Saturday, May 05, 2007

Did Bush Know About 9/11 in Advance?

Tom points us to this completely insane poll result.

Heck, I'm not even sure Bush knew about 9/11 after it happened, much less in advance. In fact, he still seems to be a little unclear on what happened--e.g., who it was who attacked us.

The real question here, though, is: what went wrong with this poll? Because it simply cannot be true that 22% of likely voters think that he knew in advance...not to mention that another 22% are allegedly not sure.

One thing that often explains such "not sure" results is that people confuse the questions:

1. Is it logically possible that x? (i.e., does x entail a formal contradiction (something of the form 'P & not-P'))

With the question:

2. Is it a real and relevant possibility that x?

That's what happened in that famous poll a couple of years back that alleged to show that some freakishly high percentage of people thought that the Holocaust might not have happened.

As Richard points out in the previous thread, if results like this were accurate, it would be extremely important, because you can't run a democracy well if the electorate can't even get clear on the most basic and obvious facts. Think about the unbelievably heavy price we've been paying for that fact that so many conservatives continue to believe that Saddam was in on 9/11, that invading Iraq was a defensive action, etc. If the figures mentioned above were true, it would seem to indicate that a very large percentage of Democrats are even more deranged about 9/11 than many Republicans are. And that would, indeed, be a very frightening thing.

A desperate lunge at an explanation:
All the 9/11 conspiracy kooks have come out of the woodwork and (b/c of 9/11) turned anti-GOP, and now identify themselves as likely Democratic voters?)


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Look, I hope this poll's wrong, too. It gives me no pleasure.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

It's absolutely GOT to be wrong. I mean, I've got just about as dim a view of the intelligence of the American people as a reasonable person can have, and even *I* would bet--if not the whole farm, then at least the back 40--that this is not true.

I mean, really. Who's THIS stupid?

If this is true, I'm gonna go to France and become a postmodernist literary theorist. I'll sip esspresso and wear a black turtleneck and a beret and a weenie little moustache and talk about how STOO-PEED and fat all Americans are all the time and how In-croi-ab-la it is that they are the leaders of the free world, and I will read Foucalt and Derrida and all that crap.

And none of that is EVER gonna happen, so these poll numbers are bogus.


7:45 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

That's known as Argumentum Ex Winstonius, if you didn't know.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find these polls depressing. Americans or subsets of Americans believe:
- Duhbya knew.
- FDR allowed Pearl Harbor to happen.
- LBJ put a hit out on JFK.
- The CIA imported crack into the black community.
- The CIA gave LSD to unwitting subjects (oh, right, that's true).
- The government funded syphilis experiments that intentionally let subjects die of the disease (oh, yeah, another true one).
- Aliens regularly visit Earth.
- Angels inhabit hospital rooms (and still can't kill Staphylococcus aureus).
- The universe was created 6000 years ago in six days literally as described in Genesis, nevermind what our lyin' eyes tell us, nor even observing that God's alleged stenographers just happened to outline false facts that exactly matched the beliefs of the time.
- Many others too numerous to mention...

I mean, the experts aren't always honest and true (especially not those from conservative "think" tanks), but the appetite for bullshit of humans (not limited to Americans by any means) appears limitless. I can't see why we humans like the taste so much, and it bums me out.

10:23 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Well I guess I'd have to see the specific arguments before I said they were stupid.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Thanks for that uplifting summary, LL...

10:47 AM  
Blogger Myca said...

Holy god this is depressing.

This is one of the only times TVD and I will agree . . . this is just plain bad, and I whether this is good or bad for the president, I take no pleasure in it.

That is all.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please, 50 percent of the American people believe in ufo's.

1:22 PM  

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