John Rogers Is Still a Genius

John Rogers, in 2005:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?

Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?

Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?

John: … a bit low, actually.

Today, another birther suit is rejected, and the CNN write-up includes the following:

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in July found that 71% of Americans believed Obama definitely or probably was born in the United States, while 27% said he definitely or probably was not. The sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Crazification Factor may turn out to be the seminal theory of our time.






174 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Ahhh…it’s nice to know birferism is still the new black.

  2. 2
    Progressive Elitist says:

    I have been citing the Crazification Factor in casual conversation for years (now all my friends/family/colleagues are familiar with the theory) thanks to you all and now anytime a poll comes in for something stupid like this or death panels, I always look to see if its within the MOE of 27%.

    Is there a wikipedia page for it yet?

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    John Rogers deserves a Nobel Prize for discovering the Crazification Factor.

  4. 4
    dr. bloor says:

    Grand Unifying Theories have come and gone in psychology for 150 years now, but this is the one that may have legs.

    BTW, having the Tunch “FEED” graphic to choose from when sharing via Facebook is Teh Awesome.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Yeah, well… consider: is there anyone who doesn’t have a crazy uncle/aunt? And they vote, you betcha.

  6. 6
    Seanly says:

    Its a great theory. However do we need to recognize that some places like my current domicile South Carolina are way more crazy than 27%.

  7. 7
    matoko_chan says:

    Does that mean conservatism is memetic selection for crazy?
    Because 72% of the GOP likely primary voters are birthers.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    The Crazification Factor may turn out to be the seminal theory of our time.

    Well, it certainly won’t be Peak Wingnut, that’s for sure.
    Since it was a lie and all.

  9. 9
    Stefan says:

    Here’s what I don’t get about the Birthers: while Obama’s father was a black man from Kenya, there’s no question his mother was Stanley Anne Dunham from Wichita, Kansas, who was an 18 year old living in Hawaii at the time she became pregnant. For Obama to have been born in Kenya, we’d have to assume that, for whatever reason, a several months pregnant 18 year white American girl would have travelled from Hawaii to Kenya, at great personal cost and expense, in the year 1964, and then hotfooted it back to the US three weeks after Obama’s birth in August to begin her classes at the University of Washington in September.

    Why would she do this? How would she do this? No explanation or rationale is plainly offered.

    But I think I know why the Birthers have developed this obsession: while Obama’s mother was white, his father was black, and his father’s blackness overwhelms all else for them, even the basic rule of biology — so it’s as if he must have been “born” by his black father in Kenya, rather than by his white mother in the US.

  10. 10
    long ago says:

    it’s almost like a physical constant or something. like the gravitational constant, or avogadro’s number.

    but shouldn’t it be expressed in the appropriate unit of measurement, too?

    like, maybe milli-morans?

  11. 11
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Stefan: I heard rumblings about something because she wasn’t quite 18, she wasn’t considered a citizen yet by some archaic law, so therefore, WOLVERINES!

    I think this is the grand unifying theory of all times–some people are just crazy.

  12. 12
    Jerome says:

    Jon’s “I Miss Republicans” is also a brilliant and still-applicable meditation on the destruction of the Republican party.

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    @long ago: The constant, when found and suitably non-dimensionalized, will be used to calculate the properties of the wingularity.

    Asymptotic behavior, concentration of stupid, distance in dark-years to the center of the road,
    how a lie can make three trips around the earth before the truth even gets its boots on,….

  14. 14

    That 27% is almost exactly the percentage of Teabaggers (active or Teabagger-curious).

    AKA “Bush dead enders”. I think you can guess which of their “ends” is “dead”.

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    So Democrats needs to realize that there are 30million people that will vote against them even if they had the cure for cancer and the Republican caused everyone to get cancer. The party already starts in this hole.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @Stefan: If you, like the teabaggers, consider Stanley Anne Dunham to be a race traitor, then it is not much of a stretch to consider her not really American in the way John McCain’s mother is. When wingnuts hate you all things are possible.

    If it doesn’t stop snowing here I think I am going to join the 27% of crazies in this country.

  17. 17
    Redshirt says:

    I keep going back to Post Modernism, and how these Neocons are the greatest practitioners of Post Modernism the world has ever seen. They clearly have the ability to make up whatever they want, and that enters the public realm and we then all have to deal with it, as if it were real.

    It makes me salivate at the PHD possibilities – imagine if you could tap into this network for science! Testing various responses, various methodologies, various techniques in an almost perfect scientific vacuum – The Echo Chamber! Where nothing is real but your latest thesis.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Seanly:

    Well, that’s balanced by places like Oregon and Washington, where our crazies are probably much lower than 27% of the total population.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    Crazyfication…I love that.

  20. 20
    Delia says:

    What is it about the number 27? For example, there’s the famous 27 Club of legendary rock stars who die at the age of 27 (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc.). I would expect a Grand Unifying Theory of Crazification to take this corollary into account.

  21. 21
    KG says:

    @Stefan: well, obviously, Dunham’s attendance records were forged to make it look like she came back in time for her classes. And her travel was obviously paid for by the anti-imperialist/communist movement so that Obama could be born in an African country, then grow up in the United States (with the exception of those four years that he was Indonesia… and his attendance records in elementary and high school were probably forged too), and be groomed to become president of the United States. Because, even ten years ago, people believed that a black man could actually be elected president… um, wait, what?

  22. 22
    geg6 says:

    Heh. Indeedy.

    I first explained the Crazification Factor to my John a few weeks ago and he scoffed. Since then, we have taken to paying close attention to all polling, especially some of the more detailed parts.

    Suffice it to say, my John is now a loud proponent of the Crazification Factor.

    We use it all the time now in discussions with friends regarding any and all political issues. They are shocked and amazed to see that we are right. They think we are political geniuses. We, of course, never give John Rogers any credit.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Peak Wingnut” is more along the lines of “how crazy will the 27% inclined to it get?”

    The answer to that seems what Einstein was talking about when comparing the universe to human stupidity.

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    @Progressive Elitist:

    Is there a wikipedia page for it yet?

    I found this.
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Crazification_factor

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    There’s a DeLorean involved in that entire scenario you laid out, you missed it somewhere. You know, where they go back and plant the birth announcements in the Honolulu papers?

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We have at *least* our share of crazies. White supremacists still have their annual weenie roast on Whidby Island.

  27. 27
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    @Stefan: __

    Why would she do this? How would she do this? No explanation or rationale is plainly offered required.

    Fixed that for ya.

  28. 28
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Stefan: I have to take issue with one part of the story there, it was discovered by the fine folks at Politijab and The Fogbow (by our dear departed and sadly missed Ellie Wyatt IIR) that Anne was actually taking “distance learning” classes and was not physically present on campus in Seattle.

    Nevertheless it no longer matters to the birfers, seeing as most of their major theories have been thoroughly debunked (and laughed at) they have all now become true De Vatellites and say that POTUS is not an NBC and therefore inelligible to be POTUS cause his Dad was a British Citizen. Cause you have to have two NBC parents AND born in the US to be an NBC SO THERE!

    Of course this doesn’t seemed to have disqualified any other POTUS with so called “dual allegiance” in the past but there was obviously something about THOSE presidents that is different about Obama. Hmmmmmm (rubs chin a la Jon Stewart) I wonder what it could be…

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    @KG:

    Because, even ten years ago, people believed that a black man could actually be elected president… um, wait, what?

