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Birthers and Truthers: The Political Calculus By: Tom Suhadolnik
American Thinker | Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Left and the MSM are filled with stories about the "crazy" Republican base melting down regarding where Obama was born.  Politico gives us a quantitative view of the political battle space with this Daily KOS/Research Poll on July 31, 2009.
A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn't born in the US (28 percent) or aren't sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was.
Details can be found here.

Stories about similar "crazy" Democrats during the Bush presidency never made it much past the right side of the blogosphere.

Rasmussen published this poll May 04, 2007.
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Details can be found here.

Without delving into debate about which belief is more outlandish, any mathematically competent observer would understand these ideas -- that Obama was not born in the US and Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks -- are outside the norm for most Americans.

65 percent of Democrats believing Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance (or are not sure) did not hurt the election of Obama.  Some would argue such virulent hatred of Bush actually helped people overlook many troubling aspects of Obama's past.

58 percent of Republicans believing Obama was not born in the US (or are not sure) is probably not going to be fatal to Republican chances of gaining ground in 2010 or 2012.

Although these polls and related news coverage do not help us address the underlying suspicions about Bush and Obama they do give us pretty clear guidance on other issues.

First, the hard core beliefs of the base (Democratic or Republican) do not seem to be either amplified or muted by the silence or criticism of the MSM. 

Second, the fact that the base of a party subscribes to rather unorthodox views of the other party's leader is not necessarily fatal in national politics. 

Third, the MSM continues to be more likely to carry a story critical of Republicans than Democrats.

Fourth, the Democrats and Republicans both are retreating deeper and deeper into their own parallel universes. 

No one except the more Machiavellian elements of either party should take comfort in the last point.  Healthy debate requires all sides to share some common truths and language to facilitate dialog.  There is never going to be much common ground between parallel universes.

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