Excerpt from Blowing Smoke:
There's a reason that only one percent of Tea Party supporters are black and only 41 percent believe that Obama was born in the United States. For over three decades, the right wing has been developing a powerful narrative according to which an alliance of liberal elites, racial minorities, and other marginal groups seek to persecute white, Christian conservatives.
In the age of Fox News, talk radio, and conservative political dominance, that narrative is more popular than ever before. And at the very moment that this persecution mythology flooded into the mainstream, the government was taken over by Democrats and led by a man who by his skin color, his ancestry, his church, and his politics perfectly symbolizes the fearsome adversary that right wing leaders have been warning their constituents against. Just as Sarah Palin personifies the righteous conservative victim, Barack Obama personifies the dangerous alliance between elites and minorities.
That Obama's policies are no more liberal than Bill Clinton's and a good deal less liberal than Jimmy Carter's or even, in some ways, Richard Nixon's, is irrelevant. The myth of Obama's secret revolutionary intentions is so entrenched that the right wing's view of the man has become completely detached from reality. No matter what he says or does, the Tea Party conservatives know him only as "the socialist ideologue in the White House."