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2/3/2010
GOING ALL HOFSTADTER ON ME
CATEGORY: Birthers, Politics

The problem with being associated with a party made up of very large numbers of kooks, loons, paranoids, nitwits, and ignorant twits is that after a while, you begin to question your own sanity, your own grasp on reality. You begin to wonder if there isn’t, in fact, something wrong with you rather than the other way around.

Indeed, if a majority are nutzo and you aren’t, who’s to say what’s reasonable, or rational? Sounds like a Rod Serling script. If he didn’t write it, maybe I should give it a shot.

A new poll of more than 2,000 self-identified Republican voters illustrates the incredible paranoia enveloping the party and the intense pressure drawing lawmakers further and further away from political moderation.

The numbers speak for themselves — a large portion of GOP voters think that President Obama is racist, socialist or a non-US citizen — though, when considering them, it is important to note that a disproportionate percentage of respondents are from GOP strongholds in the South (42 percent) as opposed to the Northeast (11 percent). Also note that this is a poll of self-identified Republicans, which means that independent Tea Party types are not included.

Stein is being fair by excluding the tea party movement from this madness, although my guess would be that many if not a majority are at least nominal Republicans like myself. We just don’t know if they are more or less wacky than their erstwhile compatriots in the GOP.

At times, it’s like being in an inside out nightmare, where otherwise perfectly sane, rational people look at you as if you’re from another planet if you don’t agree that the president is deliberately trying to destroy the country, or wants the terrorists to win.

I want to believe it when many on the right tell me that the paranoid fringe is just that - a small subset of believers who are over-represented on the internet. This may even be true in some sections of the country like the northeast. But even if you believe that Research 2000, a reputable polling company, would collude with the Daily Kos in cooking the books on Republican attitudes toward the president, you can’t escape the uncomfortable feeling if you visit as many websites, and read as many comment threads as I do that it is a false hope to think this kind of deranged thinking is limited to a small number of outriders on the right:

# 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 29 percent are not sure, 32 percent said he should not be voted out of office.

# 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 22 percent are not sure, 42 percent think he is a natural citizen.

# 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a “Racist who hates White people” — the description once adopted by Fox News’s Glenn Beck. 33 percent were not sure, and 36 percent said he was not a racist.

# 63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist, 16 percent are not sure, 21 percent say he is not

# 24 percent of Republicans believe Obama wants “the terrorists to win,” 33 percent aren’t sure, 43 percent said he did not want the terrorist to win.

# 21 percent of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, 55 percent are not sure, 24 percent said the community organizing group did not steal the election.

# 23 percent of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States, 19 percent aren’t sure, 58 percent said no.

# 53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama.

Majorities - sometimes vast majorities - of Republicans believe, or are not sure (too embarrassed to say so, knowing how ridiculous it makes them look?), that Obama wasn’t born here, that he’s a racist, that think he’s a socialist, that believe he wants the terrorists to win, that believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, and think that Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama to be president.

One bring spot; Only 42% of Republicans believe, or aren’t sure, if their state should secede from the union. That’s a relief, although think of all the flag making companies who would experience a boom if we dropped a few states and had to order millions of new star spangled banners.

Republicans and conservatives will be angry at me for highlighting this poll. Methinks they are misdirecting their rage. Perhaps they should try being angry at themselves and their fellow lobotomized inmates for eschewing reality and allowing their worst impulses to take over their thought processes, sending them headlong into the dark without lamp or lantern where they lose themselves in their own paranoid imaginings.

To make things even more depressing, they will come here and defend their beliefs. Not so many birthers anymore (after all, they only want to see Obama’s real birth certificate). But they will write volumes about how Obama really is a racist, or a socialist, or how his policies are designed to destroy the country, or saddest of all, how his sympathies lie with the enemy in our War on Terror.

Hofstadter found this recurring theme of self justification for paranoid beliefs back in 1964:

A final characteristic of the paranoid style is related to the quality of its pedantry. One of the impressive things about paranoid literature is the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows. It produces heroic strivings for evidence to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed. Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates :evidence.” The difference between this “evidence” and that commonly employed by others is that it seems less a means of entering into normal political controversy than a means of warding off the profane intrusion of the secular political world. The paranoid seems to have little expectation of actually convincing a hostile world, but he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions from it.

Anyone who has spent 5 minutes reading a birther screed recognizes this instantly. The same can be said for many who write about Obama’s socialism (fascism), or his secret Muslim sympathies. They will lay out their irrational case as rationally as you please, using “evidence” of questionable provenance (usually some other fellow conspirator’s writings). The point is not so much to convince you they are right, but to reinforce their own beliefs, their own worldview. So armed, they will try to enter into discussion with those a little less beholden to their paranoid universe and either meet with laughter or a less than charitable dismissal of their cockeyed beliefs. Rather then deterring them, it reinforces their belief that they have a corner on wisdom; that only they can see through the smooth talking, seemingly normal enemy and peg him for the true villain he is.

Before I leave this subject, might I suggest that Kos and Research 2000 conduct a similar poll of self described Democrats asking questions about Bush; Did he perpetrate 9/11? Was he seeking dictatorial powers? Did he take us to war for oil? Did he want black people to die after Katrina? Or how about questions about the GOP: Are a majority of Republicans racists? Homophobes? Are they warmongers?

I could think of half dozen more questions that I have absolutely no doubt would reveal a large - perhaps as large as the percentage of Republicans who believe loony stuff - who would answer “yes” or “not sure” to those questions. And that presents us with a problem, doesn’t it? If a majority of both parties aren’t grounded in reality, how can we expect the people they elect to be any better at grasping the truth about the opposition? If a majority of both sides are paranoid about the other, there really is very little hope that we can ever come together to get anything vital done.

And that should cause the rational among us to fear the future.

By: Rick Moran at 12:08 pm
48 Responses to “GOING ALL HOFSTADTER ON ME”
  1. 1
    steve Said:
    12:47 pm 

    Rick

    Just A thought

    The Overton window has been pushed far left.

