Here’s some more fuel for John’s fire. Almost one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. Perhaps this has something to do with it:
But Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said aides did work hard to push back against misinformation in a news media environment in which “the tweets of discredited rabble-rousers have as much credence to many as the pronouncements of the paper of record.”
I think it’s a lot simpler: 20% of the people think that Obama’s the dirtiest word they can imagine, and “Muslim” has become that word.
And yet look at the saturating press coverage on his rabble rousing former pastor. For months, Fox viewers were soaking in it.
And yet, I’m betting those are the ones coming away with the conviction that he’s a Muslim.
So much stupid, it’s amazing it fits in a skull.
Since the N word is no longer acceptable, they had to come up with something else.
Remember, folks, this is why Democrats can’t win – because we’re too busy being mad at Republicans to alter our arguments to win over these proud center-right Americans, who are the backbone of our country.
Hats off to News Corp, gotta learn from the pros. They have even made Atwater look incompetent in comparison.
Yes, it’s ridiculous, but it’s pretty much in keeping with that 27%-28% batshit-crazy margin. (Lower, even, in the small-favors department.)
a different phil
All you have to do is look back in the Balloon Juice archives to here:
yeah we should definitely just ignore the media.
Given that you can get 20 to 30 percent to sign on to just about anything, 20 percent is actually kind of low. I’d be curious about the cross-tabs on that 20 percent, though. Elderly white southern males, plus a few insert-head-in-orifice diehards on Staten Island.
Heard this on NPR this morning. The number who ‘don’t know his religion’ has moved up to 43%.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Perhaps if the newspaper(s) of record didn’t spend half their time giving credibility to the discredited rabble-rousers we wouldn’t be in this pickle. But then again, it’s the 20%. It’s always the 20%.
I think the best number ever would be if 100% of people polled did not give 2 shits what any politicians religion was/is.
You gotta figure the cross-over of those who think he’s a mooslin and those who think he’s a Socialist is pretty high – and I’d imagine that, while lower, the crossover number of those who think he’s a muslin fascist is comparable, too – and that basically these are just people who loathe him and are ready and willing to assign to him whatever epithet they find particularly damning.
He’s on Team Edward, for example.
@Throwin Stones: That’s just the “if he was a Christian, he would have helped me out by now” talking, a slight variation on “if he was white, he would have helped me out by now”.
Just good ol’ spoiled-ass Americans wanting a magic wand, and forgetting it was a white man that made big noises about being Christian that got them in the hole they are in. ‘Thinking’ has very little to do with the process.
I wouldn’t say they have made Atwater look incompetent so much as they’ve used his playbook in a media-saturated environment he didn’t have. They’ve continued his work. Roger Ailes was, after all, part of the same crew, and the OH NO THE MUSLIMS/MEXICANS/ACORN/VAN JONES/NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY/NAACP ARE COMING TO GET YOU is nothing more than a continuation of the Southern Strategy by the same ratfuckers.
Brutus et tu
Muslim? Secret Muslim?
And here I thought he was a robot from the future sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner.
Or that he’s a secret Republican created from McCain & Romney’s DNA spliced together.
@Nick: Depends on who you mean by “we.” Whatever it is “we” are doing now, clearly isn’t working worth shit. So let’s hear your ideas about how to effectively engage the media.
Yeah, I’m actually impressed that it’s less than the 27% Alan-Keyes-Crazy proportion or the South Park “1/4 of Americans are retarded” fraction.
I fully expect conservatives to call next for our remaining Muslims to wear yellow crescents on the outside of their clothing, and for Abe Foxman to be cool with that, too.
If this gets out of hand, it will probably harden the resolve of jihadists to make sure the new Trade Center is reduced to smoking, molten metal in time.
Let’s face it. 9/11 had a sizable plurality teetering on the edge of insanity (at best), and the election of a black man blew up the cliff edge they were on.
off topic: today I don’t get the margin links on the main page here- lexicon, blogroll etc., but I do when I click on a specific post to comment. Anyone else?
