May 21, 2013

"The president’s approval rating, at 51 percent positive and 44 percent negative, has remained steady..."

"... in the face of fresh disclosures about the IRS, the Benghazi attack and the Justice Department’s secret collection of telephone records of Associated Press journalists as part of a leak investigation."

78 comments:

David said...

Did Candice win American Idol yet?

And what about Angela Jolie's breasts?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

WTeverlovingF?

On my way to work, don't have time to dig into it, someone, edutcher maybe, please find evidence that they sampled 70% Democrats so I don't have to have to internalize that no really, this country is breaking up on the rocks.

Brennan said...

1001 surveyed
33% Dem
22% Rep
38% Ind
5% Or What
2% No opinion

48% of Independents approve of Obama. 47% disapprove.

The Tea Party posts the same approve/disapprove number.

bpm4532 said...

The 47% had grown to 51%?

Matthew Sablan said...

D: 33%
R: 22%
I: 38%
Or what: 5% ??? I don't know what this means
No Opinion: 2%

Because that's the breakdown of the country. For registered voters, it is a bit closer (50 approve, 47 disapprove), but that's within the margin so it might just be statistical noise.

But, yeah. Using only 22% Republicans is... awkward.

Mark O said...

DOOM.

Matthew Sablan said...

If you look at the breakdown by party, the 11% extra D's in the sample are probably part of what is skewing things, since R/D's both disapprove/approve at a shocking 80~%

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CEO-MMP said...

And yet, if you go to RCP and look at the WaPo post there, it shows it at 50/47--not a lot different, but still different.

Reuters has him at 45/49, which I think is closer to the truth.

The funniest part is if you look at all the direction of country polls--right around 60% (looking at all the organizations) say the country is on the wrong track.

Well skippy--the track is Obama's track. You can't hate that and love him.

Meh. I give this WaPo story 6.5 Pinocchios.

Hagar said...

It's Jesse Watters' world.

But I think Pigford II, III, IV, and a half might get through to them, with impeachments and high-ranking people going to jail.

LilyBart said...

If the Obama administration gets away with marshaling the government agencies to intimidate his critics and getting them to shut up - we'll just get a lot more of that - from every administration.

We are heading toward a dark, dark place.

Renee said...

Not surprised.

CEO-MMP said...

Mr. Sablan:

I forget--are we supposed to be shocked that they under/oversample?

Tank said...

Pants.

It's their country now.

The old America is dead and gone.

It will be more dead each day. The only question is how fast will it become more dead?

Renee said...

This behavior is so normalized. We expect it.

LilyBart said...


Democrats seem to have the impulse to protect their "guy" and ignore corruption and abuse in their own rank.

Tank said...

Why should Zero's approval change?

The buck stops ...

over there somewhere.

Rusty said...

The IRS is auditing folks that disagree with the president?



Doing a hell of a job there, Mr. President! Good work!

Matthew Sablan said...

The other possibility is that the IRS scandal has not had time to really get through to the American people; heck, F&F is still a bit hazy, and even with Kessler debunking the doctored emails defense for Benghazi, I don't think most people are aware of what is happening there. Most people just aren't as aware as people who follow blogs like this are, so it is feasible to think that favorability wouldn't change too much.

pm317 said...

OK, then. He need not worry about his next election.

madAsHell said...

At this point, what does it matter?

How can he advance his agenda? He's toxic. The mid-terms should be a disaster, or at least the D's won't make any gains. Depending on the voter fraud.

Michael Haz said...

Publicly released polls are rigged to produce a specific result. Vary the sample to get the desired outcome. Not reliable, not believable, except by the most naieve.

Hagar said...

Check Saletan's article on Slate about the Morehouse speech.

The remarkable thing is that this was the part of the speech that was clipped to all the networks, and there was a big commotion and laughter in the hall after that line.

I just don't believe that NYT/WaPo could have missed it, printed copy of the prepared text or not.

Kelly said...

I believe it. The man was reelected by about that margin, wasn't he? I am no longer willing to dig into a poll to figure out the ratio of dems to repubs.

All I need to know is 51 percent of the electorate really is that dumb.

