THE RIGHT'S MULTIPLE BIRTHERISMS
In response to Rick Santorum's "Obamaville" ad...
... Paul Waldman writes:
Holy crap! Was that a shot of Barack Obama forcing a little girl to bite the head off her beloved guinea pig? Maybe not, but almost. Apparently, it will take Obama only two years to turn America into some combination of "The Day After" and "Saw."
My question is, do the people on the Santorum campaign actually believe this will be persuasive to anyone? Or are they so blinded by their own hatred of Obama that they can't see how silly this is? Or do they just think that they have to ramp up the rhetoric to keep the Republican base from resignedly signing on with Mitt Romney?
No, I don't think they believe it's silly -- I'm certain a lot of them think it's an accurate prophecy. I'd lay even odds that Rick Santorum himself believes it.
Jonathan Bernstein adds:
... that, to me, fully sums up the Republican case against Barack Obama, or at least one weird variety of it. Obama is about to do all sorts of horrible things: bankrupt the nation, induce hyperinflation, confiscate guns, bring back the Fairness Doctrine. About to do them.
Bernstein's point is that this isn't particularly persuasive to people who've noticed that he hasn't already done any of these things. But for the primaries, what does it matter?
Public Policy Polling has made a practice of asking Republican primary voters whether they believe the president was born in America. In reply, a lot of harrumphing pundits have insisted that it's silly to ask this, because even if the majority of Republicans say he's a foreigner, they don't really believe he's a foreigner, because ... shut up, that's why.
Well, I'd like to see PPP or another polling outfit ask a series of questions testing GOP paranoia and delusion:
* If President Obama is reelected, do you believe he'll confiscate all privately owned firearms in America?
* If President Obama is reelected, do you believe America will be a fully communist nation by the end of his term?
* If President Obama is reelected, do you think he will make the practice of Christianity illegal in America?
I think we would benefit from learning the Republican electorate's answers to these questions. Let's quantify just how deep the paranoia strikes.