I saw a post on Think Progress the other day about a new Pew survey showing only 28% of Americans can identify John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. To make matters worse, the Pew site states:
Asked to name the current chief justice of the Supreme Court, and given four possible names, nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) choose Thurgood Marshall, despite the fact that Justice Marshall left the Supreme Court roughly 20 years ago, and passed away in 1993.
I also found this item on the Pew site about Americans’ gross level of misinformation about Obama’s religion:
A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined. More than a year and a half into his presidency, a plurality of the public says they do not know what religion Obama follows.
You just can’t run a democracy when people are this clueless. Related cartoon from a few years ago: “The Mental Welfare State.”
A reader with a credible email address writes in to report:
Jen, my office is two blocks from the White House.
As you can imagine, we get a lot of Tea Partiers around here. The “I’m Taking Back America” shirted folks.
During one of their recent rallies, a guy paraded past here holding a sign that read, exactly:
I am not making this up.
To be fair, I suppose it’s possible that a counter-protester was walking around with an intentionally-bungled sign. But given the number of badly-spelled signs and confused statements made by tea partiers that I’ve heard over the past year, I’m going with Occam’s razor. If it looks like a tea partier and quacks like a tea partier, it’s probably a tea partier.