The President's religion is really of no consequence to me at all, but it seems to be The Single Most Important Thing Republicans Care About right now, and so we have the crazy parade of folks like Ben Carson and Ted Cruz spewing Islamophobia while also digging in on the idea that President Obama is one of those dirty Moooslims.
Speaking to Fox News (of course), Cruz said this, via TPM:
"I like Ben Carson. I think Ben is fantastic. I think a lot of people are just using this as an opportunity to smack him with a stick. My view is straightforward," Cruz said. "The Constitution says there shall be no religious test for holding public office, and I'm a constitutionalist, but I think this whole noise is obscuring the broader question."
"The broader question, and what I think Ben was trying to get at, is what are the consequences been in the last six and a half years of the Obama presidency?" Cruz stated.
Amanda Marcotte explains the code words:
Obviously the answer is that both Carson and now Cruz are referencing the widespread belief amongst conservatives that Obama is secretly a Muslim but is concealing his true beliefs for nefarious reasons, possibly to impose sharia law on the nation. (Any day now.) The last public poll on this belief showed that 86 percent of Republicans are warm to it, with 54 percent believing that Obama is a Muslim and 32 percent saying they are unsure. Only 14 percent of Republicans correctly describe Obama’s religion as Christian.
In other words, the belief that Obama is a Muslim is an entrenched “fact” on the right, much like the belief that global warming is a hoax or Planned Parenthood is a for-profit company that makes its money selling fetal parts. Carson and Cruz aren’t really talking about a hypothetical Muslim president in some future world. This is all a coded way to talk about Obama.
In the latest PPP poll, only 49 percent of Republicans said they think Islam should be legal in the United States. Seriously.
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Trump's probably not hurting himself too much with his negativity toward Muslims either- only 49% of Republicans think the religion of Islam should even be legal in the United States with 30% saying it shouldn't be and 21% not sure. Among Trump voters there is almost even division with 38% thinking Islam should be allowed and 36% that it should not.
Frank Gaffney must be laughing all the way to the bank.