Vu comme ça
I remember watching this in disbelief and thinking, well, this explains a lot. These people aren't just indulgent of their base. They're terrified of it. The birther movement is crazy. And even on a question of crazy, these sitting members of the United States Congress could not say what is obviously true and uncontroversial to normal earthlings. I'm confident very few of them actually buy this nonsense. But they know exactly what kind of plagues will be unleashed on them if they admit the truth.
Let's imagine that a right-wing reporter had asked 11 Democratic House members in 2002 whether George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks and let them happen (an imprecise but rough analogy in that it is also, I believe, crazy). One or two Democrats might have played that one coy, but by and large, they'd have turned cartwheels disassociating themselves from such a view. Herein lies one of the most important facts of our politics over the past 20 years: Republicans are terrified of offending even the fringe elements of their base. Democrats are terrified of being associated with theirs.
The Right Way to Please the Base: What the left can learn from right-wing extremists, Michael Tomasky, 11 août 21010