The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, October 08, 2004
 

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest: that Iraq-9/11 connection


A fair amount being made on the left side of the aisle about the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll result that 62% of Republicans believe that Saddam was involved with 9/11.

Gallup is pay-only; the USA Today page [1] has the question (Q 22) - but not analysed by political affiliation; the CNN polls page doesn't link to anything with the Saddam-9/11 question, that I can see.

What we're left with is this CNN transcript. Frank Newport of Gallup says
...62 percent of Republicans nationally say yes, Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11...

If you're an Independent, 65 percent say no, no connection between Saddam and 9/11. Sixty-five percent of Democrats say no connection between Saddam and 9/11.


As for the commentary, Atrios mentioned the result, and quoted the transcript, in a piece headed Republicans - Too Stupid to Breathe.

And on Franken's show yesterday, together with an audience of Olympic-standard whoopers and hollerers, a good deal was made of this as proof of the essential idiocy of the Red Man.

Now, clearly the underlying proposition was always pretty damned tenuous - for the very good reason of the complete lack of credible evidence adduced to support it!

(The excellent 200 page study by Devon Largio on the varying reasons given for waging war on Saddam [2] quotes (p24a) a Times article of September 25 2001 citing a poll that 6% of Americans thought Saddam was behind the 9/11 [3]. There seems to have been a reluctance within the Administration in the months after 9/11 to make the link between the two [4].)

Amazing, though, that Dems ululating over that Gallup poll 62% should overlook the other, rather more, fascinating result: that 35% of Dems say that Saddam was involved with 9/11, or aren't sure he wasn't!

That's like Joe Torre slamming the Red Sox' chances in the post-season, and a third of Red Sox fans agreeing with him or sitting on the fence.

What a thundering indictment of the dismal effort of Dems at all levels - the Kerry campaign most notably - to put the record straight on a matter which lies at the intersection of the two most important events of the presidency of the man Kerry is trying to defeat!

Of course, that means - following the Atrios logic - that a third of Democrats must be dumb. (Plus a third of the independents, by the way...) Pissing all over folks who might be the difference between reaching 270 or not, probably not a good idea.

(Or is it that dumb Democrats can safely be assumed not read to listen to liberal radio or read blogs? Or that the Dumb Third are too dumb to do the 100 minus 65 math?)

Of course, I am merely, as ever, the puzzled kibitzer here...

  1. Beware - temporary link!

  2. I mentioned on June 14: it traces the rationales given by USG as reported in the media over time - impossible to do without Nexis. Big downside: she chose as her media comparator the New York Times, whose stuff disappears behind the pay-wall after a week. Should have used the Post...

  3. I can find no reprint of this article online.

  4. For instance, even the rabid Wolfowitz, offered the bait, declined it (p41):
    In another interview [on December 9 2001] with "CNN Late Edition," he was reminded that there was no evidence linking Hussein to 9-11; Wolfowitz replied that he was still a threat and should pay attention to the warning given to him by President Bush.
    Where is Wolfowitz, you may be wondering?

    Not a regular in the Note, so far as I can recall - but, believe it or not, being spun as a possible replacement for Rumsfeld in Bush Reloaded.

    Last throw for the Jewish vote?


MORE

Just now, I hear Air America's Mike Malloy refer to the infamous 62% as morons. And impersonate a putative representative of the group in a cartoon cracker accent.

Liberal talk radio really raises the bar...


STILL MORE

A Saint Petersburg Times piece quotes the Southpaw Limbaugh thus:
I love the fact that 62 percent of Republicans believe Saddam Hussein had something to do with Sept. 11. What is wrong with these people?


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