    Political correctness and Enviromentalism are two tools to push the country more left without saying the word socialism. Some who are less sophisticated and Nuanced but know something is seriously wrong may ascribe easy emotional charged reasons. This then sets up these people to be mocked and thier concerns invalidated. They are experiencing a soft form of disenfranchisment. We don’t care if the Canary in the coal mine can speak with a Harvard accent. We only watch its behaviour as sign of potential trouble ahead.

    Stop worrying if they are loony and instead figure out what is spooking the herd.

  2. 2
    Richard Bottoms Said:
    1:25 pm 

    Meanwhile, over at Breitbart.

    That is the true face of EVIL! He has but one agenda, and that is to destroy the greatest nation on earth!! WE cannot let this happen!! His entire administration needs to be impeaches NOW!!!

    Don · 4 hours ago
    The Narcissist in Chief is now telling people how to spend their money, and how they shouldn’t go to Las Vegas. Now I’m not one to promote gambling and such. But when the President thinks he can tell the American people they shouldn’t buy a boat, or shouldn’t travel to a place of their choosing, we are in serious serious trouble. This is how Dictators rule. The Democrats have voted in a Socialist/Marxist who will continue to try and tell everyone else how to live. You know it’s kind of funny that the Hope and Change the Democrats voted for, has turned into a want to be Dictator, and if they don’t start to speak out, soon they won’t have free speech.

    And if you think others don’t have a right to speak out against this Tyranny, then you have drinking way too much koo-aid from the Communist network of MSNBC.This president is a man that refuses to even verify where he was born (and spent millions hiding it). Hidden all documents from when he was in college. He even went to African 7 or 8 years ago to promote a Communist ruler. This is what we have in the Oval Office. Way to go Democrats!!!

  3. 3
    RichmondG30 Said:
    1:29 pm 

    Rick,

    I’ll grant you that highly-charged words like Socialist, Racist, and Muslim-sympathizer create instant controversy. Perhaps those of us on the right should refrain from name-calling. However, we have elected a radical government that is substantially farther Left than most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. We are grasping for a reasonable way to summarize:

    *Serial apologies to the Arab world about the evils of the United States of America and the wonderful contributions of Islam to the global family.
    *A headlong rush to ram socialized medicine down the throats of the American people who are clearly vehemently opposed to it.
    *A federal budget that leads to fiscal disaster for the country.
    *Civilian trials for people who are involved in an ongoing war against our country.
    *Miranda rights and presumption of innocence for the Underwear Bomber.

    I don’t know, Rick. Can you provide us with some concise politically correct descriptions for this President?

  4. 4
    Aaron Said:
    1:54 pm 

    Looking at my own attitudes over the last decade, I think the polling results are evidence of a kind of impotent rage that is due to the Republicans’ loss of control over the government. Prior to 2006 I wouldn’t say that I was a left-wing nutjob but I definitely gave the nutjobs a more sympathetic ear. It’s easier to believe the worst when you feel like a majority of the country is populated by morally corrupt subhumans. If Obama’s approval rating drops substantially or if Republicans gain control of Congress, I think the extreme attitudes will soften somewhat.

  5. 5
    Scott Said:
    2:07 pm 

    Obama has had some pretty extreme ideas as well; that probably helps to draw extreme dislike from those opposed to him.

  6. 6
    michael reynolds Said:
    2:39 pm 

    *Serial apologies to the Arab world about the evils of the United States of America and the wonderful contributions of Islam to the global family.

    A lie. He spoke to the Muslim world, apologized for some of our actions, called them out for theirs and made the compelling case that they must embrace democracy and liberty.

    *A headlong rush to ram socialized medicine down the throats of the American people who are clearly vehemently opposed to it.

    A lie. Medicare is socialized medicine and even the GOP loves it. Further, the Obama plan never called for socialized medicine, and most objective observers have noted Obama’s diffidence even on a watered-down public option. By contrast your last president expanded socialized medicine by extending pharma benefits.

    *A federal budget that leads to fiscal disaster for the country.

    The last Democrat in the White House handed a surplus to Mr. Bush and the GOP who promptly exploded the deficit. Then, when the country was thoroughly in a ditch, OBama followed the advice of virtully every economist and passed a stumulus. That added to the deficit. But so did continuing the Iraq engagement and upping the ante in Af-Pak.

    *Civilian trials for people who are involved in an ongoing war against our country.
    *Miranda rights and presumption of innocence for the Underwear Bomber.

    Just as the Bush Justice department did with the Shoe Bomber. The one now in supermax.

    The undie bomber, by the way, is currently spilling his guts to the FBI without resorting to Republican torture and under the protection of the US Constitution. His Muslim family flew to the US to encourage him to do so, after, by the way, attempting to get the attention of our intelligence people.

    I guess you’d be one of those profoundly stupid Republicans.

  7. 7
    smitty Said:
    2:40 pm 

    Oh, come on: the Puffington Host has as much credibility as Bernie Madoff.

  8. 8
    busboy33 Said:
    2:44 pm 

    “I could think of half dozen more questions that I have absolutely no doubt would reveal a large - perhaps as large as the percentage of Republicans who believe loony stuff - who would answer “yes” or “not sure” to those questions.”

    I think you’d be suprised Rick . . . but only because of how you’ve phrased the questions. For example:

    “Did he [Bush] want black people to die after Katrina?”

    Most liberals I know would answer “no”. He didn’t sit in the Oval Office, rubbing his hands like Blofeld and muttering “how can I kill more Negroes? What’s that you say Cheney? More Negros have been killed? Excellent!” I’m sure there are truly some nutters out there that believe that, but even Bush haters aren’t going to go to that ridiculous extreme.
    But if you re-phrase the question to:

    “Would the Federal government’s response to Katrina have been different if the televised victims were white and affluent?”

    Then I think most liberals would answer “yes”. Actively cheering for racial genocide is a damn sight different than not being too concerned about their plight.

