Just when you thought it was safe to leave the house:
Author and former Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon posts, in a new blog post at TheDailyBeast.com, offers some mind-boggling numbers from new Harris poll. I’ll let him speak for himself:
On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: Two-thirds think he’s a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say “he may be the Antichrist.”To anyone who thinks the end of the health-care vote means a return to civility, wake up. Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party. Here’s new data to prove it:• 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist. The belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” is widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come.• 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.”• Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped.
The numbers come from a Louis Harris poll that surveyed 2,230 people “right at the height of the health-care reform debate,” Avlon writes. His conclusion:
This poll is the latest and most detailed evidence of the extent to which Wingnuts are hijacking our politics. It should be a wakeup call to all Americans and a collective reminder, as we move past health-care reform, that we need to stand up to extremism.
For the record, he’s identified as the author of a new book titled Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.
The Harris poll is supposed to be coming out officially on Wednesday.
Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).