The 'Birther' Metamyth

TV Arts

CBS News reports on another finding of the poll discussed in the item 
preceding this one:

	A quarter of all Americans incorrectly think President Obama 
	was not born in the United States, according to a new CBS 
	News/ New York Times poll.

	Among all Republicans, 45 percent believe he was born in 
	another country, as do 45 percent of Tea Party supporters, 
	the poll shows.

	Since the start of Mr. Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, 
	rumors have existed that he was born outside of the United 
	States. The "birther" myth has steadily persisted through 
	Mr. Obama's presidency, in spite of overwhelming evidence 
	he was born in the United States--including his 1961 birth 
	announcement, printed in two Hawaii newspapers.

One reason the birther myth has persisted is because the media keep 
bringing it up--including polling people about it, as if it were a 
matter of opinion.

But here's something that bothers us about the results of this 
particular poll: They give us the overall results (57% say yes, he was 
born in the U.S., 25% say no) and specific numbers for Republicans (33% 
and 45%) and "Tea Party supporters" (34% and 45%), but not for Democrats 
and independents. Presumably Democrats overwhelmingly answer yes, but it 
would be interesting to know which way the independents lean. It looks 
to us as if the purpose of asking the question was simply to make 
Republicans look foolish.

Pollsters could have done the same to Democrats during the presidency of 
George W. Bush, though most didn't. Politico's Ben Smith managed to 
track down an exception:

	I've been looking for a good analogue to the willingness 
	of Republicans to believe, or say they believe, that Obama 
	was born abroad, and one relevant number is the share of 
	Democrats willing to believe, as they say, that "Bush knew."

	There aren't a lot of great public numbers on the partisan 
	breakdown of adherents to that conspiracy theory, but the 
	University of Ohio yesterday shared with us the crosstabs 
	of a 2006 poll they did with Scripps Howard that's useful 
	in that regard.

	"How likely is it that people in the federal government 
	either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to 
	stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to 
	go to war in the Middle East?" the poll asked.

	A full 22.6% of Democrats said it was "very likely." Another 
	28.2% called it "somewhat likely."

Smith cautions that "I'm still not sure this represents actual belief, 
as opposed to a kind of trash talk about a president you hate"--a point 
that applies equally to Obama detractors who assent to birther nonsense. 
One wonders, too, if the liberal media's obsession with birtherism might 
be counterproductive inasmuch as it helps propagate the myth.
then maybe he should just show that long form BC and stop the madness
that will never happen . fraud of this nature is a federal crime .
He doesn't have it, dearie. Hawaii does and it does not give it out.

The one he released is fully dispositive and settles the matter:

Stupidity of your nature should be.