    Went to war “for” oil? Probably not. Went to war for the sole purpose of protecting the US from Hussein and WMDs? Probably not. “Majority” of Republicans racist? Probably not 50.001%, no. An uncomfortably large number? Maybe so. Most people won’t agree with a position phrased in such an extreme manner, even if they do agree with some aspect of the question.

    What’s terrifying about the poll you cited is that the questions ARE phrased in the extreme language . . . and respondents jumped at the bait anyways. Obama is “a racist who hates white people”? Hell I know racists that dislike Obama who wouldn’t go that far.

    Both sides have their loons . . . and both sides have people that silently agree with the loons but won’t stand out with them. These numbers are showing the loon contingent for the Reds is terrifyingly large, and that implies that the numbers that actually agree with these positions is probably even larger.

  9. 9
    KenGirard Said:
    4:06 pm 

    “Are a majority of Republicans racists? Homophobes? Are they warmongers?”

    After seeing the poll I suspect a larger number of them are then I belived before seeing it.

    And yesterday after seeing the poll I said I’d like to see a simular poll taken for Dems and Inds. Problem is Indpendent covers so much.

  10. 10
    sota Said:
    5:56 pm 

    I think you’d be suprised Rick . . . but only because of how you’ve phrased the questions.

    You might be right, but I’m not so sure. The vitriol from both sides is just getting so predictable.

    At the “height” of Bush’s unpopularity, I suspect one could have asked some pretty blatantly fierce questions and gotten similar percentages. For one, you’re being far too kind on the “war for oil” nonsense. I suspect that would still get a lot of “yay” votes if a poll were taken today.

    Frankly, I’m just exhausted by both sides. Almost without exception, they’re more concerned with “winning” political points (or at least making sure the other side “loses”) than they are with actually getting something positive done.

    What’s terrifying about the poll you cited is that the questions ARE phrased in the extreme language

    I do find some of the results almost not credible, but I have no reason to believe otherwise. It just seems hard to comprehend the level of idiocy that exists on either side at this point.

    And that should cause the rational among us to fear the future.

    Agreed. I’m not sure there’s room for rational voices given the current political climate. Democrats offer me nothing I’m interested in supporting. Republicans are increasingly becoming frustratingly difficult to support. And voting a third party is like emptying the ocean with a syringe.

  11. 11
    mannning Said:
    6:01 pm 

    Busboy is on the right track.

    The phrasing of the questions and listing the possible answers very carefully, the necessity for choosing one answer out of several, and perhaps not the answer you would like to see, and the idea of answering in the most radical way available in order to make a (perhaps dubious to others)point, all can lead to a poll that is inherently flawed. So it is repeated ad nauseam!

    Many Republicans, I think, would love to see Obama fully revealed as a non-citizen, a Muslim, and a Socialist and tossed out of office real soon now, though they know that there is no such proof available, and at least the smarter of them realize who would ascend to his office. Why, didn’t Obama spend millions to clean up his record so that he couldn’t be found out(so they believe)?

    Of course, substantial government ownership of financial and sutomotive industries, and maybe the healthcare industry later, plus becoming a much deeper regulator of the rest of industry, and also having a rotating slush (oh, stimulus)fund of almost a trillion dollars under his control without any real restrictions or supervision to do his thing, isn’t at all socialistic, now is it? Why it’s all very temporary, isn’t it? Sure it is! Who trusts Obama now?

    Under the rather obvious and now quite apparent idea that Obama says one thing and does the reverse, when he said that he didn’t want to run banks or auto makers, it must mean that he does—and now is, with a czar or two to do the real lifting. Clintonesque!

    Then, too, there is that little matter of the national debt having been more than tripled since 2009, and some say quadrupled in reality–with a lot more to come!

    But then, to run on about the real and devastating sins of Bow Obama in the office of President for only one year is just not…fair, is it? Can we withstand another oh so transparent year like this last one?

    Well, he truly owns the problems now, all of them!

  12. 12
    mannning Said:
    6:23 pm 

    Dear MR: The “shoe bomber” pled guilty up front with no trial.

    How you can say that the undie bomber is doing anything beyond what the FBI let be known yesterday is quite beyond me. They said he was “talking”. Big deal! You seem to presume that he is telling the truth, indeed, the whole truth, so all is well! I would not be so sure of a good outcome, when they first said he had given them his all in 55 minutes. Maybe in a few months we will know what is right.

  13. 13
    michael reynolds Said:
    6:23 pm 

    Not a single thing about this poll surprises me. This is exactly the GOP as it has devolved.

    I’ve been saying from the start that the nuts ran the GOP, that the objections to Obama were not about policy but were about rage and hysteria, and that the most obvious fuel for that hysteria — aside from the blatant dishonesty of the GOP’s captive media — was racism.

    So: duh. What did any of you think the GOP was about? Small government and low taxes? Hah hah hah hah! It’s about scared, stupid, insecure people on the wrong end of economic and demographic trends expressing that fear in a pathological hatred of the first black president.

    And puh-lease spare me the desperate attempt to whitewash (heh) the teabaggers as though they are, what? More moderate? More rational? Calmer? More sensible? The teabaggers are the extreme end of an extreme party.

    None so blind as those who will not see.

  14. 14
    michael reynolds Said:
    6:30 pm 

    Manning:

    Gee, I kind of think if the undie bomber is talking he’s also going to cop a plea. Duh.

    That’s how almost all criminal justice works in the real world. Bad guys more often than not, cop. And they do it without torture. I know it must be terribly disappointing to you, but it seems there’s no need to rip up the constitution and build a police state. The FBI — following the law — has this well in hand. Just like the shoe bomber, just like the base shooter, just like many other terrorists we’ve arrested and convicted.

  15. 15
    Richard Bottoms Said:
    6:41 pm 

    They said he was “talking”. Big deal!

    Dammit. As Jack Bauer would say. I guess you’re disappointed they don’t get to turture him.

    Let me get this straight, the failed bomber not only doesn’t wait until trial to spill the beans, but his is in fact fully cooperating and you’re upset.

