Saturday, August 01, 2009

Republicans are 58% crazy

A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 Poll has found that 58% of Republicans are crazy. Well, it didn’t, actually, but that’s the implication of the results.

According to the poll, 58% of Republicans think that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States (28 percent) or they’re not sure if he was (30 percent). Only 42% of Republicans said yes, they did believe it. This could explain why Republican leaders haven’t challenged the so-called “birthers” on their obsession with this myth.

77% of all Americans know that Obama was born in the US, while 11% choose to believe he wasn’t and 12% claim to be “not sure”. When the results are broken down by geographic region, things start to clarify. It won’t surprise many to learn that the region of the US with the biggest number of “birthers” is the South: Only 47% said yes, Obama was born in the US, while 23 percent thought he wasn’t and 30% said they “don’t know”; the South is the only region in the US were the majority didn’t believe or weren’t sure of Obama’s citizenship. By contrast, 93% of those in the Northeast knew he was born in the US, as did 90% of those in the Midwest and 87% of those in the West.

Age differences were also striking: 88% of those 18-29 were correct, and a tiny 12% doubted Obama was born in the US (4% said he wasn’t, 8% didn’t know). A similar spread was found among those 45-59 (82% yes, 8% no and 10% don’t know). Those 30-44 and over 60 were most likely to believe the myth of Obama being foreign-born, but even in those age groups people who answered yes vastly outnumbered those who believed the myth or weren’t sure.

Why do people persist in believing what’s so obviously a myth? It’s really pretty obvious that there’s a deep-seated racism at work here; most of these “birthers” don’t believe an African American should be president, but in 2009 they really can’t say that out loud. Perpetually questioning Obama’s place of birth gives them a way to express their racism less obviously, and in a way that’s fully supported and validated by the leadership of the Republican Party. Those Southerners who are over 60 have a much better chance of having personal memories of the “Old South”, the time before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

Most Republicans are now older Southerners, which helps explain the poll numbers in those regional and age groups—essentially, Republicans dragged down the results for both groups and the country as a whole. This poll gives us a way to quantify the craziness of the Republican Party.

Actually, if you add this poll to other things the Republican Party has been doing, it’s probably more accurate to say that the party is 100% crazy.


Nik said...

I started writing a post on these birther idiots and then decided I didn't want to perpetuate the insanity. Good on you for calling it out for what it is -- straightforward racism cloaked under constitutional jabbering and conspiracy theories. The birthers are Klansmen without the hoods, there's no way they would've carried on like this if McCain had won even though he WAS born out of the US (on US soil in Panama, but still).

It's a real shame the media coverage seems to be focusing on birthers and beer summits over anything of substance.

Apteryx said...

Hey mate. Check out this Bill Maher quote from an op-ed in the LA Times. It's spot on:



Arthur Schenck said...

Nik: I'm done mincing my words when dealing with wingnuts and whackjobs. For that matter, I'm not going to let run-of-the-mill conservatives get away with lying and distorting, either.

The birthers are all kinds of crazy, but racism is at their core and they have to be called out on that.

The media seldom covers anything of substance any more, focusing instead on unimportant irrelevant rubbish. I can't see that changing any time soon.

Apteryx: That IS a good quote, I'm getting sick, though, of our side having to stop to point out how crazy their side has become. It ought to be bloody obvious, and the media ought to know by now notto humour them.

Moosep and Buddy Rabbit said...

Great blog post. The birther movement doesn't even make sense when the birth certificate has been produced many times. It does make sense from the racism stand point.

I also loved Apteryx pointing out the quote of the week.