Friday, October 22, 2004

Light Reading

Sometimes it's fun to chase one link to another - you never know what kind of way kewl stuff you're going to run into. For example, I received an email from Judd Legum at Center for American Progress a little while ago. The email was synopsis of how deluded Bush supporters have become over the past few years. For example:

  • 75% believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
  • 74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.
  • 72% believe Iraq had WMD or a program to develop them.
  • 72% believe Bush supports the treaty banning landmines.
  • 69% believe Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
  • 61% believe if Bush knew there were no WMD he would not have gone to war.
  • 60% believe most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
  • 58% believe the Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had either WMD or a major program to develop them.
  • 57% believe that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected.
  • 56% believe most experts think Iraq had WMD.
  • 55% believe the 9/11 report concluded Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
  • 51% believe Bush supports the Kyoto treaty.
  • 20% believe Iraq was directly involved in 9/11.

And I'm thinking to myself, wonderful - but what's the source of the numbers? Without legitimate study behind the numbers, Judd could just be acting like a Republican and pulled them out of his ass (or, thin air, for the more sensitive among you). So I followed his link to the CAP blog, Winning Argument, figuring that I could source the figures there. Nope. Just the same thing that I cut and pasted above - but there was a link to a study / poll conducted by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), at the University of Maryland's School for Public Policy, and Knowledge Networks.

Here's all you need to know to interest you in clicking through - the title of the poll is The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters, released on 10/21/04.

The 16 page report is wild in the extreme. For example:

(from Page 4): Iraq and al Qaeda

Despite the report of the 9/11 Commission saying there is no evidence Iraq was providing significant support to al Qaeda, 75%of Bush supporters believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda (30% of Kerry supporters), with 20% believing that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11. Sixty-three percent of Bush supporters even believe that clear evidence of this support has been found, while 85% of Kerry supporters believe the opposite.
These kind of numbers clearly reflect more than just differences in opinion. While I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the Kerry supporter side of the equation, I'm right on board with Digby's conclusion the other day that numbers such as this on the Bush side reflect the attitudes of The Cult of the Codpiece (see: Jonestown, Guyana).

Whatever the Bush ministers of disinformation direct the faithful to think, that's what they'll think. Whatever the right whing mouthpieces (Rush, mAnn, Hannity, Savage) browbeat the faithful to think, that's what they'll think. If Team WarCrimes suggests that the faithful drive the bus off of a cliff, they'll have that Greyhound flying over the edge at top speed, all the time singing a round of "Kumbaya". And at the end of the day, they'd be more than willing take a bullet and be a martyr for Chimpy McCokespoon.

It's the only explanation. That's why I'm so proud to have included ASZ as a member of the reality-based community.

Go read the entire report. It'll make your hair stand on end.