    I believe that’s fully in line with the thesis of the OP, the GOP is full of oddly pissed off and angry people.

    These are “patriots” who suddenly find they can no longer stand life in America when the other side gets to run the country in accordance with, you know an election.

    An election BTW, that the all powerful Acorn, they are certain (without any proof whatsoever) stole.

    Frothing, hostile, bitter, crazy loons who want Obama to be impeached because of well .. whatever dammit!!

    Meanwhile, back in Crazy Town.

    American · 4 minutes ago
    When the expected attack comes, BO will declare marshall law and become our first dictator. That is the plan.

    victor barney · 9 hours ago
    This “weathermen movement” out of Chicago from the 60’s was led by the same two white guys that put “Comrade obama” in the white house! Remember, Charles Manson from California? He took off on this black movement to take over our government with Marxism also, but wasn’t has successful! Nonetheless, there virtually is no difference than what Manson tried to do then with what’s going on in America now!!

    BobPDX · 9 hours ago
    It is interesting that Obama has so many enemies and so many causes.

    Of course when you do this, you overwhem the people and when this happens you can pretty much spend all the money you want. He has to spend all of our money because, in his own words, “it’s not fare that there are those who have more than others”.

    If he is successful, no one, especially the poor, will have anything…except him and his friends.

    Imagine America with no money and a weakend military.

    This man, Obama, has a hatred for America like nothing I have ever seen before.

  16. 16
    tccesq Said:
    6:57 pm 

    Mr. Reynolds,

    Your rant at #12 above is, unfortunately, a perfect example of what the left and the Democratic party have devolved into. Your arguments are devoind of any substantive policy points, and are litle more than (1 accusations of racism, (2) crude sexual references, and (3) filled with the same type of paranoia and hatred which you accuse the GOP, and, more broadly conservatives, of being consumed by. Sure, our side has their nuts (as does yours, judging by your posts). However, a common complaint on the right about the left is the left’s unwillingness to engage in open, honest and rational debate of the issues. Most on the right, if you would take the time to discover, base their opposition to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid on the opposition to their hard left agenda, which has nothing to do with the race of any of the individuals noted. The left, knowing that their positions usually do not hold water when critically examined, choose to avoid debate altogether, either by lobbing epiteths (as you did) or by claiming “the debate is over”, a la Al Gore.

    What really gets me is that those on the left like you who scream about how hateful, racist, ect. conservatives are are usually the most hateful people you will ever come across.

  17. 17
    michael reynolds Said:
    7:42 pm 

    tccesq:

    Dude, that asinine line of reasoning evaporated with the publication of a poll which validates, point by point, line by line, what we’ve been saying about the GOP. The GOP itself CONFIRMS the accusations.

  18. 18
    John Burke Said:
    7:43 pm 

    Rick — It’s unwise to ignore the Koz sponsorship of this poll and assume the results should be given credence because the polling firm is a competent professional one. There’s a reason that NYT-sponsored polls often show Democrats doing better than some other polls. Pollsters want to accommodate their clients and certainly, in the case of DailyKoz, the pollster would know that the client would not favor results that show GOPers in a favorable light.

    Also, the framing of questions is all-important to the results. “Should Obama be impeached” — asked after years of talk about impeaching Bush for lying about Iraq and actually impeaching Clinton for lying about bimbos — would come across to respondents as asking, in effect, “Would you like to get Obama out of office now?”

    A pollster needs also to provide some basic information about a relatively obscure issue like ACORN (trust me, it’s obscure to most). One might first ask if people had heard about ACORN and then ask those who said yes what they thought about the group’s actions. Or one might ask a question that incorporated some basic fact. The way this and other Qs were framed tells us little.

    “Socialist” is not all that terrible an epithet, is it? A lot of people may only have heard about this charge against Obama from Obama! Again, the Q doesn’t really get to grips with the issue involved there — which might be whether they think Obama is more liberal than they would like. By asking about socialist instead of liberal, the poll guarantees a result that seems a bit loopy.

    That 36 percent think Obama was not born in the US strikes me as not a very high number — IF you take into account that a lot of people, regardless of party, don’t know that natural US birth is a qualification — OR CARE. Again, a different poll would briefly describe the “controversy” and then ask what respondents thought about it.

    53 percent think Palin is more qualified to be POTUS than Obama? That’s actually a pretty low number since the Q is a proxy for whom would you support? If asked the latter as an election matchup, Palin would probably win among self-identified Republicans by at least 70-30, maybe 80-20. It would tell us something if this poll compared views on whether Palin is more qualified than Romney, et al.

    It’s a clever poll — designed to reveal GOPers as nutty. Clever enough to get you on the same team as Koz.

  19. 19
    mannning Said:
    8:18 pm 

    First, you do not know that he is “fully cooperating!” That is probably the political line made up for TV consumption, and it is not necessarily true in reality. You could not possibly know that, either way, for certain. Want to bet that the hearing was a kabuki show, with key lines rehearsed in advance?

    Second, I made no mention of coercive tactics against the Nigerian, as someone alluded to, oh, MR, merely that it is the FBI that thought they had gotten it all in 55 minutes anyway. Now we are to believe that the flood gates are open? How very convenient and timely for the Administration, the FBI, and sundry others!

    Third, the scary part is if he has in fact cut a deal with Eric Holder and Company. He gets off lighter if he tells all, and this is before he does tell us anything worthwhile to add to his 55 minute interrogation. We may get bamboozled and spend a lot of money to verify or deny what this low-life says and end up with a fistful of sand.

    A military court would be the right way to go, his conviction followed by incarceration in…GITMO, with his friends!

  20. 20
    mannning Said:
    8:25 pm 

    Mr. Bottoms is loosing it! He cannot stem the tide of negativism for his President, his party, and all of their hanger’s on, so he simply calls everyone on the right loony, dammit.
    Good luck with that line! Seems to me you have hoisted yourself on your own petard.