    It’s kinda like when Kennedy said we were going to put a man on the moon. Only executed over a much longer time frame. And with the help of the communists. And not filmed by Stanley Kubrick in a Hollywood basement.

  30. 30
    JohnR says:

    Absolutely – ever since I saw this, I’ve seen almost every day some evidence of the Crazy 27% in information sources from all over the world. I think that magic 27% may really be the sign of some Grand Unified Crazification Theory that somebody should go about developing. Maybe a mathematician; they’re already living in that world, after all. Or better yet, a behavioral statistician with a foundation in theoretical mathematics.

  31. 31
    matoko_chan says:

    @Stefan: No. Birtherism is subliminated racism. Being openly racist in contemporary America is taboo.
    That is why Breitbart is always screaming liberals are the real racists.
    And the fascinating thing to me is that the GOP elites cannot seem to turn birtherism off.
    There are more birthers now in the GOP than at last years CPAC. From about 67% (confusion due to Research 2000’s questionable polling) up to 72%, in spite of a full court press by the elites to turn it off.
    That is why I think Palin will get the nom. The elites are trying to turn Palinism off now.
    I think it cannot be done.

  32. 32
    Karmakin says:

    I don’t know if it’s amazing or if it’s frightening how well that 27% theory works.

  33. 33
    Loneoak says:

    This metric bothers me a little. Lets say we ran the craziest Democrat, say Mike Gravel, against the sanest Republican, say John Huntsman, in similar conditions to the Keyes vs. Obama race. Are all of you willing to say it would be crazy to vote for Gravel? If not, then this more or less just about identifying craziness with GOP political beliefs.

    Birthers? Definitely crazy. Voting for your party even if you hate the clinically crazy candidate running on your ticket? Maybe not so crazy.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Of course this doesn’t seemed to have disqualified any other POTUS with so called “dual allegiance” in the past but there was obviously something about THOSE presidents that is different about Obama. Hmmmmmm (rubs chin a la Jon Stewart) I wonder what it could be…

    Hmmm…something about Obama being near?

  35. 35
    Roberto says:

    Seminal?

    Or semenal — as in I, as a man, would like to fornicate with and impregnate it?

  36. 36
    sukabi says:

    while 27% of the population may indeed be crazy, they are encouraged and fed by 73% of pundits, politicians and propaganda puke funnels that control the conversation in this country…

    in other words, there’s no controlling the insane beasty until the trainers are replaced.

  37. 37
    LanceThruster says:

    My friend Bernie the Attorney’s Theory of Everything (TOE) is the 80-20 rule. In any population or sub-group, there will be a ratio of fanatics and hardcores verses everyone else that breaks down around these numbers. Not only can they flip the percentages depending on the intensity of the core group, but that much like fractals, the ratio remains pretty constant regardless of magnification or reduction.

    If you look at the voting dichotomy, there’s 20% “fanatics” from either side. The effectiveness of propaganda is that with the 60% of more or less moderate positions within those two extremes, US elections are generally won under the 50% +1 voting system (in essence, an additional 30% +1). That’s why Rove and Fox and Beck and other propaganda outlets do not concern themselves with facts. It’s that 50% +1 they can achieve tapping into the pool of low information voters.

    That’s why Bernie the Attorney is moving to New Zealand. He’s determined that the US voting population is getting meaner and less informed (i.e. “stupider”) and that does not bode well for his step-son who will reach “draft” age in about 5 years. Bernie sees that the trend for jobless recoveries always involves warfare to keep disaffected youth busy, and that a draft is not out of the question. He says his son would not be a good fit for the military.

    He feels the propaganda put forth at all levels and from every power block (media, government, academic, corporate) is so entrenched and generally in service to a particular elite, that the likelihood of peeling away the blinders is pretty much non-existent.

    I tend to agree.

  38. 38
    cleek says:

    @Stefan:

    Why would she do this? How would she do this? No explanation or rationale is plainly offered.

    some also speculate that she flew from HI to Washington State (“or perhaps British Columbia, Canada”!!) at a clinic for unwed mothers, to have the baby, then flew back to get him registered in HI.

    but, the better explanation is that they went to Kenya because Obama Sr was already married to another woman when he married Barack’s mother, so the marriage could have only happened in Kenya, where polygamy was/is(?) legal. she gave birth in Kenya, then flew back to HI to get him registered.

    It is not an unreasonable thesis that what happened was that they went to Kenya, got married; her parents had kicked her out so she stayed in Kenya; got stuck because she was too pregnant to get on the airplane; Obama was born there; she immediately got on an airplane; on Mercer Island in August, 1961; on to Honolulu where she files some form of notice of birth.

    a lot of this apparently hings on the fact that his mother had to ask her friend to teach her how to change diapers.

    good stuff!

  39. 39
    Loneoak says:

    @Redshirt:

    For fuck’s sake, please stop mis-appropriating post-modernism in this way.

  40. 40
    MattR says:

    I have always thought that someone should start a blog devoted to tracking appearances of the number 27 (thecrazificationfactor.com), but I am too lazy to do it myself.

  41. 41
    Stefan says:

    I heard rumblings about something because she wasn’t quite 18, she wasn’t considered a citizen yet by some archaic law, so therefore, WOLVERINES!

    Right, but again, why would a 18 year old, several months pregnant, college freshman, white American girl leave the comfort and safety of Honolulu, Hawaii for Kenya in 1964? They never have a reason or an answer for that.

    To assume that Obama was born in Kenya, you also have to assume that his mother was living in Kenya at the time, but that’s plainly crazy — so they seem to ignore the role that his mother played in his pregnancy, and just kind of take it on faith that he was carried to term and born by his father….

  42. 42
    Paul in KY says:

    @matoko_chan: Either conciously or unconciously.

    Unless you’re really, really rich. Then it’s like a club for you.

  43. 43

    @long ago: Possible FTW material.
    Enjoy.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Stefan:

    Right, but again, why would a 18 year old, several months pregnant, college freshman, white American girl leave the comfort and safety of Honolulu, Hawaii for Kenya in 1964? They never have a reason or an answer for that.

    I have an answer for this.

    It’s because it’s what Sarah Palin would have done to make sure her kid was born a native Alaskan.

    Once again, it’s projection.

  45. 45
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Bullshit.

    Ever been to the east side of those two states? Go rural in either area and see how many Obama signs you see. I grew up there with the “mountain people” all my life. My parents still tough it out as the only bleeding heart liberals within a ten square mile radius.

  46. 46
    Stefan says:

    No. Birtherism is subliminated racism. Being openly racist in contemporary America is taboo.

    What do you mean, “no”? That’s exactly what I said above:

    But I think I know why the Birthers have developed this obsession: while Obama’s mother was white, his father was black, and his father’s blackness overwhelms all else for them, even the basic rules of biology—so it’s as if he must have been “born” by his black father in Kenya, rather than by his white mother in the US.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @KG:

    And her travel was obviously paid for by the anti-imperialist/communist movement so that Obama could be born in an African country, then grow up in the United States (with the exception of those four years that he was Indonesia… and his attendance records in elementary and high school were probably forged too), and be groomed to become president of the United States.

    All of which is just so much more convenient than actually letting him be born in the United States so the eebil capitalists couldn’t stop him even if they wanted to.