Clyde said...

At my house, there is 100% disapproval. Whitey the cat was not surveyed.

edutcher said...

22% R?

Sure.

Just like the "election".

virgil xenophon said...

Tank@7:51 is unfortunately right. Fortunately I already have "mass quantities" of Barbancourt laid in..

(Doing my bit to help the economy of Haiti come back :) )

Brennan said...

Americans are outside. The markets have their "Sell in May, Go Away" and its roots are in predictable climate change.

ricpic said...

The low info voters could care less but Benghazi is about to explode. The latest development is that Stevens was there attempting to buy back stinger missiles that the ogress Hillary had ordered be given to the "rebels," that she had to know were Al-Qaeda, in order to get rid of Gaddahfi on the cheap. Why was it so vitally important to get rid of Gaddahfi? Layers under layers under layers.

Scott said...

How can the polls be accurate when most of the people on the conservative side hang up when pollsters call? The "adjustments" to the sample make poll numbers worthless, except to manufacture news on a slow news day.

Scott M said...

A liberal friend mentioned this yesterday and cited it as proof that the independents aren't buying the scandal hoopla...forgetting, conveniently, that I'm an independent. I told him, "No, that just means that every day something new comes down the pike and independents might be reserving judgement until more facts are in.

Right before he said that, however, he said, "Yeah, it's starting to look pretty bad now," which means Obama supporters might be approving Obama on a poll and have serious misgivings in private.

Shorter version - polls mean bupkis.

Paul said...

Wait until news of how the State Dept., under Hillary, sold Stinger AAA missiles to the Libyan rebels and the Ambassador was there trying to buy them back.

And the Gen. did mount a rescue operation but the State Dept. threatened to relieve him of duty.

Yes that story is about to break. Hillary ordered the stand down and Obama ok'ed it.

phx said...

"No, that just means that every day something new comes down the pike and independents might be reserving judgement until more facts are in.

I wonder if independents are collectively more intelligent than the R & D's.

Scott M said...

I wonder if independents are collectively more intelligent than the R & D's.

Anything involving humans can be plotted on a bell curve.

Ham's story is well-known within the special operations community and they. are. pissed. about it. I was wondering when that aspect of this sorry episode was going to come out.

M said...

People have become so binary in their thinking that they can't be shocked even when fundamental rights of their opponents are violated. That and I think most people hear "Tea Party" and automatically assume manufactured outrage.

Robert Cook said...

The headline: "Obama’s rating steady in face of controversies, likely buoyed by rising economic hopes"

If true, the American people truly are blind...there is no "rising economy" to be hopeful about. The purported "housing recovery" is a lie, the rise in housing prices being driven not by families wanting to buy homes but by speculators buying up distressed or vacant properties for cheap with the intent of unloading them later at higher prices. There is no job recovery, the "unemployment figures" being a hoax to cover up the extent of our jobless crisis. Many who are working are part timers making a pittance and having no benefits, (even many full time workers make a pittance and have no benefits).

"There is nothing in 5,000 years of economic history to justify the belief that human societies should structure their behavior around the demands of the marketplace. This is an absurd, utopian ideology. The airy promises of the market economy have, by now, all been exposed as lies. The ability of corporations to migrate overseas has decimated our manufacturing base. It has driven down wages, impoverishing our working class and ravaging our middle class. It has forced huge segments of the population—including those burdened by student loans—into decades of debt peonage. It has also opened the way to massive tax shelters that allow companies such as General Electric to pay no income tax. Corporations employ virtual slave labor in Bangladesh and China, making obscene profits. As corporations suck the last resources from communities and the natural world, they leave behind, as Joe Sacco and I saw in the sacrifice zones we wrote about, horrific human suffering and dead landscapes. The greater the destruction, the greater the apparatus crushes dissent.

"More than 100 million Americans—one-third of the population—live in poverty or a category called 'near poverty.' Yet the stories of the poor and the near poor, the hardships they endure, are rarely told by a media that is owned by a handful of corporations—Viacom, General Electric, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Clear Channel and Disney. The suffering of the underclass, like the crimes of the power elite, has been rendered invisible.

