The above question, "Is Obama Jewish?", is not just a teaser to lure you into reading this blog. It's a lesson about not taking the media and "the experts" too seriously. It's something we have to keep in mind in order to stay balanced in these times of "scandal" hysteria.
Several months ago a reputable national poll reported that the number of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim has dropped sharply to only 10% (still an amazing number), but the poll also reported that a startling 18% of Americans suddenly believe Obama is Jewish. Wha?
In due course the pollster caught the error that produced this unlikely result. He said it was a typo. That is inexcusable and, to my knowledge, unprecedented. According to the corrected findings, nobody thinks Obama's Jewish, and the same old large percentage believe he's a Muslim as was reported all last year.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. The trouble is it lasted too long. The correction did not catch up with the error entirely. Remember this: Truth seldom overtakes fiction. As a result of this screw-up, a New York Times columnist wrote about a week ago of the "clueless" nature of Americans, his prime talking point being the 18% who allegedly believe Obama is Jewish. This was error upon error. There had been plenty of time since the first error was corrected for there not to have been a second error. And by a New York Times columnist writing on his specialty of politics? This truly is the end of the world as we know it?
No. It's just a writer being as clueless as his subjects. He didn't check it out.
And that's what's happening now. The media, with a few exceptions, has jumped into the GOP kerfuffle over purported "scandals" in the Obama administration. They have jumped into it with all the heartiness of journalists in a slow news season. Remember what was going on before the "scandals" broke? Nothing. The idiot head of North Korea had been wiped from the public eye by the Boston bombing, then the surviving Boston bomber reportedly confessed, and then three women who had escaped that house in Cleveland went home. Then nothing. No men were biting dogs.
The GOP saw its chance to play catch-up. Some issues get tabled by a party during a campaign year for fear that the issue will be dismissed as "just playing politics". After the campaign is over, the party trots out the issue and begins pounding on tables. That's what is going on now. And that's why it seems that the Obama administration is falling apart on a lot of fronts all at once. It isn't. The GOP is just doing a dump of stuff they have been storing up, along with some newer stuff. They are doing a fine job of creating the appearance of a wave and exaggerating it's components.
We looked at two of their "scandals" in my last posting, and I'll do the other two next time, i.e. the IRS pursuing conservative political groups and the sex abuse scandal in the military. You'll notice, please that I use no quote marks with the word "scandal" in the prior sentence, and that's because in my view - a view that's over 70 years long - the military issue is the only real scandal that's been unfolding. The rest is just the GOP taking advantage of a slow news time in the media.
So don't set your hair on fire. Put the matches back in the drawer once again. Next time we'll look at what the IRS thing is really all about and what, if any, dangers it actually presents.
And we'll see how John Boehner, for once in his life, made a wild statement that is actually true.