    Wait, what?

  48. 48
    Paul in KY says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Can’t leave out fact that Mr. Obama (the elder) was a British citizen. Also. Too.

  49. 49
    matoko_chan says:

    @LanceThruster: conservatism is selection for crazy and christianity is selection for stupid. Possibly there is a non-negative correlation for stupid and crazy.
    But we are seeing an accumulating concentration of both birthers(72%) and christians(99%) in the GOP.
    Kind of like simulated annealling or possibly chemical aggregation.

  50. 50
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It seems a lot higher than 27% in my universe.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    Ah, but I was talking about the total population of those two states. It’s quite true that east of the Cascades, you’ve got LOTS of crazy.

    East of the Cascades has a much lower population density than the west side.

    Also, there’s a pretty serious urban vs. rural split. Portland and Eugene, in Oregon, pretty much decide statewide elections for Dems, even though to the east and south of those two cities the crazy factor is higher, but with lower population densities, they don’t decide the outcome.

  52. 52
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Loneoak: Two things. This wouldn’t happen. Despite the fact that some on the left would like Gravel to run for prez in 2012, no way he makes it to be the Democratic candidate. And, the corollary is that the choices for sane Republicans is very slim, indeed.

    Second, I just may vote for Huntsman over Gravel if I thought that was what’s best for the country over all. Voting for Sarah Palin (and by extension, McCain) is just batshitcrazy.

    @Paul in KY: Which proves that he hates the British and is anti-imperialist which is a bad thing because WOLVERINES!

  53. 53
    artem1s says:

    @Stefan:

    while Obama’s mother was white, his father was black, and his father’s blackness overwhelms all else for them, even the basic rule of biology—so it’s as if he must have been “born” by his black father in Kenya, rather than by his white mother in the US

    seems the same for all those rabid Tiger Woods haters out there. They only see the Black father, never the Asian mother.

  54. 54
    cleek says:

    @Stefan:

    To assume that Obama was born in Kenya, you also have to assume that his mother was living in Kenya at the time

    and that’s exactly what they assume.

  55. 55
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @cleek:

    It is a constant joy to point their inconsistencies out to the birfers, only to have them move the goal posts once again. As Patrick McKinnon says at Badfiction “Birtherism is, in many respects, the very ugly offspring of a drunken night between PUMA and Freepers.”

  56. 56
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Don’t forget the flux capacitor! Your standard stainless DeLorean can only travel forward in time (if you can get it to travel at all).

  57. 57
    Napoleon says:

    @JohnR:

    I think that magic 27% may really be the sign of some Grand Unified Crazification Theory

    I am pretty sure that some of the Nazca Lines are in the shape of 27%.

  58. 58
    Svensker says:

    Does this 27% thing work in other countries? Or is it just a something else “special” about Murka?

  59. 59
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Loneoak:

    The thing is that these hypothetical races are just that, hypothetical.

    For some time I’ve theorized a corollary to the Crazifaction Factor theory, which is that prior to 1991 the 27% were more evenly split between the left and the right, but since the fall of the USSR and communism becoming a global laughingstock, most of the crazy people have gravitated to the right because there isn’t any power remaining on the left worth talking about (after all, being an authoritarian personality in a powerless political movement would be like being a nymphomaniac stranded alone on a desert island).

    At some point since 1991 so many crazy people have moved to the right that they’ve reached critical mass within the GOP and have been able to take over.

  60. 60
    Stefan says:

    but, the better explanation is that they went to Kenya because Obama Sr was already married to another woman when he married Barack’s mother, so the marriage could have only happened in Kenya, where polygamy was/is(?) legal. she gave birth in Kenya, then flew back to HI to get him registered.

    Which means they also must have forged their Feb. 1961 Mauai marriage certificate, as well as all the records of Barack Obama Sr.’s classes and coursework at the University of Hawaii for the 1961 spring semester!

    We’re through the looking glass here, people…..

    Correction: I’ve been writing 1964 as the year of Obama’s birth. It was actually 1961.

  61. 61
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This Urban vs. Rural thing is pretty much par for the course with the rest of the U.S. too. Sad but true. Rural is nice if you can see past the crazy…

  62. 62
    Brachiator says:

    @Stefan:

    Why would she do this? How would she do this? No explanation or rationale is plainly offered.

    Crazy theories are immune to any rational explanation. I can’t even imagine what air travel from Hawaii to Kenya would have cost, or how much time it would have taken, in 1964, even if I were trying to consider a “possible” explanation. But even this falls away when I consider the plain fact of the birth announcement in the local Hawaii papers. And common sense.

    But ultimately the birthers need some sick fantasy on which to hang their denial and psychological discomfort over Obama’s election.

    That 27 percent of the country and a high number of Republicans cling to this is really sad.

  63. 63
    Redshirt says:

    @Loneoak: Deal with it. I just made my own reality, and now you’re living in it.

    I see how this game works!

  64. 64
    matoko_chan says:

    @Stefan: You are attributing a semi-rational thought process to birtherism.
    That is what I mean by no.
    To birthers, Obama is black, whatever his heritage.
    Birthers dont rationalize.
    Other wise they would not be be birthers.

  65. 65
    The Moar You Know says:

    If you, like the teabaggers, consider Stanley Anne Dunham to be a race traitor, then it is not much of a stretch to consider her not really American in the way John McCain’s mother is. When wingnuts hate you all things are possible.

    @beltane: The current term in vogue amongst the racist teabagging scum is “coalburner”. And since the theory they currently subscribe to is that blacks are not even human (not a joke, and don’t click this link unless you want to be pissed for the rest of the day), then it would naturally follow that Obama could not possibly be a citizen.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Svensker:

    Some poll in Russia recently found that 36 odd percent thought that Stalin was a swell guy.

    I might add that I refudiate those people, and broccoli as well.

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @LanceThruster: Can’t disagree in general with a move to NZ, but they’ll never bring back the draft.

  68. 68
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Redshirt:

    I keep going back to Post Modernism, and how these Neocons are the greatest practitioners of Post Modernism the world has ever seen. They clearly have the ability to make up whatever they want, and that enters the public realm and we then all have to deal with it, as if it were real.

    I definitely agree with this. They’ve been astonishingly good at taking postmodernism from being undergrad-bait literary theory and making it an actual political movement. It’s pretty damn remarkable if you sit back and look at it.

    This is also why I consider Michael Scott to be the biggest neocon on TV: He makes up his own world and imposes it on others, forcing them to at the very least make concessions to him and his nuttiness.

  69. 69
    shawntos says:

    And they have the House now and probably the Senate in 2012.

  70. 70
    Stefan says:

    after all, being an authoritarian personality in a powerless political movement would be like being a nymphomaniac stranded alone on a desert island).

    Believe me, it’s no fun.

  71. 71
    Loneoak says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Of course it wouldn’t happen, but the point of a thought experiment is illuminate how you are using your evidence to support your claim, not to show what really happens.

    How much of that 27% is just party loyalty? Is it crazy to be ill informed and lazy/passive about voting, or does craziness need to be active and affirmative? Are the voters crazy, or are the party leaders crazy? Is it crazier to vote for Keyes than it is to actually handpick him as your candidate (as the IL GOP did)? Is the 27% crazier than the 1% that sets GOP opinion on Fox News? Are they actually venal or just well manipulated by a media empire dedicated to manipulating them?