"In the Lakota Indian reservation at Pine Ridge, S.D., in the United States’ second poorest county, the average life expectancy for a male is 48. This is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere outside of Haiti. About 60 percent of the Pine Ridge dwellings, many of which are sod huts, lack electricity, running water, adequate insulation or sewage systems. In the old coal camps of southern West Virginia, amid poisoned air, soil and water, cancer is an epidemic. There are few jobs. And the Appalachian Mountains, which provide the headwaters for much of the Eastern Seaboard, are dotted with enormous impoundment ponds filled with heavy metals and toxic sludge. In order to breathe, children go to school in southern West Virginia clutching inhalers. Residents trapped in the internal colonies of our blighted cities endure levels of poverty and violence, as well as mass incarceration, that leave them psychologically and emotionally shattered. And the nation’s agricultural workers, denied legal protection, are often forced to labor in conditions of unpaid bondage. This is the terrible algebra of corporate domination. This is where we are all headed. And in this accelerated race to the bottom we will end up as serfs or slaves."


(A excerpt from a column by Chris Hedges, posted at Truthdig today.)

We're heading toward third world status.

"Democrats seem to have the impulse to protect their 'guy' and ignore corruption and abuse in their own rank."

Yep. Republicans, too.

Of course you knew that and just neglected to mention it, right?

JPS said...

Not even going to fall for the old sampling bias argument. I bought that back when I believed there was no way the country was going to reelect the President after years of an anemic economy, the lame excuses (basically, my policies have had no effect, so vote for me!), the missteps abroad, and above all the ramming through Congress of a genuinely unpopular health-care bill.

And he won. So I am forced to conclude that a majority of Americans actually thinks he's doing a good job.

Holy shit.

phx said...

People have become so binary in their thinking that they can't be shocked even when fundamental rights of their opponents are violated.

No, I'm not shocked. I think there's way too much shock and outrage going on these days.

But I am looking to see if those who violated the rights of their opponents are going to be held accountable. And I'm reserving judgment on whether I think it's Obama's fault.

Scott M said...

And I'm reserving judgment on whether I think it's Obama's fault.

If I were an Obama voter/supporter, I would be offended that they think I'd be stupid enough to believe that Obama's senior White House staff knew about this during an election run-up and failed to tell their boss. Of course, this is, what...version five of the White House's "Okay, here's what happened"?

Bender said...

The president’s approval rating, at 51 percent positive and 44 percent negative, has remained steady...in the face of fresh disclosures about the IRS, the Benghazi attack and the Justice Department’s secret collection of telephone records of Associated Press journalists as part of a leak investigation.

Big city Democrat election rates, at 99 percent, have remained steady in the face of decades of proven corruption, criminality, and turning the inner cities into hell-holes.

At some point, you just need to concede that a great portion of our society is pathological.

Saint Croix said...

I think people are shocked. It's been roses and buttercups for four years. And now the press is acting as if those Republicans had a point all along.

I think Obama himself is shocked. What happened to all my adulation?

All these scandals happened in his first administration. And the press has given him a free ride. So when ugly reality finally hits, the first step for a lot of people is denial. Sooner or later anger will pop up.

All this bad news at once reminds me of our future economic shock. We've been running $1.5 trillion dollar deficits for four years now. Pushing the pain into the future. When we have to pay the bill, it will come in a hurry, and it will shock and upset people.

When you dam up and repress all the bad stuff, it can be really, really ugly when it finally comes out.

bagoh20 said...

So can we stop blaming Obama? Clearly he isn't the problem in a democracy. He's just the lottery ticket people bought with the money they needed to buy food. Next week, they do it again.

A huge number of Americans have lost any sense of the possibilities from hard work or merit. They see so many people "make it big" in our culture though pulling a con, getting lucky, or effectively riding the system.

In a culture that gives out it's rewards disconnected from virtue or effort, so a lot of people identify with the lucky poser. It beats the hell out of trying to do the right thing, since that's more likely to get you ridicule. They cheer on the guy that got rich despite being a slacker, or who successfully surfed the system to success without actually contributing anything, because that's what they see as their own best shot.

