Andrew Sullivan makes the case today that one of the major American political parties is “unhinged.”
Or, rather, it is living in an alternative reality. 63 percent of Republicans in a new poll believe that Saddam Hussein had WMDs when we invaded in 2003, despite even George W. Bush’s acknowledgment that he didn’t. 64 percent also believe that Barack Obama was born in a foreign country, even though we have the long-form birth certificate from Hawaii. This alternate reality is sustained by a 24 hour propaganda network, and hermetically sealed off from any external intervention.
We are reaching a democratic crisis of some sorts. One major political party refuses to accept empirical truths. It has become a hall of ideological mirrors.
Andrew’s not exaggerating. His item references this Dan Froomkin piece, published today, on a YouGov poll conducted last month. To help drive home the point, I put together a chart based the YouGov results on the WMD question.
Remember, the poll was completed last month – as in, May 2012, not May 2003.
About a year ago, I wrote that the scope of the nation’s challenges is enormous, but the larger problem is that we lack a discourse equipped to even begin serious conversations about how to address those problems: “[A]ny policy discussion has to progress from a shared foundation of reality, and at this point, the right isn’t even prepared to accept the basics.”
I still believe that.