when a third of your base consists of immovably ignorant people with impenetrable skulls who cling to the paranoid conspiracy theory that Obama is a Muslim. The destructive notion that it’s better to hate Obama than to defeat him keeps driving significant percentages of the GOP base to embrace any lunatic idea just so long as it feels like it’s landing a punch on Obama. Consequently you have crazy people asserting, on the basis of nothing, that he is a Muslim. You also have crazy people clinging to the cherished paranoid conspiracy theory that he was not born the US. And you have crazy people clinging to the notion that this friend of the super-rich and the corporation is an atheistic Communist (as well as a radical worshipper of Allah). And all this along with the stupidity of likening him to Hitler (which sure was a winning strategy for the Left when they did it to Bush in 2004).
Sin makes you stupid. And the sin of hating Obama rather than trying to defeat him makes a depressing number of people on the Right particularly stupid–which is a bad thing when you want to defeat a very smart political operator who treats these ridiculous conspiracy theories as a gift from God.
Catholic moral theology application: The first virtue is prudence. Prudence says, “Deal with reality as it is, not as you would like it to be. So if you disagree with somebody’s evil policies, then argue against the problem. Don’t fall for the stupid mistake of then believing any and every evil thing about that person in the hope that by doing so you can make them lose. Instead, live in reality and focus on what they are actually doing, and not on a bunch of fictitious crap that makes you look like a paranoid crazy who will believe anything.” That means (gasp!) acknowledging where your opponent is right as well as wrong.