    It might just be me, but I think ‘crazy’ is a very poor-resolution explanation for things like this. I really do believe that you could get 27% of a populace to vote for Gravel, including possibly me. And I’m not crazy, nor ill-informed and passive.

  72. 72
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator:

    a high number of Republicans cling to this is really sad.

    72% of likely GOP primary voters.

  73. 73
    Napoleon says:

    @Svensker:

    Well since I saw somewhere yesterday if French elections were held today La Pen (sp?) would lead in votes in the first round I would say that no, its not just an American thing.

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I can’t argue with your logic ;-)

  75. 75
    kd bart says:

    The funny thing is that in the 2008 election, there was a Presidential candidate who was born outside of the 50 United States. John McCain was born in then US controlled Panama Canal Zone.

  76. 76
    Doug says:

    I believe that 27% is a low number, as the Alan Keyes support only came from the right. I believe that there is a different brand of crazy on the left, though I am uncertain what percentage. Either way, the populations must be added together, along with crazy independents.

  77. 77
    Keith G says:

    Via CBS, AP is reporting that Obama is “allowing new military terror trials at Quantanamo.”

    No detials given.

  78. 78
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: There are local variations in crazification, probably based on density, <a href=" just as there is with gravity, with Hawaii, of all places, a special case….

  79. 79
    Paul in KY says:

    @matoko_chan: That is a very rational explanation of Birther ‘logic’.

    Well done!

  80. 80
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Do liberals/Democrats have a “crazy 27%” that always seems to pop-up in polling questions? If not 27%, is there constant percentage that always seems to hold the crazy gene? And what sort of “crazy” ideas/positions do they hold that helps other determine that they’re crazy?

  81. 81
    Alex S. says:

    @LanceThruster:

    the 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle

  82. 82
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Loneoak: It’s a useless exercise because there is no chance it would happen. There is no reverse situation that is plausible, and therefore just to revert the positions and assume everything else would remain the same is faulty. Therefore, you saying you might vote for Gravel is meaningless because the situation would have to be so outlandish for this to happen.

    I’m not arguing that there are many reasons someone may vote a certain way, but I think the persistent 27% outlier and the fact that many of them overlap on many ideas lends to a unification theory. Not, perhaps, clinically crazy, but appallingly and willfully ignorant? I can go with that. I take crazy to be tongue-in-cheek, though I would agree that anyone voting for Alan Keyes over Barack Obama is batshitcrazy.

    @kd bart: Yes. And yet, no one had any qualms about that. Why might that be?*

    *I know why it is is, and I know it was all legal. It just amuses me in a dark, bitter way.

  83. 83
    carolus says:

    I’m not convinced a lot of birthers actually believe Obama was born abroad. To my mind, many birthers are trying to paint Obama’s presidency as illegitimate and are just interested in throwing mud to see if anything gains traction.

    If you go to WineBox Althouse, most of the birthers will explain they believe Obama was born in Hawaii but that his birth certificate contains super-secret info such as being Muslim.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I would’ve thought the dividing line was 1968. Before that, the crazies were indeed evenly split between Republicans (the John Bircher/McCarthyist ultranationlist and often racist psychos) and Democrats (the Dixiecrat “segregation now, segregation forever” crowd).

    Starting in the sixties, the two crazies converged together within the GOP, giving us the party we have now.

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    @shawntos:

    probably the Senate in 2012.

    doubtful.

  86. 86
    Loneoak says:

    @Redshirt:

    Yeah, the problem with asserting that Post-Modernism means “everybody gets to create their own reality!” is that P-M, or really post-structuralism, is a liberatory philosophy that is dedicated to pointing out that realities are created within uneven power structures. It’s about overturning Grand Narratives that have contributed to oppressions, i.e. racism, sexism, heterosexism, colonialism, etc. The point of it is that you CAN’T create your own reality, because it’s created for you by people who want to fuck you over. Undermining those Grand Narratives is about enabling the oppressed to build lives that are not dominated by the powerful from top to bottom, not about ‘anything goes.’ It’s insulting for you to misrepresent it such.

    In other words, you misunderstand post-modernism in exactly the same way as those retarded conservatives you think you are mocking.

  87. 87
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    The 9-11 truthers might be a good place to start. The Powers That Be on the center-left have invested a lot of effort in marginalizing them, which shows you the difference between the two sides right now. On the right, crazy = a ladder which leads upward (whether it goes all the way to the top or not, well that’s what the 2012 primaries are going to tell us), on the left crazy = a one-way ticket to the memory hole.

  88. 88
    theturtlemoves says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, that’s balanced by places like Oregon and Washington, where our crazies are probably much lower than 27% of the total population.

    I wouldn’t say there are less than 27% crazies in either state, but we do segregate the vast majority of them to the Eastern sides. Spokane isn’t exactly a hotbed of liberalism, what with all the Aryan nations folks.

  89. 89
    JPL says:

    Not sure this was mentioned because I did not read all of the comments but the article also stated that

    The largest support for the idea he was definitely or probably not born in the United States was among Republicans, at 41%, compared with Independents, at 29%, and Democrats, at 15%.

    How many of those 41% run statehouses that are trying to make it harder for some including college students to vote?
    Voting while batshit crazy is okay, but an educated electorate is not.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    But even this falls away when I consider the plain fact of the birth announcement in the local Hawaii papers. And common sense.

    Not to mention the several eyewitnesses, like the retired nurse who remembers the attending doctor telling her about the unusual name the parents gave their baby, or the current governor of Hawaii, who is a friend of the family and has been (IIRC) since before the president was born.

    There’s a ridiculously huge mountain of evidence that you have to ignore in order to stay a birther.

  91. 91
    Svensker says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The current term in vogue amongst the racist teabagging scum is “coalburner”. And since the theory they currently subscribe to is that blacks are not even human (not a joke, and don’t click this link unless you want to be pissed for the rest of the day),

    Good God.

    Wow.

    I think the guy got the part backwards about who evolved where, though. If there’s any subhuman thang going on, it’s him and his followers.

    Now I need a bath and some heavy duty meditation.

  92. 92
    Prometheus Shrugged says:

    Shouldn’t John Rogers at least share the Nobel Prize with Tyrone?

  93. 93

    That 27% hand out at Redstate, HumanEvents, Malkin’s and Hoft’s websites and FreeRepublic.

    They believe any bit of vileness that comes their way. They feed off of negativity. I’m not much of a believer in Angels and Demons and the such but if I ever had to chose between who I thought was a Demon I would chose those troglodytes.

    They are scum of the earth. They’ve perverted religion and decency in sinister ways to justify the ugliness they portray.

  94. 94
    matoko_chan says:

    @Paul in KY: It is illogical. Birtherism is like a religious belief at this point.
    That is why presenting facts just increases the salience of the falsehood.
    Like the WH and the state of hawaii presenting birth certificates.
    It is called backfire effect.
    That is why the conservative elite can’t suppress birtherism.
    And why I think Palin will get the nom if she runs.
    The elite cannot turn off the Palinism either.
    They are trying quite hard.
    Dig Ponnuru.

    Not to mention ugly. Palin is not the type of politician who ignores unfair attacks. Instead she invites her fans to share her grievances. Any presidential candidate, and especially a polarizing one, will be on the receiving end of a lot of cheap shots. (Also on the other end.) Count on her or her supporters to turn every dismissive remark or ambiguous statement into a sexist or elitist putdown of millions of voters — and to make sure that everyone hears about every actual offense against her.

