In the dark days of the Bush error an administration toady (thought to be Karl Rove) famously coined the term “reality based community”. According to the toady, the Bush administration created their own reality while folks in the reality based community “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality”.
We all know how THAT worked out.
The lefty side of the political divide embraces the term ‘reality based community’. For us it is a badge of honor to be based in reality. From my perch on the liberal side of the great divide it seems like the other side has made great efforts to divest themselves of any semblance of reality based thought.
Now that the 2012 presidential election looks good for President Obama, we have the latest example of Republicans refusing to accept reality while they try really really really hard to create their own reality. Poll Trutherism.
The roots of Republican poll trutherism can be traced back to 2006. In October of 2006 Karl Rove was interviewed on NPR and insisted that all the polls reflecting the coming massive Republican losses in the midterm election were just wrong.
ROVE: I’m looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I’m entitled to THE math.
SIEGEL: I don’t know if we’re entitled to a different math but your…
ROVE: I said THE math.
Hindsight being 20/20 (or like 85/07 if you are a Republican) we know that Rove’s THE math was simply wrong. Republicans lost the 2006 midterm elections in a landslide. Despite their best efforts Republicans simply could not create their own reality. One suspects that if one were able to query Rove about this event he would present some weird argument to prove that he was correct the entire time, but that would just be another example of him creating an alternate reality in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
Poll trutherism in the 2012 election consists of the righties telling themselves and all who will listen that the polls have a liberal bias. One of the best examples of this is the column by Dick Morris titled “Romney Pulls Ahead”. Oddly enough searching google with the term Romney Pulls Ahead yields several results proving that Obama has pulled ahead in the pulls, before finally linking to the Morris piece. This only proves that google search has a liberal bias!
Poll trutherism is wildly popular on the right. It is so prevalent that even the dunderheads at Fox and Friends found themselves arguing, in effect, that Fox News polls reflecting Obama with a lead are inaccurate!
Maybe Fox and Friends is leading the way when it comes to poll trutherism. Based upon recent history we can now expect the main stream media to report on the polls, and then report on the Republican numbers being careful to give equal validity to both “sides” of the argument. I can’t wait for the day when CNN does a segment on it’s own poll and then gives a block to some right wing hack to discuss how misleading CNN’s scientific poll actually is.
This tendency from the right to ignore real numbers and actual facts because their position is undermined by facts and figures is long standing. Thanks to Republicans it is accepted that there is a scientific controversy about global warming. There is a controversy about the theory of evolution versus creationism. There is room for debate about whether or not trickle down economics results in more or less budget deficit. All of these Republican theories and many others are dis-proven by empirical data which is widely available, yet there is some sort of controversy regarding what is fact or not in each case.
It is beyond me how any person interested in real numbers and proven science would want to be a Republican… except for those who are paid to parrot the Republican line. Of course that is just the sentiment of a proud liberal, and as such that opinion has no validity as far as the main stream media is concerned.