I’m getting used to the idea that there is nothing so insanely idiotic you can’t get 20% of the population to believe it. But I am surprised 66% won’t acknowledge he is a Christian.
If the 20% could be time traveled to witness Obama’s birth in Hawaii, irreputable evidence, they still wouldn’t believe it.
@Throwin Stones: Remarkably close to the 41% from yesterday’s number. I wonder if we are zeroing in on the distractofaction: those too distracted, too overworked, too depressed to know what they think. Together with the crazifaction, that would constitute roughly two-thirds of the electorate.
One of the reasons the mosque controversy was created and nationalized, IMHO, was so that newscasters would use the words Moslem and Obama in the same sentence as many times as possible. The facts don’t matter.
It really is that simple, and it really is that sad.
Fuck — you want me to be depressed because only 1/5th of Americans polled think Obama’s a Muslin?
Shit, that’s cause to celebrate.
Couldn’t quickly google a 2010 survey, but in 2007, 48% of Americans rejected evolution, while sixty-fucking-eight percent of Republicans reject evolution.
Compared to that, this is a victory of sanity.
@WereBear: Do you think any of these pinheads can distinguish between a mostly black church with a black pastor and a mosque? All they see are scary people, and all scary people look alike to them.
So you saying that they are making an explicit choice not to evolve? Wow.
You’re going to run out of volumes.
hell, apparently 60+% think religious freedom is something the majority bestows upon well-behaved minorities.
like I said, torch-wielding mobs.
Take it the fuck over.
I suppose we could look at the bright side and say that if 20% of Americans think Obama is a muslim, then those 20% of Americans at least must think that being a muslim is not a disqualifier for being President.
And if we ever do get to a point where we really do have a muslim President, then those 20% will be pretty calm about it ’cause it wouldn’t be the first time for them.
There’s just so many layers of what-the-fuck to parse here, I’m not sure I can without a morning drink or twelve. So I’m not going to try. I’m just going to go back to sleep and hope when I wake up the world has gone sane again.
It’s a foolish wish, but better than tearing my hair out at the sheer idiocy that surrounds us.
No, really what’s going on is that they don’t have the options, so they try to act all ‘sour grapes’ about it, so as to look better.
Pigs & Spiders
Chad N Freude
@beltane: They see him as The Manchurian Christian.
@Nick: I think the torch-wielding mobs already did take over the media.
Chad N Freude
Your logic is faulty. It’s more likely that most if not all of the 20% believe his presidency is illegitimate because of this.
This isn’t shocking in the least. If you had a poll asking whether Obama ate live babies, I’m sure you could get a solid 10-15% of respondents to answer “Yes”.
Seriously, I want to see some control questions in there.
“Is the sky blue?”
“Is the Pope Catholic?”
“How many fingers am I holding up?”
Until we can get some kind of baseline on “People who like throwing out dickish, irrelevant answers just to be contrary”, polls like this are meaningless.
As I’ve said on other threads, what is most shocking to me is the amount of people who just accept as part of the furniture that 20-25% of their countrymen/women are crazy. That’s 1 in four people, about 80million or so people if you’re talking real numbers.
How can a country survive if 25% of the people are batshit crazy? isn’t that more worrying than any other statistic out there? Whatever you think of Obama, how can even the most savvy, cunning, well meaning, heart in the right place, progressive pushing President do anything in the face of such a significant amount of crazies?
I’m wondering how bin Ladin was able to introduce lead chips into the American food supply. The rate of decline of the collective IQ of America is faster than the typical error factor on a McMegan mathematical assertion.
Chad N Freude
@Zifnab: Control questions and correlations would never make it through the FoxFilter into the MSM, so there is no need to ask (or report) anything but the single question and the result.
Chad N Freude
@homerhk: Dude, this is America. Everyone is entitled to hold insane opinions, know false facts, and be generally stupid. This is what the Founders Fought and Died For(tm).
@beltane: Hadn’t thought of that… something tells me “distinguish” isn’t high on their skills list.
20%?! If I was one of those idiots, I would be embarrassed. But I don’t think they can feel embarrassment.