Obviously this is a fatal cultural dysfunction. It's the real Idiocracy, and we are living it.

Saint Croix said...

Abortion is a similar scandal. We're hiding the bad news under Orwellian happy face rhetoric.

Sooner or later, dead baby photographs will end up in the mainstream media. And people will be outraged and shocked and upset.

And the Supreme Court will be like a deer in the headlights. And they will get very unwanted press attention.

Current spin: Dr. Gosnell = rogue IRS agent.

david7134 said...

There is no reporting on Obama. Fox is the only station that gives any air time to these problems. While the IRS guy was talking, CNN was all into if some Hollywood person was going to have her ovaries out. MSNBC thinks that Obama can do no wrong. When Watergate hit, there was a delay, but then all news stations jumped in, even made stuff up.

bagoh20 said...

The last election was the perfect example of the dysfunction. Romney was what people claim to admire - people on both sides.

He lived a virtuous life of hard work, enormous personal investment in other people, extensive use of his own time and money to help the less fortunate. The guy was all about charity. He was personally successful at nearly everything he ever did, and created more jobs and prosperity than hundreds of the rest of us. He was what we say is a good man, and an exceptional man.

Nobody really thinks that is true of Obama, and the facts show he's clearly nothing even close. A lot of people knew these things, and voted for Obama anyway.

Even more the problem is that most people assumed that Romney simply could not be that man, he had to of cheated, and conned just like Obama did. The charity must have had some ulterior motive, because truly good people don't really exist among the successful. Therefor, we are just picking between a bunch of con men and liars like on Survivor, so Obama is as good a choice as any, and at least not an old white guy, which is the most uncool you can be.

Bender said...

The response to dead baby photographs in the MSM will be -- as they have been -- "meh".

Even now, amongst those who know the truth, their response to the unimaginable evil of 55 MILLION DEAD is to voice an objection or two, maybe write a comment on a blog, or perhaps join in a march that no one pays attention to. We certainly do not treat it like the wholesale genocide that it is.

Mark said...

Republicans have been crying wolf since day 1 of Obama's first term. The villagers have heard the cries and wailing for 4.5 years.

The wolf may be at the gate, but at some point the non-partisans tuned out the shrill cries of woe.

The ear of the public was lost by years of false allegations. Better luck next time.

phx said...

Insightful @Mark.

Cedarford said...

Mark said...
Republicans have been crying wolf since day 1 of Obama's first term. The villagers have heard the cries and wailing for 4.5 years.

The wolf may be at the gate, but at some point the non-partisans tuned out the shrill cries of woe.


======================
The only group of Obama critics that have been wrong are the birther idiots and the Neocon/militarist crowd that believed "we owed it to the Noble Muslim Freedom Lovers" - to stay in Iraq another 10-20 years and start new wars of nation-building.

The rest of the Obama critics have been on mark.

Problem rests with a media that went into full kneepad mode for The One, and the unfortunate coalition of low information voters - inc blacks and women that think with their twats rather than their brains.

Obamacare is going to be when the twats at least get concerned when the "Affordable Care Act" causes premiums to rise 30% and many employers to drop coverage.

phx said...

The only group of Obama critics that have been wrong are the birther idiots and the Neocon/militarist crowd that believed "we owed it to the Noble Muslim Freedom Lovers" - to stay in Iraq another 10-20 years and start new wars of nation-building.

Yeah, and that was just a small group of people who hardly got any publicity at all.

Mark said...

Cedarford, sounds like the same lack of owning-up to reality that we see from the White House. Excuses like Romney and Rove offered to try to distract us from their own failures.

Your complaints only make sense if you are in the ideological bubble.

Low information voter is codeword for 47%, right? Might sound nice in the bubble, but to anyone outside the bubble they just hear the intended put down included in it. Not a great sales job for your ideas. A good idea doesn't need a put down, and convincing arguments to the public rarely contain mockery.

Cedarford said...

Bender said...
The response to dead baby photographs in the MSM will be -- as they have been -- "meh".