  21. 21
    michael reynolds Said:
    8:26 pm 

    Manning:

    Or, to summarize: you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re regurgitating already-debunked GOP lies, and now you’re accusing the FBI of lying because the facts are a problem for you and you need them to be lying for your own narrow political agenda..

  22. 22
    Richard Bottoms Said:
    8:54 pm 

    Third, the scary part is if he has in fact cut a deal with Eric Holder and Company. He gets off lighter if he tells all, and this is before he does tell us anything worthwhile to add to his 55 minute interrogation. We may get bamboozled and spend a lot of money to verify or deny what this low-life says and end up with a fistful of sand.

    Don’t believe a word the kid says unless we beat it out of him.

    Bring on Sayid and the bamboo shoots under the fingernails (a Lost reference for you non-fans).

  23. 23
    mannning Said:
    9:21 pm 

    A careful look at those poll results appears to me to put an honest Republican in a bind. Those that answered “don’t know” could well have been quite accurate and quite literal in their position.

    They answered that way because they honestly have no evidence or authority to back their opinions up either way. The MSM is not such a Stirling source for accurate information about many of these situations.

    Impeach Obama? What has he done to deserve this? Don’t know! His so-called lies? Don’t know. Isn’t it sort of normal for the Democratic-elected President to promise many things he can’t deliver once elected, and has to reverse himself?

    Where was he born? The available data says he was born in Hawaii, but questions have been raised. Haven’t seen the data, his certificate, or fully understood the questioning, so: Don’t know.

    Obama hates white people? Really?, Don’t know. Has he ever said this? Hard to get elected President if this were known!

    Obama is a socialist? Is he a leftist? Yes, self-described as such, but quietly. Does the government show socialist tendencies now? Yes. Obama, though? Don’t know for sure, but hope to hell not!

    Wants terrorists to win? Nah! Hard to believe! Don’t know for certain-sure, though. Can’t get into his mind, especially on matters pertaining to Islam.

    ACORN? Maybe, but don’t know for sure. No data. ACORN seems to have appeared out of nothing to become a leftist and corrupt political force to be taken into account.

    Secede from the US. NO. Want more States Rights and less Federal assumption of power? Hell yes!

    Palin? Have no basis or sufficient data for judging Palin versus Obama across the board. Don’t know. Palin is liked a lot more by ordinary people, but that wasn’t the question. The MSM and other sources have poisoned the well on Palin. So, don’t know.

    Seems to me that the poll does not give good, clear results.

  24. 24
    mannning Said:
    10:21 pm 

    I really do not like people that read into what I write what is not there.

    Show me where I said that the FBI lied! A set piece is not necessarily an out and out lying piece. The guy could have been giving us his most interesting and involved life story, singing with gusto, but leaving out many or most of the parts we want to know.

    The FBI would not be lying, just not being fully open. It would not be the first time, either, that the FBI was coy with the facts to please a political set of bosses. You should read about G. Edgar Hoover sometime. Want the list of their sins?

    I thought not. You Google it, if you are that interested.

    Do you know what the biggest con game the FBI has perpetrated on the public? The vaunted infallibility of their fingerprinting identification record. It really sucks, with an error rate approaching 10%. How do I know? I worked for them as a contractor to try to help them improve it. It was rule number one: we, the FBI, are infallible—which is bull.

    You are certainly not the one to talk about political agendas, MR, if it is Obama’s agenda you are touting today. Perhaps you and yours have a few extra trillions of dollars in your banks to help us out? No? I see! No contribution but talk–talk, huh?

  25. 25
    mannning Said:
    10:58 pm 

    Mr. Bottoms finds ideas in my writings too! Bamboo shoots? Beatings? A vivid, but distorted, imagination at work!

    Every interrogation that results in potentially actionable intelligence from the captive must go to phase two: independent verification of what the captive has claimed. Otherwise, it is a gamble of great consequence to proceed as if he were telling all truthfully.

    This is both costly, dangerous, and many times totally useless when the leads are fictitious or deliberately obtuse. It gets people killed, too.

    To develop this verification can take many months, and even years if there are no reliable inside agents, such as is probably the case in Yemen. Or, the source we do have may be very reluctant to risk his life on some low-level person such as the crotch bomber, in the event he becomes identified in the process somehow.

    So here we are, with the bomber supposedly singing. Phase Two is coming. Don’t hold your breath!

    Bamboo shoots indeed! “Lost” is truly a waste of time for a rational person.

  26. 26
    Tom Said:
    11:03 pm 

    You start with the premise that Research 2000/Daily Kos entered into a poll about what ‘Republicans believe’ with the best of intentions.

    Then here’s your set up sentence: “The problem with being associated with a party made up of very large numbers of kooks, loons, paranoids, nitwits, and ignorant twits is….” (wow, the right is really whacked out)

    And then you state: “One bring spot; Only 42% of Republicans believe, or aren’t sure, if their state should secede from the union”.

    Who exactly is ignorant here? do you really believe that 42% of “Republicans” believe this? Of course this is push polled if not flat out misrepresented.

    Why did they poll Republicans and not ‘conservatives’ to get these result?

    Fact (do some research): Kos is writing a book about how crazy the “Birther” Republicans are and he commissioned the poll to support his position. Of course the finding where going to give him just what he wanted - it had to fit his premise.

    I generally have a hard time reading this site because you always fall for this crap and it ends up showing how difficult it seems for you in finding your ‘principled’ political position. So torn…so confused.

  27. 27
    busboy33 Said:
    11:55 pm 

    @manning:

    “First, you do not know that he is “fully cooperating!””

    And you don’t know that he isn’t. Taking Obama out of the equation . . . would you assume a giant conspiracy amongst the government and authorities when they say “the suspect is in custody and talking to authorities” if you heard that sentence from ANY OTHER administration but this one?

    “Under the rather obvious and now quite apparent idea that Obama says one thing and does the reverse, when he said that he didn’t want to run banks or auto makers, it must mean that he does—and now is, with a czar or two to do the real lifting.”

