So I think the people who question Obama's heritage are being annoying, but I don't think that's as bad as saying Bush caused 911 or knew about it and did nothing.It was worse to think Bush did it on purpose or knew about it and did nothing. I think it either comes from good brainwashing or a vicious need to hate your opponent (as far as the 911 stuff goes). I think the birthers are just beating a really dead horse and are being more annoying than anything else.
You can call it hand wringing, but the question and the ground work isn't as simple as a yes or no and we're not in a courtroom where a judge can compel you to answer yes or no to a loaded question.
I have no idea what the sample size was or the methodology of the poll. These days, I consider all telephone polls to be useless.
But you want a value judgement. Even that is hard to do here, because of the silliness factor involved. When I see Truthers on DU, am I certain that they actually believe Bush knew? Or are they people who feel they are playing a fair game of payback is a bitch? Do the Birthers honestly believe that Hillary Clinton let Barack Obama take the nomination knowing that he was ineligible? It's hard to imagine that anyone who accused the Clintons of being connected and diabolical, vengeful and ruthless would think that Hillary took one for the team. So we're not dealing with fully logical people, which doesn't mean that they can't make sense in other arguments or do a good job at work on Monday.
Some people, who would never dream of lying, stealing, or cheating in their day to day lives think that politics is a free for all.
So yes, from a pure standard of right or wrong, Bush knowing in advance of 9-11 would be worse than Obama fudging his birth certificate. But I don't think that claiming to believe one or the other carries the same moral difference.
I do think there is a commonality and to some extent it's born of the arrogance of the political class and the media who make their living at the pleasure of the White House.
In both cases there is some little lie which is escaping us which leaves the room for the theories to thrive.
To me it's like the OJ Simpson trial. My first inclination was that he was innocent. So I went into it with bias. Why? Because it didn't make sense. It still doesn't make sense. I watched the trial, and every time someone said to me that he would be convicted , I said, "Nope, he'll be acquitted." Why? Because they were all lying. And when everyone is lying, the jury will acquit.
I think what is worse is a president who could have dispelled the doubts of reasonable people (who did have them BTW) by the simple release of the long form BC. While there will be people that will continue to act like the farmer who, upon his first visit to a zoo, stood staring at the giraffe for an hour before walking away muttering, "There ain't no such a thing", Obama's reticence in release of a document that would largely settle the matter is at best absurdly foolish and at worst a political calculation.
Obama did release his "legal BC" according to Hawaii's laws, back in 2008. But know one really understood that, or just ignored the people who tried to explain it.
Hawaii had to wave its law to produce the "long form" to get it out there. It's not like Obama had it on his person. The state of Hawaii wasn't releasing the long form since he already had a legal document as far as they were concerned.
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