of Republican ideology, only to see it collapse along with the economy. They could not deal with the fact that it was all a phony scam.

Boom! Exploded heads!

The only possibility, besides their own hate/fear insanity, is that Obama is a secret alien/socialist/muslim/commie/foreigner. They watch Falxe News which supports the "controversies" as a weapon of mass distraction.

They'll believe anything ..except The Truth.

Posted by: thebobbob | August 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@blahg: "you had to have known your initial comment would seem like a validation of scott's claim and you ignored several of my requiests for clarification."

Blagh, I answered it as soon as I saw it. As fast as I could. As is the case with this one, in case you think I'm trying to avoid you.

"but, if past is prelude, you'll shrug, say 'aw shucks' and insist it wasn't intentional."

Or I might say that I think you may have, perhaps, the very thinnest skin of anybody in this group. Seriously, "and you ignored several of my requiests for clarification"?

When you like somebody, do you just keep leaving messages on their answering machine until the processor server shows up with the restraining order?

And, no, it certainly wasn't intentional. But now I wish it had been, if that helps any.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse


oh, and he's very cold, calculating, and condescending, too.

Posted by: potomacfever00 | August 20, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

bbq,

well said. notice how kevin and others who try to strike a civil pose constantly and disingenuously paint themselves as the victim on this board.

also note how kevin ignores points that get to the heart of the issue and instead focus on strawmen and conflation. he does not respond to my point about it not being the identity of the pol so much as the identity of the people others perceive as benefiting from that pol's policies.

i'd think kevin, if he really wanted to engage in the subject, might have had somehting to say about that. that he ignores this point and instead transparently evades and conflates speaks volumes.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "I'm merely saying it can be a factor, and yes in some it's likely a major factor. But being a major factor in a minor percentage of people doesn't mean I'm painting the GOP with a broad brush."

Fair enough. I can be as guilty as anybody of reading more into something than is actually there.

"Some of the top GOPers may believe some of the utterly disgusting and extreme views that are used to stoke this hatred. But I think many more know better, and simply use it like a tool for their own party's political gain - which I feel is much more insidious. And tt's working, to an extent."

Fair enough. It certainly does seem to be the case (at least, to some extent and for some people) recently, which is unfortunate. It's just been my personal experience that ideology often trumps racial solidarity or racial animus. This may not always be the case, but it seems to me that it's often perfectly acceptable to address racial comments and insults towards minorities who disagree with you ideologically, but unacceptable, or there is simply no interest in doing so, when the same minorities agree with you ideologically.

It may be a chicken-or-the-egg argument. These days, I tend to believe it is ideology that is the primary motivator.

But, you make very good points, and I appreciate you taking the time to do it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: 'Or I might say that I think you may have, perhaps, the very thinnest skin of anybody in this group. Seriously, "and you ignored several of my requiests for clarification"?'

well, leaving aside the thinness of my skin, i think it should be clear that i was calling out what i perceived as more disingenuousness from you.

'When you like somebody, do you just keep leaving messages on their answering machine until the processor server shows up with the restraining order?'

umm, no. but, i assure you, that's not a fitting analogy for this discussion...

'And, no, it certainly wasn't intentional. But now I wish it had been, if that helps any.'

okay.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I heard some awfully terrible stuff about Clinton, and I don't think that was primarily racist in nature."

I don't know. He was, remember, according to some the nation's first black president. I never thought so myself, but now that I think about it I heard some terrible stuff about him too that can only be explained by racism. So maybe he really was our first black president.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@blahg: "well said. notice how kevin and others who try to strike a civil pose constantly and disingenuously paint themselves as the victim on this board."

I try to paint myself as a victim? Given my voluntary participation here, that would be a very difficult argument to make. Where have I suggested I was a victim? If I did, I will certainly retract.

"he does not respond to my point about it not being the identity of the pol so much as the identity of the people others perceive as benefiting from that pol's policies."

You are very sensitive, and you are very impatient. That was not a personal slight; I don't respond to everything. Nobody here actually does. I was considering responding to that comment, actually, in a collegial and agreeing manner--yes, that's a very good point. That some of the worries of quasi-racist folks is that a given minority politician is going to focus on programs that exclusively benefit member of the same minority. Although I would go on to say, this would be an incredibly foolish concern with Barack Obama, who has gone out of his way to be the president of all the people, irrespective of what one thinks about his ultimate policies.