    So if Obama says “I am not a Socialist” . . . that’s actually proof that he IS a socialist. The only way Obama could decalre that he in not a socialist would be to say “I am a Socialist”.

    ???
    “Mr. Bottoms is loosing it!”

    Well, somebody sure is. Must be Mr. Bottoms, who obviously cant recognize the devil-horns on Obama’s head, or smell the faint scent of christian baby’s blood on his breath.

    Yeah . . . it’s Mr. Bottoms who’s talking crazy.

  28. 28
    busboy33 Said:
    12:05 am 

    @Tom:

    “Fact (do some research): . . . and he commissioned the poll to support his position.”

    Wow. I am impressed. You mean your factual research uncovered some evidence where the poll was deliberately intended to skew findings? The pollsters admit the poll was fraudulent? Kos signed a “I will pay you but only if you doctor the poll” contract? Eyewitensses? Really? I’m both shocked that they would be so sloppy in committing such large scale fraud, and I’m also impressed that you (and only you) found this “factual” evidence. Well done.

    Care to share? No, of course not. I know if I had proof of a conspiracy I’d certainly snidely tell people to “find it themselves”. I’d certainly not provide the evidence so other people could be convinced.

    Or you are completely full of crap. One or the other. Must be the “brilliant investigative reporting coupled with an intense desire to not offer any proof on philosophical grounds” option. Otherwise, you not only are embarassing yourself . . . you’re kind of making Rick’s point for him. Ironically, at the exact time you are loudly declaring how wrong he is, you are loudly demonstrating that he appears to be dead-on accurate on this one.

    Yeah . . . definitely the brilliant reporter one. Congrats.

  29. 29
    Dale in Atlanta Said:
    3:01 am 

    # 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 29 percent are not sure, 32 percent said he should not be voted out of office.

    # 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 22 percent are not sure, 42 percent think he is a natural citizen.

    # 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a “Racist who hates White people” — the description once adopted by Fox News’s Glenn Beck. 33 percent were not sure, and 36 percent said he was not a racist.

    # 63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist, 16 percent are not sure, 21 percent say he is not

    # 24 percent of Republicans believe Obama wants “the terrorists to win,” 33 percent aren’t sure, 43 percent said he did not want the terrorist to win.

    # 21 percent of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, 55 percent are not sure, 24 percent said the community organizing group did not steal the election.

    # 23 percent of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States, 19 percent aren’t sure, 58 percent said no.

    # 53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama.

    The sad, sad Facts are, Rick, that despite your attempts to portray all of the above statements above as untrue; and effort that Left-wing Nutjob commentator “Michael Reynolds” also attempts; they are in FACT, all 100% True!

  30. 30
    CZ Said:
    7:22 am 

    Richard Bottoms Said: 8:54 pm Bring on Sayid and the bamboo shoots under the fingernails (a Lost reference for you non-fans).

    This racist clown is so unhinged he thinks he has fans :)

  31. 31
    mannning Said:
    7:33 am 

    You slay me, MR!

    You champion the worst Administration ever, and believe that they won’t cooperate with the leftist Congress that hastily called a conference just to announce that the crotch bomber is talking?

    Yes, I do believe that pressure was put on the FBI, in particular, to come up with something to take the heat off of Obama and Company and Holder, and it seems to be working among you faithful! Power-mad people all.

    Of course I don’t know what the bomber is saying, and I said as much earlier, and neither do you, but you swallow the Admin and L-congress story regardless. I don’t.

    As I said before, I have zero trust in Obama and his cohorts, and I believe they are out and out liars when they think it will help their cause. It isn’t difficult to make the FBI go along either, by bending the truth just a bit, when their new
    budget livelihood is at stake right now, and so too for the rest of the gaggle they dragged in.

    Look up Moody’s statement today about the US definitely losing its AAA credit rating because of Obama’s budget–if it passes substantially in its current form and amount. It is a financial disaster for us, and the whole world knows it but the faithful! One-term Obama is how I see it.

    “We must be fiscally prudent,” so here is my 3.8 Trillion dollar budget for FY2011. Why doesn’t that strike a dischord with the faithful? You are being conned along with us all.

    So cheer them on, o wise one! Best you listen very carefully to your hero’s every word! Then count the reverses actually acted upon (you know, actions speak louder than words?)!

    And listen to CNN too! Promises, promises!

  32. 32
    sota Said:
    7:45 am 

    The poll had me worried about the state of the Republican party, but if the liberal’s responses to it are any indication of their best and their brightest, I’m not as worried.

    When everyone is covered in stupidity, you don’t have to be smart. You just have to be a little smarter then the idiot next to you.

  33. 33
    Papa Ray Said:
    10:56 am 

    You said: “You begin to wonder if there isn’t, in fact, something wrong with you rather than the other way around.”

    By George I think you got it!

    Denying reality is something liberals, left wing radicals and children do.

    Time for a re-think, I would suggest.

    Papa Ray

  34. 34
    TomD Said:
    11:56 am 

    As you should have been able to deduce from the replies, the Birther loon contingent is now the majority of Your Side.

    You are indeed the odd man out. Even your own side-links are against you.

  35. 35
    Tom Said:
    12:20 pm 

    Hey Busboy, it’s not hard to figure out. When dealing with partisan politics try to use a healthy dose of skepticism.

    If Michelle Malkin were writing a book scheduled to come out in the fall of an election year with the premise of how crazy Democrats are;and lets say she commissioned a poll by Fox News which just happens to pretty much support all of the stereotypes the right thinks of the left, would you and Rick be saying,’yea, that sounds about right’. I doubt it.

    Remember this was linked in from the Huffington Post, so consider the source for Rick’s analysis. I could not find the story linked at WSJ, Real Clear Politics or other mainstream web sites - not even Drudge (let me know if it was). I read about the book thing at National Review Online, not a dishonest source.

    Again, why didn’t they poll conservatives or Tea Party members, or for that matter registered Republicans? No they went for “self-identified Republicans”, why is that?