Even now, amongst those who know the truth, their response to the unimaginable evil of 55 MILLION DEAD is to voice an objection or two, maybe write a comment on a blog, or perhaps join in a march that no one pays attention to. We certainly do not treat it like the wholesale genocide that it is.

================
The abortion=genocide charge has always been ludicrous.
It reduces birthrates, especially amongst those that breed past the ability of their society to self-support and those too stupid, feckless to properly use birth control.
If anything, we need a slew of other nations to adopt China's one-child policy. Starting with nations that have bred so many people they lack the ability to grow enough food to feed their growing people surpluses or give even half the male population jobs. ( Haiti, half the Muslim countries on the planet)

Or within countries, getting excess breeders on welfare to confront a choice - less welfare if you have more baby Jihadis, more insta-US Haitian American citizens.
The Western social welfare model is breaking down fast as unaffordable - the US cannot keep incentivizing welfare mommas to have new parasites and criminals in the making.
France and Belgium and Greece cannot afford to keep subsidizing 3rd world birthrates amidst their "Noble Refugee", "Beloved immigrants".

The West is becoming impoverished with jobs offshoring and free trade..
And the Chinese and Indians have no "highest moral duty" to buy food and other welfare for overbred Haitians and Egyptians as the West did through its' now in the red IMF and World Bank..


It hasn't exactly caused the genocide of CHinese in CHina..It helped make CHina more managable

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

Many people may never care about the aborted child without a name, but they will certainly appreciate the consequences of devaluing human life. All of the nonsense we are observing follows from denigrating individual dignity and devaluing human life, and denying the terms and circumstances of reality.

It is not possible to exploit differentials and gradients, normalize dysfunctional behaviors, and promote dissociation of risk (e.g. abortion, welfare), without suffering both short and long-term consequences, including progressive and conclusive corruption.

Cedarford said...

Low information voter is codeword for 47%, right? Might sound nice in the bubble, but to anyone outside the bubble they just hear the intended put down included in it. Not a great sales job for your ideas. A good idea doesn't need a put down, and convincing arguments to the public rarely contain mockery.

====================
Calling low information voters dumb bastards may seem counterproductive....but once those that voted for Obama for all the "free stuff", and "affordable health care", and "because he is cool" finally have their thick skulls or girlish hearts confronted with the fact we can't afford all the free stuff Obama promised...

That coalition group has to confront reality.

1. Boyfriend!! just rang up a debt on the love besotted females credit card she will be paying off for decades.

2. Ain't no money for all the "Free Stuff" The One said they would get in perpetuity.

3. Why the fuck did my health insurance go up 40% in 2014 when a huge reason I voted for the asshole was because healthcare for regular hard-working citizens was getting unaffordable? Maybe I should have paid more attention in the 2012 elections - as I am not in a government union job, a black welfare momma without means, or an unskilled illegal alien just Amnestied with free medical care for 10 years...

4. Gee, what's with all that use of the supplicant press, even the IRS and OSHA and EPA to go after and demonize anyone who stands up to Obama...even media outfits that resist?

5. Why are blacks without government connections worse off in 2014 than in 2008?

n.n said...

Cedarford:

When does a human life acquire value?

Cedarford said...

phx said...
Cedarford - "The only group of Obama critics that have been wrong are the birther idiots and the Neocon/militarist crowd that believed "we owed it to the Noble Muslim Freedom Lovers" - to stay in Iraq another 10-20 years and start new wars of nation-building."

Yeah, and that was just a small group of people who hardly got any publicity at all.

Your sarcasm aside, the Birthers are a small fringe group, sort of like the true card carrying Communists within the Democrat Party....It was the job of the Democrat media to give those kooks the maximum publicity possible and discredit all Republicans using the ol' Saul Alinsky Broadbrush smear.
As for the Neocons/Militarists - they were marginalized by events in Iraq, Afghanistan before the 2008 election.

Christy said...

I just figure 30% have the PC police living in their heads and wouldn't dream of saying anything negative about a black man. Intimidation works.

Calypso Facto said...