    This NRO piece just drips disdain for Palin, and NRO were her biggest supporters up to the midterms.
    A sea-change.

  95. 95
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Stefan:

    The opposite of Jeebus.

  96. 96
    Silver says:

    @Stefan:

    That goes back a long ways. One drop of mongrel blood taints the whole brood.

    They are stupid and racist fucks. Or, as I like to call them in shorthand, Americans.

  97. 97
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    I would have picked 1981 (i.e. the Reagan admin) as the starting point of this process whereby the crazy began to slip the leash it was wearing, but it seems to me that it was after GHB left office that the less-insane establishment wing of the GOP starting really losing its grip over the wingnuts. Ask yourself, would any of Nixon, Ford or GHB be welcome (much less at the top) in today’s GOP? If not, when did that happen? It seems to me that this secular change in the GOP and the end of the Cold War are awfully close in time. Perhaps this is just a coincidence. Something for future historians to argue over.

  98. 98
    dmsilev says:

    Birtherism: The narrative that would have made Philip K. Dick throw up his hands and say “that’s too weird for me to follow”.

    dms

  99. 99
    Nutella says:

    @kd bart:

    But a white guy born in Panama is obviously more American than a black guy born in Hawaii. Duh.

  100. 100
    cs says:

    re: Hypothetical crazy democrat vs. the (very rare) sane republican

    I played this game in 1994 when I was in Kansas. The corrupt and somewhat unstable Governor, Joan Finney (D), was challenged by Bill Graves (R). Mr. Graves was one of those rare politicos without any trace of slime or ill-intent, and generally seemed like an honorable guy. These days the teabaggers would probably despise him and call him a RINO.

    So for the first and only time in my life, I voted for the Republican. And from what I barely remember about Kansas politics, he was a very good governor.

    But that was a different time. Now, almost 20 years later, I’d vote for Finney or stay home, if that election was to be repeated. There’s too much at stake now to ever give a Republican power, even a decent one like Graves.

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    @matoko_chan: I hope you are right about Palin running. I know Pres. Obama could whup her bad.

    The debates would be epic! As long as he remains patient & understanding as he rips her points to shreds.

    The one who scares me is Daniels from Indiana. He can pretend very convincingly to not be crazy & he looks real pious.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    Do liberals/Democrats have a “crazy 27%” that always seems to pop-up in polling questions? If not 27%, is there constant percentage that always seems to hold the crazy gene? And what sort of “crazy” ideas/positions do they hold that helps other determine that they’re crazy?

    I would not be at all surprised if the crazy 27% on the liberal side pops up in the anti-vaccination movement. There are probably quite a few people who voted for Obama who think it’s safer to leave your child unprotected from epidemic disease than it is to get them vaccinated.

  103. 103
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    @Prometheus Shrugged: I’m glad somebody else pointed this out.

    Cole is a raaaaaaaacist!

  104. 104
    matoko_chan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: It’s pure Nixon. Haven’t you been following the bookclub?
    50 years of race-baiting and IQ-baiting have lead to today’s GOP.
    And the elites cannot turn it off now that they need to.

  105. 105
    MikeJ says:

    @Paul in KY: Spewakign of debates, the Regan lie-berry debates are fast approaching and still nobody has signed up.

    Will Charlie Sheen be the Republican candidate?

  106. 106

    I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

    I think it’s closer to 20%. IN fact, give or take, I always say it’s about one-eighth. 1/8 of the population is certifiably crazy. You know there might have been a few percent of voters in that Illinois election who voted for Keyes to “send a message” or because they’d never, ever vote for a Democrat regardless of how batshit the candidate was or who for whatever reason OTHER than being batshit insane themselves voted the way they did.

    But you always, always, come back to that 20% of the population being batshit insane.

    • 20% believes Obama is Muslim.

    • 27% believe Obama is not American-born. Of that number, I say 20% are batshit insane, and the remaining % is divided among the uninformed, the people who WANT to believe it for political reasons, and the uneducated who don’t know where Hawaii is.

    And then:

    • 20% of Americans self-identify as Republicans. ’nuff said,

  107. 107
    geg6 says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    And what sort of “crazy” ideas/positions do they hold that helps other determine that they’re crazy?

    Well, I have no idea what percentage they are, but PUMAs and Firebaggers would seem to make up most of them, IMHO. And their ideas are basically that Obama sucks and all Dems except for them are NOT REAL DEMS.

  108. 108
    matoko_chan says:

    @Paul in KY: please. Daniels is 5’3″.
    The last time America elected a president more than 3 inches under the national average he had just won the war between the states.
    And there was no terebi.

  109. 109

    Dammit my comment got embargoed. I am so sick of that. I swear I didn’t use any naughty words.

    Well my point was that the crazification factor is really closer to 20%. It’s always 20% who believe in birtherism, tentherism, alien abductions and self-identify as Republicans. ’nuff said.

  110. 110
    Chris says:

    @carolus:

    Krugman weighed in on this a little while ago, linking to two articles by other people talking about the “birther” syndrome and weighing in a little himself.

    One of the articles he linked to (John Quiggin) said this:

    […] birtherism is a shibboleth, that is, an affirmation that marks the speaker as a member of their community or tribe. […] Asserting a belief that would be too absurd to countenance for anyone outside a given tribal/ideological group makes for a good political shibboleth.

    The other one (Jonathan Chait) partly agrees

    […] some conservatives who espouse the belief that Obama is a Muslim or a non-citizen don’t quite literally believe this. They believe it and don’t believe it at the same time — they believe it is the kind of thing Obama would do, whether or not he’s actually done it.

    but then he goes on to say that many conservatives really *do* believe it, and that it’s a syndrome of the belief that

    they enjoy access to truth that is denied Americans who are brainwashed by the mainstream media. The believe that Fox News is not just a network that counteracts the biased liberal media, or even a network that reports the stories that the liberal media ignore, but the vehicle for Truth.

    Full articles here (http://crookedtimber.org/2011/02/17/shibboleths/) and here (http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath.....agnotology) with Paul Krugman’s commentary here (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....gnotology/). Interesting thoughts in all cases.

  111. 111
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Nixon used the crazies in masterful fashion to get power, but ideologically he wasn’t a John Bircher or Goldwaterite. Look at his legislative record working with a (by today’s standards very liberal) Dem controlled Congress, his proposal regarding health insurance or minimum income, or what he did with imposing wage and price controls to try to tame inflation. If nothing else, Nixon was a Keynesian, which is heresy on the right these days. The crazy today is so bad it makes Nixon look rational and moderate by comparison.

  112. 112
    Stefan says:

    The 9-11 truthers might be a good place to start. The Powers That Be on the center-left have invested a lot of effort in marginalizing them, which shows you the difference between the two sides right now.

    Don’t forget, also, too, that there’s quite a few 9-11 Truthers on the right side of the spectrum. A lot of crazy which gets attributed to the Left actually belongs to the Right.

  113. 113
    geg6 says:

    @cs:

    There’s too much at stake now to ever give a Republican power, even a decent one

    Yup. Back in the day, I used to vote for what I would call back then “a good Republican.” Meaning, basically, a Rockefeller Republican. I voted happily for Senator John Heinz, until he died. I don’t regret a single one of those votes. I even voted for Arlen once (but just once).