"i'd think kevin, if he really wanted to engage in the subject, might have had somehting to say about that. that he ignores this point and instead transparently evades and conflates speaks volumes."

Do you collect the restraining orders, like in a drawer, or do you keep them all pinned up on the wall?

To be clear, I may not reply to everything you have to say, blahg. While I can't control how you choose to interpret my lack of replying to every comment you make, I hope you understand.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed. Perhaps, like a fish in water, I am too immersed in it to observe it objectively."

Or perhaps you know full well what I'm talking about and you're playing dumb.

"Now, I didn't say that. 'very hard for me to get my head around -- that any significant number of people object to the policies and the president based on the shade of Obama's skin' does not, to me, equal 'no racists in my state'."

No, it doesn't necessarily equal "no racists in your state" but it certainly does imply that you are well aware that there is racism in your state, and that the number of Democrats who oppose Obama based on race is limited.

And THAT suggests to me that you think, like I do, that racists in your state are far more likely to be Republicans.

The Clinton stuff is a non sequitur. Obviously, Caucasians wouldn't hate Clinton because of his race, and African-Americans vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

"Since you understand judging the merits of political policy based on skin pigmentation better than I do (clearly), perhaps you can enlighten me?"

Perhaps I cannot. Perhaps you need to enlighten YOURSELF.

For starters, call up any of the historically black colleges and universities in Tennessee and ask them about the racism in your state in the modern era.

There are five:

Knoxville College
Lane College
LeMoyne-Owen College
Meharry Medical College
Tennessee State University

You can find links to their wiki pages on this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historically_black_colleges_and_universities

And by going to their wiki pages you can find their contact information.

Good luck with your Enlightenment, and I mean that sincerely.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "I never thought so myself, but now that I think about it I heard some terrible stuff about him too that can only be explained by racism. So maybe he really was our first black president."

Yeah, dude, I'm pretty sure that's a racist thing to say. Or, at the very least, inadvisable.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@workharder, I too am a Christian, a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Like President Obama's United Church of Christ, the PC(USA) charts its theological roots to the Reformed church, though we more explicitly to John Calvin. We believe that God is sovereign over all, and that means God chooses to redeem us, not we ourselves. Consequently, the good we do--in church and work and beyond--is a grateful response to God. Using his position at work to further the causes of peace, caring for the sick, justice for the poor, and caring for creation are a natural extension of faith.

Now I think all genuine Christians, particularly Protestants, would agree that one does not strive to "look Christian" by providing superficial "evidence" of faith. Good Christians can say "ass". Good Christians should not, on the other hand, lie about what another says.

I would much rather have someone striving to do genuine good in the world rather than someone who simply tries to dress up in Christian trappings without doing any of the work. As some long-haired liberal Jew said about 2,000 years ago, "Woe to you, o liars and hypocrites!"

Posted by: JamesK1 | August 20, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

In the headline Mr Sargent used the word "Hate". In the body of the post Mr Sargent used the word "dislike".

gosh, I wonder why.

And the wording of the questions makes any conclusion using both results questionable. In one, the respondents are asked what they "think" and given only two choices. In the other they are asked what the "know" are are given eight (count em!) choices. the bias in this data collection effort renders the conclusion drawn by Mr Sargent & co meaningless.

Once again, this is just red meat for his followers.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@bbq,

also, that's a great video. as you note, though, we do arrive eventually at a point, after someone has disingenuous or racist or self deluded enough that a clear pattern has been established.

it's better to characterize a person's behavior or words as racist, disingenuous or whatever. but at some point, it is clear that the person themself can be described by the words we initially only applied to their words or actions.

that point is always subjective and up for argument and reevaluation. but, speaking only for myself, i've passed that point with a number of commenters here. maybe i'm not patient enough, but how many times does anyone want to be charlie brown trying to kick the ball...?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: 'I try to paint myself as a victim? Given my voluntary participation here, that would be a very difficult argument to make. Where have I suggested I was a victim? If I did, I will certainly retract. '

you frequently make asides about how people who disagree with you are acting arrogantly and putting you down.