“For a people who have achieved much politically, Americans have never really like the game of politics or held most of its players in particularly high regard. When a scandal breaks, we are apt to say, “Well, that’s politics!” In April 1973, with the pot really beginning to boil in both grand jury and Senate inquiries, just 31 percent of respondents who had heard of Watergate (83% of the total) described it as “a very serious matter,” while 53% called it “just politics”…”

Roper Center"

phx said...

Your sarcasm aside, the Birthers are a small fringe group, sort of like the true card carrying Communists within the Democrat Party....It was the job of the Democrat media to give those kooks the maximum publicity possible and discredit all Republicans using the ol' Saul Alinsky Broadbrush smear.


Setting aside sarcasm I think you are underestimating the role of the RW media in fueling the birther controversy. My understanding was that Rush and Fox News often gave attention to the topic. The last big gasp of it I heard came from Donald Trump, not the Democrat media.

Sam L. said...

If, and really big IF, the media turns on Benghazi Barry as he has turned on them (from ignoring to spying), then the death spiral will begin.

Rusty said...

And I'm reserving judgment on whether I think it's Obama's fault.


He's in charge.

Rusty said...

I think you are underestimating the role of the RW media in fueling the birther controversy.

Nope.

Icepick said...

You can't hate that and love him.

You can if you're stupid.

Icepick said...

We are heading toward a dark, dark place.

"A Republic - if you can keep it."

That statement wasn't a one-off quip, but the enduring challenge for the People. Eventually it was bound to fail. It's just a shame that my daughter is going to have to live through it.

Icepick said...

Democrats seem to have the impulse to protect their "guy" and ignore corruption and abuse in their own rank.

You assume they have a problem with abuse and corruption. Read any NYT's article on the IRS scandal, and you will see that a large number of Dems think that EVERY person that didn't vote for Obama should get reamed by the IRS. After all, by voting against Obama you showed that you are against taxes, which probably means you are a tax cheat. (Don't bother mentioning that Turbo Timmay and so many other high ranking officials are tax cheats - that's entirely different.)

Hyphenated American said...

"My understanding was that Rush and Fox News often gave attention to the topic."

I listen to Rush from time to time. Nope, he did not talk about the birth-issue. I don't remember much on the Fox news either.

yashu said...

Your sarcasm aside, the Birthers are a small fringe group, sort of like the true card carrying Communists within the Democrat Party....It was the job of the Democrat media to give those kooks the maximum publicity possible and discredit all Republicans using the ol' Saul Alinsky Broadbrush smear.

Cedarford is correct. Anyone well-acquainted with right-wing media (blogosphere, print, radio, TV)-- and not just the left-wing representation of the right-- would know this.

Mobys loved birtherism.

CNN & MSNBC, not FOX, were obsessed with birtherism.

Some of my favorite hard-core conservative blogs enforced a strict no-birtherism policy in the comments.

Take the Althouse blog as a sample (the dems/ libs here so often say the righties are extreme righties, right?).

There was Mick, and....

yeah, Mick.

Sure, Mick is representative of the Republicans/ conservatives on this blog.

Of course, Obama was very canny: by refusing to release a bulk of personal info, not called upon to release any of it by the MSM (who themselves refused to release things, like the Khalidi tape)-- info that other Presidents had released (or the MSM had dug up or would dig up) as a matter of course-- he exacerbated the right's sense of frustration.

It wasn't the birth certificate per se that was issue, but that one datum was part of a much larger pattern of obfuscation, dissimulation, secrecy, opacity, lies. (And MSM disinterest in digging much beyond the glossy Obama screen/ persona.)

When birtherism was authentic, I'd diagnose it as a metonymic obsession, standing in for a larger frustration/ preoccupation with "Obama" as a fictional (unvetted) construct.

It was this larger frustration that Trump (canny himself, qua PR construct) was appealing to, addressing, exploiting.

yashu said...

PS I'd wager that FOX did not devote a single prime time show (or show segment) to the topic of birtherism.

Whereas I recall CNN & MSNBC devoting a good number of shows & show segments to the topic.

phx said...

