...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, April 26, 2004
      ( 4:47 PM )
Are There Really That Many Dum-Dums in America?

Juan Cole tackles the possible reason why a recent poll said that 57% of people STILL believe that Saddam Hussein gave assistance to Al Qaeda, and 45% believe there is "clear evidence" saying so, and a tragic 45% STILL believe that Hussein had WMD:

Why would so many Americans cling to patently
false beliefs? One can only speculate of course. But
I would suggest that the two-party system in the US
has produced a two-party epistemology. Epistemology
is the study of how we know what we know. If it
were accepted that Saddam had virtually nothing to
do with al-Qaeda, that he had no weapons of mass
destruction (nor any significant programs for
producing them), and that no evidence for such
things has been uncovered after the US and its allies
have had a year to comb through Baath documents
-- if all that is accepted, then President Bush's
credibility would suffer. For his partisans, it is
absolutely crucial that the president retain his
credibility. Therefore, rather than face reality, they
re-jigger it to create a fantasy world in which Saddam
and Usamah are buddies (as in the Jimmy Fallon/
Horatio Sanz skits on the American comedy show,
Saturday Night Live), and in which David Kay (of
whom respondents say they've never heard) never
recanted his earlier belief that the WMD was
there somewhere.

He goes on to show that 72% of those who believe the crap about the WMDs plan to vote for Bush. So his conclusion, and rightly so I think, is that if 57% of Americans believe Saddam Hussein was supporting Al Qaeda, then no small number of Democratic voters are included therein. And thus, the Democrats are really falling short on the whole "EXPLAIN THE TRUTH CLEARLY" strategy. The neocons are doing their best to continue to spread the myths around, as is seen in Schlesinger's testimony last week, described by Cole.

It's bad enough that this administration is basing its entire foreign policy and election strategy on a mountain of lies. But worse than that is that the Dems are unable to focus on the fact that the mountain is precariously balanced and if even one of those lies were to be permanently fixed on the public's consciousness, then the mountain would fall. Even today, Josh Marshall noted that ABC ran a web headline declaring "Did John Kerry Lie about Vietnam War Medals?" which they later altered (and which John Kerry has eloquently responded to) - Yet when have they or any other news outlet ONCE used the word "lie" when it comes to the massive amounts of blatant mistruths that continue to flow out of the white house? Is it so hard to simply report the truth - to characterize a lie as a lie, to tell what is actually going on? How hard is it to say, "The president today once again drew a connection between September 11 and the ongoing war in Iraq, however, it has been proven that there is no evidence connecting Saddam Hussein to any Al Qaeda operation, including 9/11." How hard can it be to tell the truth? Evidenly really, really hard - since 57% of Americans still insist, even to the detriment of the country's reputation and the lives of American soldiers, that what has been solidly proven a lie is the truth.

Perhaps it's time for a very simple message to go up on billboards around the country: "THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES - and P.S. SADDAM HAD NO WMDs"


| -- permanent link