'You are very sensitive, and you are very impatient.'

as i wrote above, i think you are grossly misinterpreting my stance.

'Do you collect the restraining orders, like in a drawer, or do you keep them all pinned up on the wall?'

again with this? that's just dbaggery.

'That some of the worries of quasi-racist folks is that a given minority politician is going to focus on programs that exclusively benefit member of the same minority. '

again, yet more disingenuousness. i said, repeatedly, that *the race of the pol* doesn't matter so much -- that's the central point of the comment. but, again, i'm not surprised you mischaracterized my comment and responded to the strawman.

-- waiting for your next remark about over sensitivity and your next incredibly humorous joke about stalking/restraining orders --

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Yeah, dude, I'm pretty sure that's a racist thing to say."

Huh? To suggest that people would say terrible things about someone because of racism is itself racist? I don't get it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Millions do not like this president for too many reasons to list. The same could be said when Bush was in office. Millions didn't vote for him, and millions didn't vote for Obama. The hatred level is about as intense. Blacks voted for Obama because of his race, and blacks disliked Bush because of his race. Now the Muslim issue is just one more reason to dislike Obama in the minds of millions. We are after all fighting two wars with Islamic terrorists. If we were fighting a war with the IRA and losing our women and men to that war, the US would feel a certain amount of prejudice towards those with Irish ancestry. BTW, when the Irish came to this country they were strongly disliked. It would be so nice if our population would pick up a history book and glance back for a minute.

I am in the camp that doesn't have any idea what faith Obama really believes in. If he really did enjoy listening to Rev Wright then Obama has a lot personal issues he needs to work out by hopefully listening to those with a much kinder heart. If Obama really does want to endorse being a Muslim, but knows it would be political suicide, then I feel sorry for him but also think that position shows a very weak man. If he really is a Christian as he says, his religion is his business only.

The only president I think that really enjoyed going to church was Bill Clinton. He just embraced any church setting as if he had been attending there for years.

Posted by: jkachmar | August 20, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

o/t but good news:

Fire Department Blocks Florida Church's Plan To Burn Korans

'Remember that Florida "church" with the plan to torch a pile of Korans in commemoration of 9/11? Turns out there's one thing they weren't counting on: a local Fire Department that's stingy with outdoor fire permits.

According to the Gainesville Sun, fire chief Gene Prince told the church "that under the city's fire prevention ordinance, an open burning of books is not allowed." Turns out town code 10-63, a "General prohibition on outdoor burning and open burning," specifically outlaws the burning of (section 6) "Newspaper" and (7) "Corrugated cardboard, container board, office paper."

Apparently, bound copies of Islam's holy text fall into those categories. But you didn't really think the Dove World Outreach Center was going to let a pesky fire chief stop its planned tribute to the men and women who died in the terror attacks, did you? The Sun reports that in an email message sent out by the church Wednesday, Dove World proclaims, "City of Gainesville denies burn permit -- BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS."'


http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/fire_department_denies_florida_churchs_plans_to_burn_korans.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@blagh: "you frequently make asides about how people who disagree with you are acting arrogantly and putting you down."

I'm pretty sure I've never used the phrase "putting me down", but even if I had, I don't think that's a claim to victimization. However, if there is any confusion, I am not remotely a victim in any interaction here. I choose this voluntarily. Even if I am occasionally surprised by a reaction, well, that's the risk one takes in interacting with other human beings. I renounce and and all claims of victimhood.

"as i wrote above, i think you are grossly misinterpreting my stance."

Fair enough. So, you understand that I was not avoiding you, and that I did, in fact, reply to you as soon as I read your original comment?

"again with this? that's just dbaggery."

Fair enough.

"again, yet more disingenuousness. i said, repeatedly, that *the race of the pol* doesn't matter so much -- that's the central point of the comment. but, again, i'm not surprised you mischaracterized my comment and responded to the strawman."