The charge was Fox News often gave attention to the topic. You don't have to do a lot of googling to discover that this is true.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2011/04/20/fox-news-goes-full-birther/178860

yashu said...

A perfect example of the way Obama and the Democrats use "birtherism," from today:

Jay Carney likens questions about Sebelius's HHS fundraising to questions about Obama's birth cerificate.

phx said...

Birthirism came from the right. It wasn't an invention of the left. Nor was it confined to some small extremist sect on the right - it gripped a lot of people all through the rank and file, and through the leadership. Some righties knew better and they almost begged those promoting birtherism to stop because it hurt the GOP and the right.

Sure the left exploited it, who wouldn't? The birthers on the right were asking for it. You can find several of them here on Althouse, that wouldn't take a lot of work.

If you want to deny any of this, fine. Go ahead and take the last word. But to my mind it's just a disingenuous denial.

yashu said...

Ugh. I avoid Media Matters like the plague, and you make me go there?

OK, just this once, I will.

From the evidence there, I don't see FOX going "full birther."

NB These are isolated quotes from different days-- not whole shows devoted to the topic (as I saw on CNN & MSNBC).

I see e.g. Hannity expressing the exasperation I was talking about: why not release the "stupid birth certificate" already, so we can move on? He's not interested in or advocating birtherism as a theory, but wondering about the political gambit of not releasing the birth certificate. WTF, just get it over with.

I thought the same thing, too.

I'm not interested in doing a fisking of Media Matters spin, but I'll just say that I went through all those quotes and I'm hard put to find anything really objectionable said by Hannity, Palin, or any of the other "FOX News personalities" there.

I may disagree with some opinions, they might have gotten some things wrong, but it all seems well within reason to me.

Of course, it was a distraction; of course, I wish Trump hadn't sucked up limited media oxygen on the birth certificate issue. Of course, it helped Obama.

But that's why I say Obama/ Axelrod was canny. There would have been no birthers if Obama had been half as transparent or forthcoming (or the MSM had been half as scrupulous in their vetting) as any other modern POTUS.

(And Trump was canny too, because he knew he could exploit the right's feelings of frustration, and that the sight of someone high-profile directly challenging and questioning Obama would provide some satisfaction.)

"Birtherism" as a theory may have originated on the right*; but as I said, it was a reaction to something real (and IMO troubling) about Obama qua political construct, and the MSM collusion in that construction.

Obama was canny enough to fan *those* specific flames (the concrete, limited, media-bite-size topic of the birth-certificate), because he'd much rather have the media cover the right's so-called obsession with his birth certificate than all the other questions about his past and present behavior.

So any *other* questions the right might have posed were always framed as: that's just like birtherism.

Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targetting-- just like birtherism, eh?

*I don't know whether birtherism came up during the primaries, from the Hillary campaign.

I suspect there were more (and more high-profile) Democratic truthers during the Bush administration than Republican birthers during the Obama administration.

And you tell me which is the more insane theory.

And trutherism was the least of it-- there were so many fantastical conspiracy theories about Bush, that stuff was rife among Democrats-- but those weren't made into a "ism" and covered as a phenomenon by the media.

Enough about birtherism.

The only ones bringing up birtherism today are Jay Carney and you. For good reason.

yashu said...

OK one last thing:

During the Bush days, theories as substantiated as "birtherism" were actually reported by the MSM and then defended as "fake but accurate."

phx said...

Cedarford - "The only group of Obama critics that have been wrong are the birther idiots and the Neocon/militarist crowd that believed "we owed it to the Noble Muslim Freedom Lovers" - to stay in Iraq another 10-20 years and start new wars of nation-building."

I didn't bring it up.

yashu said...

I didn't bring it up.

You're right. Fair enough.

Mark said...

What percentage boost does terror of an audit if you answer wrong get for Obama.

There's a reason ballots are secret.

bardseyeview said...

People sense what's coming. They're expecting Armageddon. They may not be able to write a pithy blog post comment, but they can find their way to the gun store.

What are you doing? Armageddon ready for Armageddon!

Every day that it doesn't come is a day you give credit to Bambi for postponing it. Hence the approval.

phx said...
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