My mother believes Obama is a seekrit Muslim. And she loves him and voted for him in 2008. But she grew up in a Communist country where her phones were tapped, where men in suits would come to your door, and did come to her door, and threaten her and her family if they spoke out against the government, so she believes in all these conspiracy theories. The government is always snooping on you, the government is always lying to you, and Obama-the-Seekrit-Muslim just fits into all that. Plus, I think she likes being in on the seekrit and feeling like she knows something the rest of us don’t.
@Chad N Freude
Well, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Aside from that it was meant, kinda tongue in cheeck.
@Nick: ok, I’m all for storming the media Bastille. But how do we organize ourselves an effective mob to combat the one that, as Gina points out, the media (either through design or reaction) already has in place?
Chad N Freude
@kwAwk: I guess my snarkometer needs adjustment.
@homerhk: Well, speaking only for myself, I usually reserve that kind of thinking for the companies that have employed me: I’m not entirely sure how some of them managed to file all their paperwork more or less on time let alone how any of them managed to make money. Granted, in companies, I found that the 28% tended to gravitate towards management and marketing while Facilities Management tended hard toward basic sanity which meant the buildings remained physically standing and the sidewalks were consistently de-iced. So, yeah, amazing at it may sound, I can easily combine entire-zoo-shit levels of craziness with baseline functionality over certain periods of time.
It was said that this past Christmas, there wouldn’t have been any celebration at the White House if it hadn’t been for the former White House social secretaries.
Obama is an agnostic. It’s what his mother taught him.
That whole Trinity Church thing was merely to get a sense of the “Black Experience” and gain some “street cred” .. nothing more.
Bush went to church periodically. So did Clinton, carrying his Bible.
Is there any record of President Obama going to church, temple or any kind of place of worship that wasn’t an “official function” or “campaign event” ?
I honestly don’t know if we can, but however we do it, it’s going to involve money, so the best thing to do is find rich people who believe in our cause.
and also voting, if we can constantly beat Republicans, even in years like this, it will deal repeat blows to the conservamedia.
I wish he was a Muslim.
Anyone who’s shocked that 20% of people asked think that he is should ask themselves this question:
“Is it a smear to suggest that Obama is a Muslim?”
We’re missing the point.
The point is not 20% of Americans think Obama is Muslim.
The point is not 43% of Americans are unsure about Obama’s religion.
The point is 63% of Americans — a solid majority — now refuse to classify Obama as a Christian.
To my knowledge I can’t begin to think of a President where a majority of Americans questioned his Christianity. Obama is the first.
He’s also a Presidential first for a much more obvious reason, but we live in a country where it’s still not quite acceptable for 63% of the country to openly dislike Obama because of that particular Presidential first.
This number has remained constant since the primaries. My response then and now is
@Neo: Are you accusing the president of not believing that the magical spells (prayers) implored against an invisible and unknown deity are effective? Are you accusing him of dealing with known and provable reality?
Does anyone have any benchmarks for crazification in other countries? Is this a human baseline, or does something in this country bring it out?
I saw you make this comment at Swampland, but didn’t have time to answer it earlier, so I’ll just say it here:
It’s accepted because experience has taught us that said 25% or so are totally impervious to any rational or logical argument. Attempts to actually educate or argue with this sector of America has resulted in their positions HARDENING and becoming MORE radical. They’re a lost cause. That’s sad reality, and yes, that means we’re fighting with the scales already heavily tilted. :/
My answer to this comes in the form of a question: Why should it matter?
I mean…I recognize that in our broken discourse it matters, but it shouldn’t. It really fucking shouldn’t, and if that’s the reason why Obama is doubly tarred along with Islam (oohhh, Obama’s a seekrit muslin and that means he’s a terrist Islamosympathizer!), then fuck we are so broken.
20 percent…..hmm…. but that, to quote Quellcrist Falconer, deploys no bloody divisions.
as long as the other side doesn’t have a candidate, Obama wins.
