Building a Nation of Know-Nothings

Timothy Egan:

Take a look at Tuesday night’s box score in the baseball game between New York and Toronto. The Yankees won, 11-5. Now look at the weather summary, showing a high of 71 for New York. The score and temperature are not subject to debate.

Yet a president’s birthday or whether he was even in the White House on the day TARP was passed are apparently open questions. A growing segment of the party poised to take control of Congress has bought into denial of the basic truths of Barack Obama’s life. What’s more, this astonishing level of willful ignorance has come about largely by design, and has been aided by a press afraid to call out the primary architects of the lies.

As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. I’m not so sure, though, that all the conservatives professing to believe that Obama is a Muslim, or wasn’t born a U.S. citizen, or any of these other fabrications, truly believe them. I think they know they’re spreading lies. See, for example, this story of a confrontation in an Oklahoma Starbucks.

Monday, 30 August 2010