    That will never happen again. 2000 convinced me that there is no point in ever giving a GOPer the benefit of the doubt. Fuck them. Every single one of them.

  114. 114
    Stefan says:

    Not to mention the several eyewitnesses, like the retired nurse who remembers the attending doctor telling her about the unusual name the parents gave their baby, or the current governor of Hawaii, who is a friend of the family and has been (IIRC) since before the president was born. There’s a ridiculously huge mountain of evidence that you have to ignore in order to stay a birther.

    Or, as I’ve mentioned above, their 1961 Mauai marriage certificate, Barack Obama Sr.’s spring semester 1961 records at the University of Hawaii, etc…..

  115. 115
    JGabriel says:

    @beltane:

    John Rogers deserves a Nobel Prize for discovering the Crazification Factor.

    TYRONE deserves the prize for discovering it, John Rogers just comes in for a share of the prize for bringing it to wider attention.

    .

  116. 116
    Chris says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Dammit my comment got embargoed. I am so sick of that. I swear I didn’t use any naughty words.

    Man, do I hear you.

    I was linking to a few articles that weighed in on the birther thing (Quiggin, Chait and Krugman from a few weeks ago), in response to Carolus “they don’t literally believe it.” The money quote was

    some conservatives who espouse the belief that Obama is a Muslim or a non-citizen don’t quite literally believe this. They believe it and don’t believe it at the same time—they believe it is the kind of thing Obama would do, whether or not he’s actually done it.

  117. 117
    Paul in KY says:

    @Matoko_chan: He won in Indiana, being 5’3″ tall and all that. They (the Repubs) are great with the camera angles. Sarah! is short too, so was Napolean.

  118. 118
    eemom says:

    OT news: Ensign saying he won’t run in 2012.

    He’s the one whose rich parents bought off his girlfriend, right? It’s hard to keep track.

    Sharon Angle redux? A Democratic pick up?

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Ask yourself, would any of Nixon, Ford or GHB be welcome (much less at the top) in today’s GOP?

    No, but neither would Reagan (not with the tax hikes, the executive orders against torture, the being willing to meet with the leaders of enemy nations, and the START). Neither would George W. Bush, who’s now excoriated as a “liberal.” The revolution keeps devouring its people as it moves further and further to the right.

    My only point was that the revolution started with the marriage of Democratic Dixiecrats and Republican Birthers. But I suppose when that marriage happened is arbitrary (could go as far back as 1964 with Goldwater or as recently as 1980 with Reagan, as you point out).

  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    @Paul in KY:

    However, winning a governorship in a rural state is not the same as winning the presidency. There really is something to that whole presidential height thing (Palin, I don’t think I need to emphasize, didn’t do so well as a VP candidate but her being a woman might throw the whole theory out of whack). Napoleon, I hasten to say, was French and really wasn’t elected to anything even there.

    No way Daniels get the nom, anyway. He’s the one out there saying there needs to be a truce in the culture wars. How well do you think that’s gonna go over in the GOP primaries?

  121. 121
    matoko_chan says:

    @Stefan: backfire effect.
    Only observed in conservatives.
    Jay Rosen.

    Hi Jonah. You said… “And it’s worth pointing out that this irrationality applies to both sides of the political spectrum.)”
    __
    But you overlooked something in the Boston Globe article you were writing about. The article is mainly about the so-called “backfire” effect, wherein contrary information not only doesn’t inform but actually strengthens the existing (and incorrect) belief, thus backfiring. Seems irrational, right? Here’s what the article says about this irrationality applying across the board:
    __
    Nyhan inserted a clear, direct correction after each piece of misinformation, and then measured the study participants to see if the correction took.
    For the most part, it didn’t. The participants who self-identified as conservative believed the misinformation on WMD and taxes even more strongly after being given the correction. With those two issues, the more strongly the participant cared about the topic — a factor known as salience — the stronger the backfire. The effect was slightly different on self-identified liberals: When they read corrected stories about stem cells, the corrections didn’t backfire, but the readers did still ignore the inconvenient fact that the Bush administration’s restrictions weren’t total.
    __
    In other words, the backfire effect did not occur “across the board.” It was observed among conservatives and not among liberals, at least in this portion of the study. However, blocking out facts that were inconvenient did occur among liberals, as well. This shows that liberals are not immune to these irrational tendencies, but it does not show that the irrationality discussed in the Globe article is evenly distributed across the political spectrum. I think that’s an important qualifier.
    __
    I also think that there’s a danger of PC thinking taking over here. In being careful not to encourage fantasies among liberals of being immune from these tendencies, which is an entirely valid thing to do, some writers, I have noticed, are too quick to suggest that a kind of symmetry reigns over political behavior. I don’t think we should be doing that.

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @carolus:

    If you go to WineBox Althouse, most of the birthers will explain they believe Obama was born in Hawaii but that his birth certificate contains super-secret info such as being Muslim.

    This is still crazy. Do birth certificates list the religion of the parents, and even if they do, how does this relate to the religion of children?

    But you’re right that birthers have a desperate need to believe that Obama’s presidency is illegitimate and, worse, that because he is black (and not Republican), Obama must somehow by definition hate America. The thing is, ALL their objections are crazy, all their fears delusional.

  123. 123
    matoko_chan says:

    @Paul in KY: Sarah had 3 inch Naughty Monkey peeptoes and McCain is only 5’6″.

  124. 124
    sukabi says:

    @Chris: as far as I know, that marriage — and by extension, all offspring are NOT citizens, since the marriage was consummated in Hell.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    @matoko_chan:

    This NRO piece just drips disdain for Palin, and NRO were her biggest supporters up to the midterms.

    Stuff like this makes me wonder, how many conservative voters actually read the National Review, as opposed to just listening to the pop version from Fox News or this or that blogger.

    As I recall, the 1950s National Review appealed mainly to upper-class country club snobs. This piece isn’t that much out of line with what Buckley used to write.

  126. 126
    jibeaux says:

    @Chris:

    The newborn infant Obama certainly was a wily lil’ Muslim, wasn’t he?

  127. 127

    Atrios used to call it the “BTKWB Factor,” the % of the population that would approve of the job George Bush is doing if he Bound, Tortured, and Killed Wilford Brimley at halftime on Monday Night Football.

    27%. There it is.

  128. 128
    matoko_chan says:

    McCain wore 3 inch lifters for the debate so Obama didnt tower over him.
    That is why he tripped on stage.
    And Napoleon was not elected and was not ever televised to my knowledge.

  129. 129

    @Chris:

    They believe it and don’t believe it at the same time—they believe it is the kind of thing Obama would do, whether or not he’s actually done it.

    Yes, right, exactly! And not just the kind of thing Obama would do, but the kind of thing a liberal would do … and then there are people who don’t care whether he’s done it or not, they just tell a the survey person on the other end of the phone line that they believe it because that is the only way, within the context of a survey, they can say “I hate this person.”

    I just got surveyed yesterday about health insurance companies. Trust me, I understand how this shit works.

    Let me add, one of the survey questions was: “Would you like to buy your health insurance coverage from a brokerage firm, a bank, the grocery store, at a shopping center kisok, at a big box retailer like WalMart?” I’m like NO NO NO I DO NOT WANT HEALTH INSURANCE ATALL I WANT YOU PEOPLE PUT OUT OF BUSINESS. But you know, that was never asked.

