*"At this point, more than two years after the story first became public, no amount of evidence or argument is going to convince that remaining 27% that their belief about the President is wrong."
*"I disapprove of the President's job performance and I don't think that the President is Muslim, for example. Then again, I don't particularly care what the President's religious beliefs are..."
*"It is, quite honestly, easy to believe dark and conspiratorial things about a group of people when you don't know anyone who belongs to that group and when Fox News Channel is telling you that they're coming to destroy your country and your way of life."
*"...those who continue to spread the Obama is a Muslim lie do so on the assumption, if not the hope, that people will excerise religious prejudice toward Obama because they think he's a Muslim."
*"By spreading the Obama-is-a-Muslim lie, people are saying that a person's religion should disqualify them per se from public office.
Quite honestly, I can't think of anything more un-American."
Perhaps most troubling about all this isn't even the politics of the day, it's what this says about the "Growing Ignorance" of the American public: "Technology can archive, retrieve, manipulate and communicate more information, faster than ever before in human history, but the public seems to be losing their collective common sense for nonsense. It's a paradox of the Information Age." Thus, we have many of the same people who don't "believe" Barack Obama's a Christian also not "believing" in climate science, evolution, etc. Can someone please explain to me exactly how we are going to compete with China, India, et al. in the 21st century world economy if we are a nation of ignoramuses and xenophobes?
UPDATE: Joel Achenbach asks, "Are Americans total numbskulls?"
UPDATE #2: Howard Dean makes me happy I supported someone else (Wesley Clark) in 2003/2004. Ugh.
I can't believe I'm looking back on George W. Bush with nostalgia, but these words -- from a speech to Muslims at the White House on October 17, 2005, just 4 years after 9/11 -- make him seem like a raging liberal compared to Palin, Newt-ster, BONE-r, and the rest of today's Republican Islamophobes and crazies.
America is fortunate to count such good-hearted men and women among our fellow citizens. We have great respect for the commitment that all Muslims make to faith, family, and education. And Americans of many backgrounds seek to learn more about the rich tradition of Islam. To promote greater understanding between our cultures, I have encouraged American families to travel abroad, to visit with Muslim families. And I have encouraged American families to host exchange students from the Muslim world. I have asked young Americans to study the language and customs of the broader Middle East. And for the first time in our nation's history, we have added a Koran to the White House Library.Bush also said, "Extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against anyone who does not share their radical vision" and "The killers who take the lives of innocent men, women, and children are followers of a violent ideology very different from the religion of Islam."
All of us gathered tonight share a conviction that America must remain a welcoming and tolerant land, in which our people are free to practice any faith they choose. We reject every form of ethnic and religious discrimination. As I said in my second Inaugural Address, we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
Wow, I'm actually starting to like this Bush guy!