Friday, May 07, 2010


By now you may have read about the new ABC birther poll, which says that 20% of Americans believe or guess that Barack Obama was born in another country, including approximately a third of the following groups: "Obama disapprovers, ... conservatives, Republicans, supporters of the Tea Party political movement ..., evangelical white Protestants ..., and supporters of John McCain in 2008."

The director of ABC's polling unit, Gary Langer, offers an analysis of one bit of data from the survey:

The other-country group includes 9 percent of Americans who said, in a follow-up question, that they think there's "been solid evidence" Obama was born in another country. The rest, 10 percent, called it their "suspicion only." (This could reflect a phenomenon in which some people may answer polling questions with something other than literal intent -- rather, to express broader support for, or opposition to, an individual, group or policy.)

No, I don't think that's the right explanation. The whole point of birtherism is that you can't possibly find out the truth because B. Hussein Osama is so EEEEEEEVIL!!! When anti-Obama birthers choose "suspicion only," they're not making an ambiguous statement about their beliefs; they're saying that the suppression of the truth is so great that history's greatest monsters would be jealous!

Of course, it's a ridiculous question anyway; what the hell "solid evidence" could there possibly be? But for some birthers the lack of solid evidence is solid evidence that B. Hussein is hiding ... something; others express this same feeling as a deeply held suspicion. It's just two different ways of describing the same invisible monsters under the bed.

(And yes, the poll says a certain percentage of birthers actually like Obama. That just leaves me baffled.)

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