It sadly is, because the narrative has been set in stone that ‘Muslim = Terrorist sympathizer’, or at least some sort of exotic Other that just plain isn’t acceptable in the broad discourse. It’s a double smear, both on Obama and on Islam, and if Obama was really a Muslim, the sad fact of the matter is that the narrative would avalanche on him, and discredit not only him, but Democrats as a whole. Why? Because our country as a whole seems full of intolerant fucks.
Why does reality have to be so fucking horrible sometimes?
@Kryptik: be of good cheer, for i bring tidings of great joy.
the demographic timer is running down.
50 years of conservative selection for stupid and crazy has resulted in a political party that cannot compete in a democratic meritocracy.
Douthat knows this, that is why he wants to change the rules, and come up with some meritocratic values conservatives can compete at.
And ‘generic republican’ beats Obama by 10, but any specific republican gets a projected electoral asswhupping from Our Beloved Magical Unity Pony.
conservative ‘ideas’ nearly destroyed this country…..but we will be saved from crazification by the poor, the darkskinned, the young, the female, the college-educated ….and the intelligent, the hindus, the atheists, the liberal christians, the muslims, …..and the jews.
except for Goldberg.
Of course, they’ll just say “Well the real problem is the economy. That doesn’t make me a racist or a bigot.”
Sometimes the answer is exactly what it appears to be. Well said.
My problem isn’t necessarily their electoral chances in the long run. It’s their chances in the now, and the legislative and legal legacy they’ll leave for decades to come if they get significant power back in the short-term present. Because we’re already seeing a painful social and narrative legacy they’ve wrought this past decade, and how it’s only escalated now that they’re technically out of power.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: Two comments on your comment: (1) The analysis sounds pretty good, but it’s by noted liberal thinker Michael Medved*, which leads to the paragraph following your quote:
Whoopee! The GOP can still compete.
*That’s snark, Medved is liberal only in Opposite World.
Once upon a time, The Batshit did not have their own political party to rally around. They were probably Birchers, too crazy for Goldwater, and in the time of mimeoed newsletters and high cost long distance, pretty unorganized.
But look what technology has wrought.
However, I am not taking this seriously (and I wish Howard Dean did not.) The more the Republicans stoke their base, the less appealing that Base becomes to people with a shred of sanity.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
I wish I could be as optimistic and aloof about this as you. But…
What happens when the net effect is less sane people? What happens when the fear mongering turns the sane insane?
@Kryptik: I hear you, but I don’t have any reason to believe that is, in fact, occuring. I’m saying these folks were always with us, and always crazy. However, they used to be like pepper sprinkled on a white rug… barely noticable.
Now that they are all dumped in one place, and there’s television cameras pointed right at the spot, it looks big and distressing.
Remember: they never had their own television channel before. They do now.
I wish I could be assured of that as you, but the whole ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ seems to prove that lie and fearmonger enough, and you can get everyone to go fucking insane enough to tar a whole religion out of whole cloth. I mean…christ, even the majority of Dems seem to have taken away the impression that the thing is going to be a literal Megamosque on the ashes of Ground Zero with a minaret shaped like Bin Laden teabagging the Statue of Liberty.
Christ. I’m not even 30, and yet I feel like George Carlin did in his later years, where everything sucks and the only way to keep going is to mock everyone brutally and openly, fuck manners. I can only imagine what he’s screaming at us from the grave.
@Chad N Freude:
i think his analysis is accurate, except for that last part.
Remember prop 8?
there the darkskinned natural conservatives voted yes.
but while they might vote yes on socon issues, or even believe that Islam is a terrorism religion on the Park51 stuff, they will not vote republican for president….the same people that carried prop 8 voted for Obama 3 to 1.
the darkskinned natural conservatives are permanently lost to the GOP. that is what Medved is pretending about.
@WereBear: yes, they are very loud….but they are not very numerous.
tea party activists are 2% of the electorate, and 98% of the screaming.
…who are far more motivated to vote this November than the sane people.
We’re about to get what we deserve.
Call me Pollyanna… it won’t be the first time :)
However, most people are really not paying attention. Really. They’re not thinking about politics. Really. They won’t start paying attention until mid October.
