Jonah Goldberg

Most fair-minded readers will no doubt take me at my word when I say that a majority of Democrats in this country are out of their gourds.

But, on the off chance that a few cynics won't take my word for it, I offer you data. Rasmussen Reports, the public opinion outfit, recently asked voters whether President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks beforehand. The findings? Well, here's how the research firm put it: "Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent of Democrats believe he did know, 39 percent say he did not know and 26 percent are not sure."

So, one in three Democrats believe that Bush was in on it somehow, and a majority of Democrats either believe that Bush knew about the attacks in advance or can't quite make up their minds.

There are only three ways to respond to this finding: It's absolutely true, in which case the paranoid style of American liberalism has reached a fevered crescendo. Or, option B, it's not true and we can stop paying attention to these kinds of polls. Or there's option C - it's a little of both.

My vote is for C. But before we get there, we should work through the ramifications of A and B.

We don't know what kind of motive respondents had in mind for Bush, but the most common version has Bush craftily enabling a terror attack as a way to whip up support for his foreign policy without too many questions.

The problem with rebutting this sort of allegation is that there are too many reasons why it's so stupid. It's like trying to explain to a 4-year-old why Superman isn't real. You can spend all day talking about how kryptonite just wouldn't work that way. Or you can just say, "It's make-believe."

Similarly, why try to explain that it's implausible that Bush was evil enough to let this happen - and clever enough to get away with it - yet incapable either morally or intellectually of doing it again? After all, if he's such a villainous super-genius to have paved the way for 9/11 without getting caught, why stop there? Democrats constantly insinuate that Bush plays politics with terror warnings on the assumption that the higher the terror level, the more support Bush has. Well, a couple of more 9/11s and Dick Cheney will finally be able to get that shiny Bill of Rights shredder he always wanted.

And, if Bush - whom Democrats insist is a moron - is clever enough to green-light one 9/11, why is Iraq such a blunder? Surely a James Bond villain like Bush would just plant some WMD?


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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