If you're interested in the polling about Americans who are mistaken about the president's religion, I'll send you over to Brendan Nyhan, who knows a lot more about it than I do, and has a typically good post up. I'll just add that for the first time this blog seems to have attracted a troll, who is making comments about religion to various posts, and which after the first one I'm deleting. I've mentioned my comments policy in passing a few times, although I've never gotten around to spelling it out in full, but basically I'll zap any comments that in my judgment are commercial, offensive, or in other ways disruptive. Critical of me? Not a problem. I'll even welcome comments from Dodgers fans -- there was an ill-informed comment a ways back that actually praised Steve Garvey, and I let that go. Hmmm...I should probably get to the point, shouldn't I?
What's interesting me this morning isn't so much the fantasies that Barack Obama's opponents, as the lack of trust that liberals have in him. I should throw in a caveat right up top: this is fairly speculative stuff, really just my reading of various pundits and bloggers, nothing definitive, but at any rate: Case in point is the news that the last of the "combat troops" have left Iraq. Now, those reluctant to celebrate this development certainly have strong grounds for doing so, with 50K troops remaining, plus private security forces and civilians, so more American casualties are certain (although the pace seems to have slowed again in the last couple months). And I can certainly understand a reluctance to celebrate a retreat, even if it's orderly and good policy (as Obama's supporters presumably believe). Still, I tend to think there's what I'd consider an unusual amount of skepticism of Obama's commitment among liberals. Looking around, liberals either seem to be relieved but subdued (for example Steve Benen, or Heather at Crooks and Liars), or, as with Spencer Ackerman, primarily skeptical. Now, again, I'm not criticizing that attitude, since among other things one might believe it's in poor taste to celebrate the situation the Americans are (to some extent at least) leaving behind. Still, it does strike me that few liberals, at least few liberals who are speaking up right now, really appear to trust that Obama on Iraq. I'm not sure why -- is it because of Obama's policy in Afghanistan? The disappointment of 2007, when a Democratic victory in 2006 failed to produce rapid results? The residue of Obama's defeat on Gitmo? His other policies on secrecy and rule-of-law issues? Something inherent in liberals when it comes to trusting even liberal pols? I don't know, and perhaps I'm reading things that aren't there, but I just don't see much trust there. Support, yes, when he does something they like, and perhaps even general support. But trust? Not really.