Jonah Goldberg
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No, the right response to the Rosie O'Donnell wing of the Democratic Party is, "It's just make-believe." But if they really believe it, then liberals must stop calling themselves the "reality-based" party and stop objecting to the suggestion that they have a problem with being called anti-American. Because when 61 percent of Democrats polled consider it plausible or certain that the U.S. government would let this happen, well, "blame America first" doesn't really begin to cover it, does it?

So then there's option B - the poll is just wrong. This is quite plausible. Indeed, the poll is surely partly wrong. Many Democrats are probably just saying that Bush is incompetent or that he failed to connect the dots or that they're just answering the question in a fit of pique. I'm game for option B. But if we're going to throw this poll away, liberals need to offer the same benefit of the doubt when it comes to data that are more convenient for them. For example, liberals have been dining out on polls showing that Fox News viewers, or Republicans generally, are more likely to believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Now, however flimsy, tendentious, equivocal or sparse you may think the evidence that Hussein had a hand in 9/11 may be, it's ironclad compared with the nugatory proof that Bush somehow permitted or condoned those attacks.

And then there's option C, which is most assuredly the reality. The poll is partly wrong or misleading, but it's also partly right and accurate. So maybe it's not one in three Democrats suffering from paranoid delusions. Maybe it's only one in five, or one in 10. In other words, the problem isn't as profound as the poll makes it sound. But that doesn't mean the Democratic Party doesn't have a serious problem.

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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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