    And I am fascinated to know that the health insurance companies are looking at cutting the health insurance agents out of the business.

  130. 130
    matoko_chan says:

    @Chris: but it is out of line with what NRO wrote before the midterms.
    Richie “Starbursty” Lowry and Krazie K-Lo post at NRO.
    They were rabid Palinistas….until the midterms.
    Now Palin is a liability, not an asset. She can totally win the nom, but she can never win a general.
    The ugly truth.
    As soon they got to the midterms, the elites started pushing Sarah towards the exit, starting with Rove and Dr. K.

  131. 131
    Napoleon says:

    @Paul in KY:

    so was Napolean

    He actually was not all that short. He was something like 5-6 or 5-7.

  132. 132

    Apparently I no longer have permission to edit my own comment. So, excuse the typos from here on out.

  133. 133
    David in NY says:

    @Southern Beale: There’s a trick to editing now, I was told the other day, right click on the “edit” button, and stuff happens. Or did you do that?

  134. 134

    @David in NY:

    I did that. Actually I’m on a Mac, it’s control-click, but that’s been what I’ve been doing since the changeover but for some reason today I got the prompt “You don’t have permission to edit that.”

    So, fuck it.

  135. 135
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @beltane:

    To be fair, it’s John’s friend Tyrone who espoused the percentage and delivered the rationale behind it.

  136. 136
    norbizness says:

    I have long posited that 1/4th to 1/3rd of the country is irretrievably brain-fucked, using the lowest GW Bush approval rating as a barometer.

  137. 137

    @matoko_chan:

    McCain wore 3 inch lifters for the debate so Obama didnt tower over him. That is why he tripped on stage.

    I still would like to know what the deal was with Bush’s “mystery bulge” in the Kerry debate. I guess I’m supposed to be over it now but I would love to know once and for all if he was wearing a wire and if he was fed his answers. And dammit the MSM should have been on that story. I never understood why they weren’t. The fact that he had to cheat to win a debate would have been a HUGE scoop. And they acted like it was a birtherism conspiracy or something.

    Well fuckit I dunno what it was but can we at least find out? SOMETHING was there I watched that debate and I saw it!

  138. 138
    Redshirt says:

    @Loneoak: Sounds like you just got out of school!

    You can be correct, of course, but way too specific. In general, post-modernism means: Beyond the “modern” concept of requiring facts and objectively derived evidence for your positions or beliefs. Instead, the subjective – anyone’s subjectivity – can be the “truth” we work with, for now. A new truth next time, and a new truth after that. It depends on whatever subjective viewpoint you want to consider.

  139. 139
    Paul in KY says:

    @geg6: Ok, ok, so Napolean wasn’t really ‘elected’ to anything. I’ll give you that ;-)

    I hope you are right about Daniels. Also. Too.

  140. 140
    Paul in KY says:

    @matoko_chan: Oh yes, I remember the naughty monkey shoes! So very naughty is our Sarah! (plain & tall).

    Daniels does have a ‘good for TV’ body, in that he has a big head in relation to the rest of his body.

  141. 141
    geg6 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I get that same message now and again for no reason. So I just chalk it up to FYWP.

  142. 142
    Ash Can says:

    @eemom #116: Sounds like someone wants to spend more quality time with his lawyers family.

  143. 143
    Paul in KY says:

    @matoko_chan: Yes, they taught you well. No television coverage for Napolean.

    Interesting tidbit about him, after his death, some of his former aides & generals speculated that he might have become brain damaged from falling off horses. He was a terrible rider & at least twice he was thrown from mounts & the witnesses thought he was dead (when it happened).

  144. 144

    @geg6:

    FYWP??? Dare I ask?

  145. 145
    Mike in NC says:

    @Svensker:

    Does this 27% thing work in other countries? Or is it just a something else “special” about Murka?

    We do have that “American Exceptionalism” thing going for us. You know, the “Shining City on a Hill” bullshit that made St. Ronnie get so choked up.

  146. 146
    geg6 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Fuck you, Word Press.

  147. 147

    @Paul in KY:

    Interesting tidbit about him, after his death, some of his former aides & generals speculated that he might have become brain damaged from falling off horses.

    Kinda like everyone admitting now that Reagan had Alzheimer’s while still in office. It seems like a CYA: “WE didn’t know of course but now it appears there was this medical issue nobody could have foreseen to explain all of the weird crap we willingly went along with …”

  148. 148
    piratedan says:

    @Svensker: #58 it’s because of the flouride in the water I suspect….

  149. 149

    My benchmark has always been the 26% support that Nixon held until practically the day he resigned the Presidency. I always knew Bush’s support couldn’t slip any lower than that.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There’s a ridiculously huge mountain of evidence that you have to ignore in order to stay a birther.

    Birthers are classic conspiracy cultists. They ignore even the simplest refutation of their position, and simply endlessly repeat themselves even after their nonsense has been conclusively demolished.

    What makes this stuff particularly despicable is that the GOP continues to cultivate birther nonsense for political gain. They don’t care that it is nonsense, only that it undermines Obama’s legitimacy in the eyes of the craziest voters.

  151. 151
    pking says:

    @Svensker: I don’t have a link but about a month ago on CBC “Cross Country Checkup” a guest said not to count out Mubaruk yet because he still had the support of 27% of the Egyptian people

  152. 152
    chopper says:

    john rogers must feel like bernoulli did when he figured out e. he’s all ‘this is pretty cool’, and then it went on to be one of the most important concepts ever.

  153. 153
    xian says:

    birtherism (“your papers please”) is a Jim Crow law.

  154. 154
    Stefan says:

    cleek: and that’s exactly what they assume.

    That’s what drives me crazy about these people: that they’re so maddened by Obama’s father’s race that they’ve constructed a theory that, for it to make any sense at all (ignoring all the other inconsistencies), relies on a relatively poor 18 year old American college freshman living in Hawaii to travel from the United States to Africa to give birth. In 1961.

  155. 155
    ed drone says:

    I go with “some of the people all of the time,” per Abe Lincoln, but it could be that this equals “crazy” instead of “fooled.” Hard to decide, actually.

    Ed

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @Stefan:

    In fairness, I think they were just about as batshit-insane about Clinton winning the election as they are about Obama. They may not have had the media infrastructure to really go wild in the 1990s, but it’s not like they didn’t try: the Lewinsky thing was only the last (and most successful) in a long line of desperate attempts to find something, anything, on Clinton that would prove that he was not legitimately fit to govern the country. If I recall, he was also accused of being a drug dealer and having murdered someone, among many other batshit-insane accusations.

    Race definitely has something to do with it. Democrats, whatever their color, are seen as representing the interests of “somebody else:” we know who that is. But white race traitors drive these people just as mad as actual nonwhites: Obama being white wouldn’t have made a difference.

  157. 157
    dbendr says:

    @cs and geg6:

    I took a different course. When the Christian Right started to be a major influence in the Republican Party, I switched my registration to GOP so I could vote against their candidates in primaries. In general elections I usually vote for the Democrat; I’m an authentic RINO.

    I remember when it was possible for a moderate or liberal to get nominated by either major party in my home state, and IMO we were better governed then. Registering Republican didn’t cost me a dime, and it leads to interesting robocalls around election time.

