Thursday, August 20, 2009

A story Grisham would love to write ...

I don’t claim to be a fan of great literature, in fact, I like Robert Parker’s Spenser and legal thrillers. I read, but usually don’t actually enjoy, John Grisham’s books, preferring Scott Turow’s legal thrillers. I don’t feel that Turow’s plots are condescending, for example. In his first book, the big frame-up the main character sees turns out to be a fit of jealous rage (oddly coldly calculated) by his wife. In other words, something we might actually expect to see in the real world. By contrast, Grisham likes to concoct plots with conspiracies involving the mob or corporation and other characters like members of the Supreme Court or (I believe) Presidents.

I bring this up because I think the whole birther thing could be a book plot that Grisham might want to write, although maybe I am being too hard on Grisham. Davoe at Two Political Junkies references some polling carried out by Public Policy Polling that indicates that a quarter of respondents think Obama was not born in the US, while another 14% are not sure. That 14% could include people who never watch the evening news (although they must watch or listen to Limbaugh, Beck or Quinn, at least a little bit), or they are smart asses. A few people polled (4%) thought Hawaii is not part of the US.

The polling apparently indicated what I would call a strong correlation between the level of education you have (or more properly don’t have) and how likely it is that you believe Obama was born in the USA (cue Springsteen). The thing is, if you are interested and are willing to look, all the aspects of this issue can be addressed. What the grandmother said and why, the Hawaiian birth certificate (or Certification of Live Birth, sigh), why the Hawaiian officials have acted the way they have, and so on. The facts of the issue are more interesting (to me) than some silly conspiracy theory. Plus the fact that while I approve of the President being US born, it is hard to see a reason why it would matter in this case, how it would affect anything.

I have noticed some commenters on other blogs supporting the arguments of the birthers. Some even claim to have graduate degrees. I assume that they in fact know better, but just want to provoke liberals. And then people wonder why the country is polarized.

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