I don’t know the margin of error, but a study released last week said that 63% of Republicans believe that we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Democrats scored much less mentally challenged with a meager 23%. Either way, this is not a partisan issue, not even as arguable as evolution. We went to Iraq and found no weapons of mass destruction PERIOD In an interview with Amy Goodman on August 22, 2006 -and in a televised press briefing- President Bush admitted that there were no WMD and that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
Those are the facts. 64% of Republicans believe that President Obama was not born in America, but there’s not much he can do about that. Most of those surveyed, however were probably old enough to watch the war in Iraq in real time. And just like Geraldo Rivera opening up Al Capone’s safe on live TV, when it came to WMD, we came up empty. Nada. Goose egg. Bubkas.
Also forgotten was the Plame Affair, an attempt to punish Ambassador Joe Wilson for reporting his findings (or lack thereof) to the New York Times (What I Didn’t Find in Africa, July 6, 2003) that Iraq was not, as rumored buying yellow cake uranium for weapons use. In the process, Scooter Libby (a grown man named Scooter?), an aide to VP Cheney leaked that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame was a CIA operative, a treasonable offense during wartime. Plame’s career ended, Libby went to jail until pardoned, Cheney and/or Rove got off scott free and we all just forgot about it. As, I’m sure did the guy who Cheney shot in the face and then apologized to Cheney and his family.
But I digress. This blog is entitled, “Lowdown” and you deserve to know why. In an attempt to win undecided voters, the presidential debates begin this week. How it’s possible that anyone in this 2012 presidential race can be undecided is completely beyond me, but a new class of voters has arisen and I’m not talking about the ones disenfranchised by discriminatory voter ID laws. It’s the “low-information voters”. While it’s not clear if the undecideds are low-information voters or just waiting for divine intervention, it is clear that the 63% of Republicans and 23% of Democrats who think we found WMD in Iraq are either low-information or completely fact-resistant.
In this search-engine, smart-phone age of information and instant access people seem only capable of remembering sound bites and worse, only those that mesh with their pre-conceived notions and biased proclivities. Science is anathema and education snobbish. I can’t decide if all this is ironic or paradoxical, but an enlightened electorate could demand the same of its candidates, just as could a tolerant electorate.
I disagree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it. I’m against bubble gum but I don’t think it’s government’s job to tell us not to chew it. As Andrew Shepard said (The American President, 1995), “Show me that in your schools…”