Since Rudy Giuliani’s ugly comments about President Obama not loving America, I’ve been making the point that Scott Walker is deliberately dodging the question because he simply can’t afford to alienate the deeply deranged base of Republican voters if he plans to run for president. Today at the Washington Post, Assistant Professor of Political Science Alex Theodoridis has released the results of a poll he took in the fall of 2014 that shows exactly how bad the craziness is: Scott Walker’s View of Obama’s Religion Makes Him a Moderate.
A staggering 54 percent of Republicans said that “Muslim” best described what Obama “believes deep down.” Thirty percent of Republicans answered the way Walker did, by selecting “I don’t know.” Relatively few Republican respondents “take [Obama] at his word,” as Mitch McConnell put it: only 9 percent selected “Christian” to describe what Obama likely believes.
Even many Democrats weren’t taking Obama at his word. Only 45 percent chose “Christian,” while 17 percent said “spiritual,” 10 percent said “Muslim,” and 26 percent said they didn’t know.
Overall, 60 percent of respondents chose either Walker’s answer or “Muslim.”
This didn’t just start yesterday; the process of “othering” Obama by the right wing and the Republican Party has been an ongoing effort ever since he announced his first candidacy.