    The big name polling firms dig a little deeper with their questioning to confirm if the interviewee is a likely voter, registered voter, Republican, Democrat, etc.? They need this information to verify their results. What was the methodology used by R2000 - the Huffington Post does not say, until then I remain a skeptic.

    I don’t trust R2000 or any newspaper/TV poll (including Fox News). If you want to get an idea where the country is headed go to Pollster.com and read the averages. Other then that they all have agendas.

    Busboy, please continue down your merry path believing everything that comes out of the Huffingtom Post, or from the Daily Kos for that matter. But for me, as Dylan said; ‘you don’t need a weather vain to know which way the wind blows’.

  36. 36
    Joe Said:
    7:20 pm 

    I listen to these people call in to rightwing radio, and like Rick I get the impression they think their smarter than the rest of America, and that their Marxist/dictator sensor is off the charts. I guess with whack jobs like Glen Beck repeating his lies daily, these people just foolishly let their fantasies run wild.The independents that are switching their loyalties over to the gop aren’t doing this as a permanent thing, they”ll see if the gop knows how to govern this time. If not they”ll wait to see if the Democrats veer to the center, which they should, and then rejoin them.

  37. 37
    busboy33 Said:
    2:03 am 

    @Tom:

    No, I understand paranoia, fear and mistrust pretty well. It’s a fairly common mental state for all humans at one time or another, myself included. Nothing wrong or unusual with that.

    But just as a suggestion, when you propose your ASSUMPTIONS, flippantly calling them FACTS makes you sound like a loon. There are only a couple of possibilities that justify such a use of the word “fact”:

    a) You have no idea what you type, or suffer from some form of mental impairment. Your follow-up tends to suggest that is not the case, since you demonstrate a consistency of thought and action, and if you didn’t mean what you said when you came back I presume you would have written somehting along the lines of “what the hell is this?”

    b) You honestly can’t tell the difference between the words “fact” and “assumption”. Your word choice and sentence structure imply you are at least minimally competent in the English language (personally I’d guess you are quite proficient), so the thought that you actually don’t know the difference between the two words is, frankly, difficult for me to believe.

    c) You know full well what the difference between “fact” and “assumption”, and you intentionally (either subconciously or conciously) used the more authorative term (fact) to bolster a conclusion that you knew was little more than a guess. Even better, you did it with a dismissive tone, hinting that anybody that didn’t “know” this “fact” was an embarassment as a citizen and a human.

    It’s a dishonest technique . . . and a deliberate, intentional one.

    Let me be clear — you may well be right. The poll may well be a complete fabrication. I certainly find the results shocking enough that I am suspicious (but then again, I’m a pretty suspicious guy). You are fully entitled to your opinions. There is nothing wrong with that.

    But if people with different opinions declare that what they think is a FACT, any sort of debate or discussion is impossible. It is beyond easy to get swept up in the passion of the moment, and to unintentionally state things stronger than they deserve. But its also what liars do . . . and I cannot tolerate liars. You seem like you have things to say, things I would like to hear. I may not agree with what you say, but I certainly enjoying hearing things I disagree with. Hell, maybe I’ll even learn something (stranger things have happened).

    But false discussion . . . well, there’s plenty of whack-a-doodles wasting bandwith already.

  38. 38
    Earl T Said:
    4:42 am 

    Aaaaah!

    Another in a continuing series of Rick’s posts which are thinly-disguised missives to those in the DC Beltway with hiring authority, crying out to differentiate himself from the unwashed conservative masses, in a never-ending quest to obtain that mid-level DC sinecure, which he feels he so richly deserves! After all he is so S-M-R-T!

    C’mon Rick! You’re from Ill-noise, “Land of Broad Shoulders”….grow a pair and kick those Krazy Koz Kids where it hurt!

    Prove it. Take anything I have ever written and prove that the reason I write it is because I want a job in DC - a place I worked for 7 years many years ago and where I have no desire whatsoever to return.

    Since you can’t find any proof, then I must assume you simply made it up - pulled it out of thin air wanting to sound like Stacy McCain or some other smart aleck. It doesn’t make you sound smart. It makes you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about. In fact, “mid level sinecure” is straight from McCain’s website - you’re not even smart enough to come up with your own insults.

    ed.

  39. 39
    mannning Said:
    12:43 pm 

    For a moment, let us return to the idea that some politicos say one thing and do another. Not that they do this in every situation, or for every statement they emit, but they do it often enough to merit extremely close attention to their words versus their actions.

    It is clearly, clearly reserved for those times when they read the tea leaves; that is, when they realize that a significant sector of the public wants to insist on one way and the politico wants to go in exactly the opposite direction. Thus, they claim up front that they are going with the public desire, but behind the scenes they are working in the opposite direction.

    This tactic was employed by Clinton quite often, and it appears to have been fully embraced by Obama. It is designed very cynically to misdirect and neutralize some part of the public as to the real intentions of the politico and his party at a critical point, such as before an election or a key legislative vote.

    The open government theme of transparency is a perfect example of such a meme readily embraced by the public(out of many), so stated as absolutely necessary over and over by Obama, and almost totally reversed in practice by him and by his party once he was elected.

    A video of Democratic legislators and Obama horsetrading away on national TV to buy votes for the Obama Healthcare bill would be instantly devastating to the entire gaggle of politicos shown!

  40. 40
    busboy33 Said:
    4:19 pm 

    @manning:

    “A video of Democratic legislators and Obama horsetrading away on national TV to buy votes for the Obama Healthcare bill would be instantly devastating to the entire gaggle of politicos shown!”

    Doubtful. The broadcast of Obama ripping into the GOP didn’t change anything. People who pay attention giggled, and the other 99.997% of society kept watching American Idol.

  41. 41
    manning Said:
    4:55 pm 

    Ripping into the GOP by that excuse for a President is most certainly not the same as letting the public see and hear about all of the Democratic behind-the-scenes vote-buying for health care.

