Re: Under the Mattress
Two comments about the New Yorker discussion. First of all I don't think that they were attempting to satirize Obama himself. It was more of a failed attempt to satirize the caricature of Obama (i.e. a satire of the media and the emails), which is a very different goal in my opinion. A satire of Obama himself would look something like that Jibjab video put out today--acting like all Obama ever says is change or drawing him wearing a diaper (which would be a better joke if McCain wasn't so old).
Second, I'll commit a fallacy of hasty generalization by noting that C-SPAN has aired some in-depth polling of, say, a diverse group of Pennsylvanians, which inevitably includes a former Clinton supporter who has bought completely into the ridiculous storyline of Obama being a secret Muslim terrorist. So, while it fits a certain popular narrative to assume that the only people who would believe this stuff are people who would vote Republican, I think that's ignoring the effect of having people who may generally support a Democrat having first supported an opponent of Obama. If some of those, in their passion for Clinton, accepted the premise that Obama was a person who could never be believed, there would be serious cognitive dissonance for them to vote for Obama. I'm not claiming that all former Clinton supports would have serious trouble voting for Obama (instead of McCain), but once someone decides that a politician can never be believed, it's hard for that person to be convinced that their being irrational.