If a portion of Americans can’t be batshit crazy, then that means the terrorists have won.
American crazies have always been able to organize politically, whether part of a mainstream political party, or in their own little fruitcake stand. They were once the Know Nothings, for example.
As always, you have to stand up to these fools and defeat them.
With apologies to Richard Pryor:
Gabby Johnson, “The President is a NIG” BONG!!!
Howard Jonson. “What did he say?”
Able Johnson, “He said the President is near!”
Gabby Johnson, “No, dangnabit – I said the President is a NIG” BONG!!!!
Muslin is close enough for the crackpot 20%
I disagree – they won’t start paying attention in October either. Some of them may actually vote but they will never ever ever pay any attention.
I really don’t think the long-term demographics mean much because the GOP has learned from its mistakes the last few years when rigging electronic voting machines was a relatively new thing. If they get control of all three branches again, and they do not need over 50% of the legislative branch since the Blue Dogs will vote with them, they will make sure the reported vote is always in their favor no matter how the actual votes get cast. Why wouldn’t they do that? They know they got away with that and everything else illegal they’ve done for decades because the Democrats always want to “look forward” and they know the future demographics mean they won’t be able to win elections in a democratic manner. Who here really thinks they will be willing to not be in power just because the majority of the country votes against it. Think they wouldn’t do it? Didn’t you read about 2004? The polls showed Kerry winning. The exit polls showed Kerry winning. In areas with paper ballots Kerry won by the expected margins. But in electronic ballot areas Bush won by enough to still give him a solid win(after all the votes were routed to a GOP room for central tabulation), which was contrary to the poll expectations to such an extent we would have called any such foreign election a complete sham. Yet, when it came to the televised media there was a complete black-out on this subject. COMPLETE BLACK-OUT AS IN YOU GET FIRED IF YOU EVEN MENTION IT! No, they just need to win and get a majority by 2012 and democracy is completely over in this country.
@jwb: Now you see why Net Neutrality is the new battleground. The young people don’t watch the teevee and are therefore more immune to drinking the kool-aid. Absent some crackdown on Internet communications (such as British libel laws or Comcast getting to decide which data you are allowed to see) the strangle hold of one-way, let us tell you what to think media (TV, radio) will lessen.
Sure, people can put themselves in a bubble on line. But ultimately, they can choose to pop that bubble and check out other sources on the Net. We have only had one generation that has grown up with their own ability to broadcast their voice, we surely need to acclimate to this new social reality, but at least everyone can say what they want and read what they want with less control by the big 6 media corporations.
Perfect insight. Brilliant.
Actually, it would be Mel Brooks and Cleavon Little.
Have these polls been broken down by age? Where I work, many of the younger people don’t read any news at all from anywhere unless it is entertainment news. And while most of them tend to skew liberal, there are alarming pockets of wingnuttia.
@WereBear: I disagree. A lot of good people that I know/knew have become highly politicized in the last decade. Almost all of them believe Obama’s going to take their guns, are concerned about preserving the Judeo-Christian foundations of this country (although how that leads to cracking down on Mexican immigrants is a question that stumps them), think trickle-down economics has been working even as they complain about the trickle drying up, and believe poor people are poor because they are bad and deserve it.
Not to Godwin the thread or anything, but there are countries where propaganda has indeed spread the crazy beyond the 28% ers. I don’t know why America would be immune, unless American exceptionalism is invoked.
You misspelled “Mel Brooks”.
Why didn’t you mention Reagan? He didn’t go to church either.
By the way, inheriting two wars and an economy on the verge of a Depression, don’t you think he has more important things to do than spending a couple hours at church?
@gex: Yes, that’s true, and it’s because of Fox News stocking such concerns… but what age are these people?
I think we have a generation who grew up believing everything they saw on the teevee because Uncle Walter said so. The younger people are far more cynical… they got the toy and it didn’ t fly like it did on the commercial.
Not that they can’t cause damage. But it’s time limited… and their time is running out.
Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army
@gex: So, uh, what exactly makes these people “good?” You’ve just described a pack of assholes.
Back in 2008, I was chatting with a woman at work who insisted that Obama was a Muslim. AFAIK, that he was didn’t bother her. The conversation went something like this:
HER: Obama is a Muslim. He got sworn in on a Koran.
ME: No, that was Keith Ellison. He’s a rep from Minnesota, and he got sworn in on Thomas Jefferson’s Koran. He’s the only Muslim in Congress.
HER: But… isn’t Obama…?
ME: He’s a Christian. Don’t you remember all the controversy over his Christian pastor?
HER: stares blankly
I don’t think I convinced her. Maybe I should have put my face in front of a monitor, so the flashing lights could sooth her before shoving facts around. The point is, she believed this nonsense but still intended to vote for Obama.
I think I heard Andy Kohut on NPR this morning opining that the reason for the increase in the number of people professing the erroneous perception that Obama is a Muslim is something along the lines of “religion does not play a prominent role in Obama’s life.” What a crock. Obama’s decided lack of whiteness, his funny name, and the constant pimping of memes about his non-white bread up-bringing and vacation choices (he is going to Hawaii not Myrtle Beach!!!) are responsible for the dumbing down of people who yearn to be dumbed down. Sheesh.
It’s amazing that people who describe themselves as Christians believe this, because I always wonder exactly where in the Bible it says that poor people or either bad or “deserve” the crap that’s handed to them.
“Muslim” has become that word only because the N-word isn’t allowed on the Teveee these days.
@Frank: I saw his same argument on DKos from icebergslim…that the WH communications team is epic fail because they don’t have him going to church taking pictures every Sunday morning.
And all I keep thinking is…even he did that, icebergslim and all other left wing retards would be whining that he’s pandering to people who would never vote for him.
Obama just can’t fucking win.
I have linked to the following to show the stories these people tell themselves and the folks that read their blogs.
Obama has written two books about himself, including “Dreams of My Father,” published in 1995 when the prospect that he would run and win the Presidency is 2008 would have struck him as a joke, and he explains how he became a Christian in the African Methodist Church. As for attending church, that has been a logistical nightmare for sitting presidents since Truman and most have not attended public Sunday services as a result.
But when even mainstream members of the media like Kohut airbrush out huge facts about Obama that don’t fit the Village meme of the day, we are in the world of make believe and madness.
Especially on economic policy, I would say that Obama has been a continuation of the last two years of the Bush administration, so he has left me disappointed. But reaction to him, by the right, is so out of touch to reality it can only be called “mad.” And they may soon have the power of the Government again. And “whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” (Euripides, Medea)
I’ve always suspected that of being true, and if so, one of the most awful, soulless aspects of his Presidency.
Well, if you think homosexuals should have the right to marry and all. After all, it’s not like he uses his “faith” to publicly disenfranchise them with one hand, while trying to sneak into whatever “secular” benefits to them in the other. Two-faced nihlistic bastard that he is.
How is that, exactly? What is it that Obama should have done, which would be a different economic policy? And are you separating tax policy from economic policy? Because on taxes there is stuff that Obama has done that Dubya would never have considered.
Well if it quacks like a muslim, talks and walks like a muslim, it’s probably a muslim.
Clearly it’s not a scientific poll, but this morning a Southern California radio talk show host set up a poll to ask the following question.
So far, 39.91% have said “Yes, Bill is secretly a Muslim” even though the host is Jewish.
And what better way to straighten out the misperceptions than by calling the whole lot of them “idiots.”
More high-comedy from the intellectual elite.
@Brachiator: Yeah, this needs to stop. I personally think that Obama didn’t do enough soon enough (aaaand along will come Stuck to call me a “firebagger”), but I have no doubts that on tax policy and on the specific nature of stimulus spending, Obama is on a much more reasonable point on the spectrum than Bush (and, BTW, I think Bush would have approved a stimulus and just pitched it differently; I think opposition to the stimulus is based purely on tribalism, as with pretty much all economic policy when it comes to low-info voters).