According to Roger Ebert:
Pew finds that 18% of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. A new Newsweek poll, taken after the controversy over the New York mosque, places that figure at 24%...When the focus is narrowed to Republicans, a Harris poll finds 57 percent of party members believe he is a Muslim, 22% believe he "wants the terrorists to win," and 24% believe he is the Antichrist.
This many Americans did not arrive at such conclusions on their own. They were persuaded by a relentless process of insinuation, strategic silence and cynical misinformation. Most of the leaders in this process have been cautious to avoid actually saying Obama is a Muslim...Palin and Beck have so far both been content to let this process work without specific comment on their part. Their silence is a symptom of a cancer infecting American democracy. Our political immune system has only one antibody, and that is the truth.
The time is here for responsible Americans to put up or shut up. I refer specifically to those who have credibility among the guileless and credulous citizens who have been infected with notions so carefully nurtured. We cannot afford to allow the next election to proceed under a cloud of falsehood and delusion.
We know, because they've said so publicly, that George W. Bush, his father and Sen. John McCain do not believe Obama is a Muslim. This is the time -- now, not later -- for them to repeat that belief in a joint statement. Other prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also certainly do not believe it. They have a responsibility to make that clear by subscribing to the statement. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh must join, or let their silence indict them. Limbaugh in particular must cease his innuendos and say, flat out, whether he believes the President is a Muslim or not. Yes or no. Does he have evidence, or does he have none? Yes or no.
I just received an advance copy of a joint statement by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin which reads as follows:
Dear deluded followers,
Due to a cynical campaign of innuendo, you’ve been duped into believing that Pres. Obama is a Muslim. We are here to denounce that contumacious insinuation and set the record straight.
Pres. Obama can’t be a Muslim because he is actually the Antichrist! Sure, he had his pointy ears bobbed, he uses makeup to conceal his Leviathan numerical birthmark, and he wears tinted contacts to obscure his glowing red eyes, but don’t be taken in by the cosmetic enhancements.