    Obama is worth ignoring since you cannot tell when he is serious, telling a truth, or merely speaking out of his teleprompter voice, but watching Dems do their dirty work on TV would be just about as interesting as watching 24. Far more depressing, however, and far more impacting this Fall. Since the show would last for some time, it would gather quite an audience as it went from $100 million bribes to $300 million bribes. Transfixing!

    So you watch American Idol with the other 99%? Well, well!

  42. 42
    busboy33 Said:
    3:08 am 

    @manning:

    “Ripping into the GOP by that excuse for a President is most certainly not the same as letting the public see and hear about all of the Democratic behind-the-scenes vote-buying for health care. ”

    Why?

    As an aside, if he truly is the most pathetic, scum-sucking mouth breather that ever walked the planet . . . what the hell does it say that the GOP got spanked by him? At their own luncheon?
    Not defending Obama’s policies, or his credibility, or his veracity, or anything like that — just pointing out that the GOP couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to call him out, and they utterly failed to do it. Anybody that tried to get into a verbal sparring match with him was soundly beaten. Not defensing Obama . . . but I think pretty much everybody can agree he whupped up on them. Either Obama has some skills, or the GOP is pretty incompetent.

    Don’t watch American Idol. Actually aside from football, I don’t watch television (at least on tv — I may watch a show I want on the computer). Pretty much just use my television for games and football.
    Almost forgot — Lost. I don’t watch it (refuse is more accurate), but my girlfriend is hooked so she watches that on the TV when its in season (which is unfortunately now).

  43. 43
    mannning Said:
    2:03 pm 

    As the old saying goes, one battle does not a war make, given that your take on this confrontation is objectively correct. I didn’t see the event, so I can’t verify or deny the results you speak of.

    Nor can I believe that such a session would be a true free-for-all, with the GOP members thrashing the President right and left, instead of trying to maintain a modicrum of comity. There is a certain reluctance by Republicans, and for that matter, any collection of real gentlemen, to call the sitting President a liar, a dummy, prig, or an ideologue–and to back the accusations up with detailed chapter and verse–to his face, anyway.
    Apparently, Obama had no such compunctions, if what you claim is right. So, if you want to give Obama that day, fine. It doesn’t change anything, really, that I can see except Obamaite’s morale, which is or should be at an all-time low about now.

    Well, it just might also help to dispel the idea that Obama needs his teleprompter to make sense, which would be a rather good thing. It is not very comforting to think that we are being ruled by a true dummy for the next three years.

    God Bless America!

  44. 44
    busboy33 Said:
    4:26 pm 

    “There is a certain reluctance by Republicans, and for that matter, any collection of real gentlemen, to call the sitting President a liar, a dummy, prig, or an ideologue–and to back the accusations up with detailed chapter and verse–to his face, anyway.”

    ??? I guess I never realized that Republicans have such high standards that they’d never call the president a liar. To his face. While he was adressing Congress. Interrupting his speech. Name of Joe Wilson.
    No? Okay, then. Must not have happened.
    Or is the mark of gentleman to only accuse without facts to support it? Are you claiming that only men of low morals would attempt to justify their accusations, and only “true gentlemen” would accuse without any justification or evidence? That would be an . . . interesting approach.

    I am curious about the “to his face, anyways” part of the comment. It would be more gentlemanly to badmouth him behind his back, but then when confronted to smile and lie? I was always tought that was the behavior of men of low morals and weak resolution. Punks. Worms. Am I wrong? Is that truly the mark of upright and honest people?
    And if it is . . . does that mean your contention that Democrats will say one thing to the body public then do another thing behind closed doors mean that Democrats are the height of civility and genteel upbringing? For some reason, I suspect not. I wonder what the difference is between one party acting in such a manner and the other party acting in such a manner? Aside from “Me party good, you party bad”, of course.

  45. 45
    Kenneth Almquist Said:
    6:39 pm 

    michael reynolds (@13):

    What did any of you think the GOP was about? Small government and low taxes?

    Sorry, Mike, but you’ve gone off the rails with those last two words. When Republicans were last in power, they revealed themselves to be big government / low taxes types. The low tax half of this equation shouldn’t be controversial because Republicans don’t lie about it; they proudly proclaim it.

    It’s about scared, stupid, insecure people on the wrong end of economic and demographic trends expressing that fear in a pathological hatred of the first black president.

    I think that the Republican reaction to Bill Clinton’s presidency indicates that their pathological hatred is driven by something other than racism. Sure, I would expect that white racists are almost universally Republicans at this point, but for the rest of the party Obama’s race is beside the point.

    In any case, you are mixing two issues here: How do the Republicans plan to regain power, and what will they do if they get it. With regard to the latter question, past experience indicates that they will increase spending and cut taxes.

  46. 46
    mannning Said:
    12:47 am 

    What a fine exception to the rule! They do happen.

  47. 47
    mannning Said:
    1:31 pm 

    Why, it is quite normal for adults to compare factual notes with each other about a competing member of the opposite party and his statements. The accusations can be phrased in a very gentlemanly manner as well, but definitive enough without overreaching into cusswords or obviously false claims. One thereby avoids a nasty public confrontation and bad, ungentlemanly language exchanges with the President that can brand one as a foul-mouthed fool, but can still make one’s point where it counts.

    There is a old saying that comes to mind, sonething about not trying to wrestle with a pig because you will get mud all over you, and the pig will delight in it.

    However, a lie is a lie, isn’t it? Some people do rise to the occasion rather forcefully, don’t they, which is actually undeniable in an instance or two! Gee, another saying here: the truth will out!

  48. 48
    busboy33 Said:
    12:46 pm 

    So the “Republicans are far to gentlemanly to criticize the President to his face” actually means “They’ll do it no problem, but they won’t lie or cuss . . . unlike some OTHER politicians who shall remain nameless.”?

    I’m not following this concept at all, aside from the standard “GOP is sweetness and light, and anything that disputes is either a lie or a damned lie”. Whatever idea we’ve been talking about in this thread seems to be, for you, as fluid as a rushing river. No doubt the language and imagery is magnificent — it just doesn’t have any coherence.

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