Kevin Drum calls this evidence of the “Fox News effect”—the process by which conservative propaganda outlets convince their viewers of things that just aren’t true—but I think there’s a better, more charitable explanation. In short, a large number of Republicans don’t like President Obama, and when offered a chance to endorse something that signals that dislike, they did it, even if the “something” is absolutely insane.
The one sliver of sanity in the poll is that Republicans have begun to turn on Grover Norquist:
Even among Republicans just 18% see him positively, while 23% have an unfavorable view. Only 23% of voters think it's important for politicians to follow Norquist's tax pledge to 39% who think it's not important and 38% who don't have an opinion.
But, in general, the poll confirms the durable minority Karl Rove and Roger Ailes have successfully created: paranoid, delusional, all-white, older, intransigent, and anti-American. Yes, 44 percent of Republicans either want their state to secede from the US or aren't sure whether it should. The good news is that the ranks of Republicans are thinning. The bad news is that these fanatics control one party which can hold the entire country and world to ransom.
Maybe it will have to get even worse before it starts to get even a little bit better.
(Photo: Motala, age 50, rests in the afternoon sun with the new prosthetic made for her at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) elephant hospital in the Mae Yao National Reserve August 29, 2011 Lampang,Thailand. By Paula Bronstein/Getty.)