Okay, then I misunderstood. You can either try to explain it more clearly, so that someone with limited faculties such as myself might understand, or you can continue to accuse me of mischaracterizing your comments (on purpose! to be nefarious!) or arguing with strawmen. I apologize for misunderstanding. But I'm not saying there may not be racism in politics, only that I don't see Obama's personal skin color being an issue.

I think you're saying that you agree with that, but that racism is revealed when voters believe that a particular politician will be prone to favor, or do thinks that help, given minorities. And they don't want that, so their racism provokes them to be against that politician. Is that right, or is that wrong?

Because I'm neither trying to build a strawman or mischaracterize what you are saying.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Were the results crosstabbed against "last grade completed"?

Posted by: mattintx | August 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: '...so that someone with limited faculties such as myself might understand,...'

this is exactly what i was talking about. you do this quite often and, for someone who on multiple time accused me of being overly sensitive, it's a bit rich. but ymmv.

'But I'm not saying there may not be racism in politics, only that I don't see Obama's personal skin color being an issue.

I think you're saying that you agree with that, but that racism is revealed when voters believe that a particular politician will be prone to favor, or do thinks that help, given minorities. And they don't want that, so their racism provokes them to be against that politician. Is that right, or is that wrong? '

well, i don't agree that, for many, obama's identity is not an issue -- it clearly is very much a motivating factor in many people's dislike of him.

but your following graf is an accurate summation of my contention: person x doesn't like/resents people of group y and believes pol z will help group y, to the supposed detriment of x's own group, so they oppose pol z based on their prejudice against group y, regardless of z's identity.

in obama's case, it's obviously compounded.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

amanda marcotte at pandagon puts it well:

'The culture war is like a piano. Just because they’re hitting one note right now doesn’t mean that the other notes are off the table. In fact, just as most piano players can play multiple notes at once, so can wingnuts. That’s what the “anchor babies” crap is about---it’s a chord that touches on resenting female sexuality, anti-immigrant racism, and anger that people that aren’t in the tribe still get to have access to a doctor. Trying to make these up as if they’re all separate or conflicting issues is like trying to pretend that a C and an F can’t be on the same piano.'

http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/its_all_the_same_culture_war/#When:18:22:00Z

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

People in this country call themselves Christian because they attend church services.
It's like for many sitting in a garage and then calling themselves a car!

Posted by: FredCDobbs | August 20, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"His political identity DEPENDS upon him not facing up to reality."

No. His (their) PERSONAL identity
depends upon him (them) not facing up to reality. this has been the story in the South since the slavery compromise at the Constutional Convention.

Posted by: therev1 | August 20, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Just another consequence of the MSM failing to vet Obama.

Hey, any word if Obama will release his Columbia and Harvard transcripts? I mean, he's so smart and everything...

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | August 21, 2010 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps his claiming to be a Christian have more to do with his serial lying than anything else. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Besides, which came first, the dislike of Obama or the notion that he is a Muslim? The data presented by the polls does not answer that question. The left continues to tie themselves in knots with their dramatic overreach toward all things Obama. They are so wedded to the belief system that we must have an support an African American that they will do and say just about anything in order to sustain his popularity. For them, it is not about our nation, but all about him. And so it is, they have everything in common with him.

Posted by: lavistabb | August 21, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

The article states very matter-of-factly that Obama is not a Muslim and implies that anyone who thinks so is a hateful bigot. Yet, these same polls indicate that of the people who think Obama is a Muslim, the majority approve of his policies. In fact, much of the Muslim world seems to take great pride in the notion that America elected its first Muslim president. It is undeniable that Obama grew up as a Muslim in Indonesia, and no one has ever come forward to accuse him of apostasy.

Posted by: Ohiolad | August 21, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

It's funny watching democrats who had an irrational hatred of GW for 8 years complain about republicans that have an irrational hatred of Obama. As far as whether he is Muslim or Christian, he's whatever he needs to be. Obama's real religion is power. He's going to pander to whoever it takes to get elected. Remember his spiritual advisor Rev. Wright. Kicked that dude to the curb after a 20 year relationship as soon as Wright became an inconvenience. What kind of person just uses people like that. That behavior isn't too christian and I'm sure the muslims aren't cool with it either.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

And what do the non practicing atheists have to say about this?

Posted by: usapdx | August 22, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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