  158. 158
    LanceThruster says:

    @matoko_chan: Absolutely. There is a distillation process at work, or comparable to house odds in Vegas where it doesn’t have to be much in relative terms, but the long term effect is pretty predictable.

  159. 159
    rapier says:

    Definitely maybe was a poll question? Whereby information has now climbed totally into it’s own butt hole.

  160. 160
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @carolus:

    If you go to WineBox Althouse, most of the birthers will explain they believe Obama was born in Hawaii but that his birth certificate contains super-secret info such as being Muslim.

    One of the birthers on my favorite wingnut blog is exactly like this. She gets really, really pissed off if you call her a birther because she says, “I believe Obama was born in Hawaii, but it’s MIGHTY SUSPICIOUS that we haven’t seen the birth certificate [of course the COLB doesn’t count because fuck you, that’s why], so either he doesn’t have one or it says something he doesn’t want us to know.” It’s actually quite the intricate dance–she mouths all of the birther talking points, except that she stops short of saying that Obama was actually born elsewhere.

  161. 161
    LanceThruster says:

    @Paul in KY: I used to feel that was a sure bet as well, and even now highly unlikely, but then I also felt the Constitution could not be ignored so blatantly in plain sight. Certainly there are those situations where the economics are such that the military seems the only option for many young people, particularly depending on the region of the country they are from, so that the ranks of an all volunteer force are maintained.

    But we also seem to be expanding our enemies list rapidly and inflating the actual threat levels (with the possibilities of further false flags ever-present) to the point that it would not be inconceivable for tea bagger types to grouse about DFH’s not doing enough as far as defense of the realm, and find a way to give them a new haircut and some good old god-fearin’ values courtesy of basic training and the US military.

    If the trial balloons had gone well in the drumbeat for war with Iran, those in whose interest it would be to engage in a war such as that would also use that same leverage of a carrot or a stick to make sure it was someone else’s kid dying in a war on Iran.

    I think his main view was that the stupidity quotient was such that there was a block of easilly led voters with a history of voting against their own interests who could be led to approve most any foolishness. And much like anyone who reads the writing on the wall, he was convinced it was safer to bug out sooner rather than later.

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    In fairness, I think they were just about as batshit-insane about Clinton winning the election as they are about Obama.

    For the haters, Clinton was a scoundrel and the wrong kind of man to be president, but there was never the almost incessant insistence that Clinton was not the legitimately elected president of the United States. Clinton did not precipitate all these little states rights battles in which Republican state governments try to pretend that Washington does not exist or should not make laws not acceptable to the GOP.

    The other strange notion I’ve heard here and there is the notion that Obama should not leave the White House … ever … and should simply stay home and govern. Then, there was the odd suggestion by some pundit that Obama would save the country unnecessary stress if he agreed not to run for re-election. All this speaks to a sad racial anxiety on the part of some Americans.

  163. 163
    LanceThruster says:

    @Alex S.: THX. Very interesting read. I remember in discussions of his model on a socioligical level, it was in regards to the small portion of individuals that can screw things up for everybody else. It takes only a small fraction of individuals to seriously degrade public spaces for example.

    We also thought the movie “Lifeboat” was illustrative as the German U-boat sailor pretended that it was necessary for all to work together for mutual survival while at the same time working towards his hidden agenda, until that time he saw that double-crossing everyone else was to his advantage.

    I notice a similar bit of projection from the hardcores where their distrust of others was a reflection their own lack of integrity. The results are pretty predictable when one feels that screwing over the other person has to be timed correctly as they are certain that the other is about to do the same thing to them.

    It was this sort of contemplation that had him arrive at his views on the subject. He said that there is only a small group that lives with integrity and behaves in a manner, if not downright altruistic, that shows concern for the other persons’ well being also. It’s from the propaganda model of “Mein Kampf” where it said basically, “Don’t worry about the intellectuals as there are not enough of them to make a difference. Tailor your message to the masses”

  164. 164
    matoko_chan says:

    @Brachiator: I just put some work into three excellent comments SUPPORTING THE THESIS that we are not all the same.
    I quoted Jay Rosen, I quoted peer reviewed papers and statistics and polls.
    Will you please either supply EMPIRICAL, FACTUAL contradictory EVIDENCE for your “both sides doooo eeet too” eumeme or shut the fuck up?
    I am so sick of the “we are all the same why can’t we just get along” kumbayah fuckery after six months of that glibertarian grifter on the front page that I’m going to hurl if I hear it one more time.
    WE ARE NOT THE SAME!
    THE RIGHT IS FUCKING INSANE!

  165. 165
    matoko_chan says:

    At least 72% of the Right are insane. sourced.
    Sorry for yelling.

    I have wondered about this for a while now……why does ANGRY Black Lady get to be the only angry chick around here?
    Can’t I be ANGRY Aspie White Girl?

  166. 166
    Triassic Sands says:

    I’m not sure if 27% is the exact number (I think it’s a little bit less.), but it’s close. The CBS/NY Times Poll pegged Bush’s final approval rating at 22% (the lowest final approval rating ever for a US President), but his all-time low approval rating was in November 2008 when it hit 20%.

    So, the actual totally insane, completely crazy Crazification Factor is probably around 20%. Still, the idea that a fifth of the people are so stupid/insane that no fact, no matter how irrefutable could penetrate their bubble of insanity is pretty frightening.

    And, as with all things, the insane are located on a spectrum, which means that a certain percentage of the people above that 20% has a bubble of insanity that is just barely penetrable, leaving them, for most purposes, reliably insane and unreachable. In the end, I’d go with 25% + or – 5% depending on the issue.

  167. 167
    patrick II says:

    Tyrone — real person, or fictional dialogue character?

  168. 168
    Josh says:

    Oh dear: now DougJ and mr mix will add “angry” to all their signatures.

  169. 169
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @carolus:

    If you go to WineBox Althouse, most of the birthers will explain they believe Obama was born in Hawaii but that his birth certificate contains super-secret info such as being Muslim.

    Well, sure. Just like Nick Cage does in the National Treasure movies: you have to get the original birth certificate, wear special glasses to look at it, develop the invisible ink, etc….

    …and you find that Obama was secretly adopted, and is heir to the Hawai’ian Empire, prepared from birth to conquer the mainland for the greater glory of Kamehameha. Shaka!

    I, for one, welcome our new surfing overlords. And really, it’s less crazy than the birfers, so that’s something.

  170. 170

    […] Appealing to the 27% Posted on March 8, 2011 by brobrubel A flashback to 2005, via Balloon Juice: […]

  171. 171
    bob h says:

    The Crazification Factor may turn out to be the seminal theory of our time.

    These idiots are all white. The stupidity of white people may be the real seminal theory of our time.

  172. 172
    Paul in KY says:

    @Southern Beale: Sorta like that. Trying to make sense of how a person with so much promise (in Napolean’s case) went off the rails so bad. Also making excuses for him (it could be argued).

  173. 173
    Paul in KY says:

    @LanceThruster: I think the powers-that-be like the volunteer military as it eliminates the likelihood of people being in it who are completely opposed to being in it.

    Also, young people are much less likely to demonstrate against military adventures when they know the only way they can find themselves in Bezerkistan is to volunteer.

  174. 174

    […] 1. 27% Crazification Factor – an insight from John Rogers […]

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