Republicans Think The Nuttiest Things

Yet another poll shows some of the bizarre and untrue things believed by many Americans, with Republicans far out in the lead in their belief for the absurd. John Avlon, author of Wingnuts, reports on a new Harris poll:

  • 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
  • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
  • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
  • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
  • Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”

Update: I wouldn’t trust the methodology of the poll to show exact numbers but the general trends appear valid. This is consistent with the rhetoric we are hearing from the right, along with previous polls such as one noted here. That poll showed that 63 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a socialist and that only 42 percent believe Obama was born in the United States.

Conservatives Having Second Thoughts About Scott Brown

Many conservatives saw Scott Brown’s victory as a sign that they can win big in November. They failed to take into account the fact that conditions can change very rapidly in politics, that Brown won largely due to situations unique to the particular election, and because Brown is more moderate than most Republicans.

Many conservatives were either unaware of Brown’s more moderate positions or were willing to ignore at the time. Now they are having second thoughts. The Boston Herald reports:

Brown’s backers from the insurgent Tea Party movement want to know if they’ve been had.

“We start to wonder whether we helped a RINO (Republican in name only) get into office,” said Tea Party activist Jeffrey McQueen, who traveled from Michigan to campaign for Brown in the final days of the Jan. 19 special election that rocked the nation.

“If it wasn’t for the Tea Party movement, Scott Brown wouldn’t have gotten that seat. We expect to see a true conservative in there.”

In fact, Democrats now say Brown’s election as the so-called “41st vote” to block Obama’s health-care overhaul inspired them to seek procedural means to bypass GOP efforts to derail the bill.

“Scott Brown’s election actually delivered health-care reform, because we didn’t need the 60 votes to make it happen. He delivered a significant victory in that,” Walsh said.

Besides falsely seeing his win as a victory for the far right, winning in Massachusetts led many Republicans to let down their guard, making it easier for the Democrats to pass health care reform.  Sam Stein writes:

One of the president’s closest advisers said on Tuesday that Republican opponents of health care reform let down their guard following Sen. Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, in the process allowing Democrats and the administration to make a final, successful push for the bill.

In an interview with the Huffington Post hours after the president signed health care reform into law, senior adviser David Axelrod pointed to that special election in late January as a pivotal point in the long path to passing legislation.

“Some of the steam went out of the opposition after that,” Axelrod said. “I think that people felt like they had made a statement. Perhaps they felt like they had killed health care reform… They thought the fight was over. And that [the president] couldn’t now succeed. I do believe that. And it is almost as if they had made the statement that they thought they had stopped the thing. And so it created a breathing space for us to regroup.”