President Donald Trump has publicly admitted he discussed Joe Biden with Ukraine and the White House released a memo on his July 25 phone call that shows he asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the former vice president and his son, Hunter Biden. Still, only 40% of Republican voters believe he did so, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.
The Monmouth poll found about 62% of Americans “believe it is likely that Trump mentioned the possibility of an investigation into Biden” during his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Meanwhile, 15% say he probably did not do this and 23% are unsure.
Split across partisan lines: 85% of Democrats believe Trump mentioned investigating Biden in the call compared to just four-in-ten Republicans.
And even among Republicans who have heard a lot about the call, just 50% believe Trump asked Ukraine to open such an investigation, according to the poll.
Among all Americans who have heard a lot about the call: 76% say “this conversation probably occurred,” 12% say it probably did not, and 12% are unsure.
Is it the much-mocked “reality-based community” of the Bush years?
I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
That’s not quite it, although the Republican Party’s longstanding tendency to believe in pretty fantasies instead of cold hard facts played no small role in getting us where we are today. But as ugly as this quote is—and for someone like me, who lived and wrote through the Bush years, it’s almost traumatic to look back at that mess—it’s not exactly what’s going on in the Yahoo News piece above.
No, this is legit doublethink.
To know and to not know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy is impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. To forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.
We apparently have a population of people who can receive word directly from Trump himself that he tried to get the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, and refuse to believe it happened. Not that it wasn’t a crime (although that’s certainly including in their tenets), but that it actually didn’t happen. THAT, my friends, is what the kids used to call “insane in the membrane,” and what I believe is more commonly known as “fucked in the head.”
As Martin has pointed out, the Republican Party base is very sick, as is much of the Republican leadership. Those that aren’t sick are manipulating the deluded, which is even worse.
The real work of deprogramming our fellow Americans will begin after Trump is removed or voted out of office. It will be a monumental task. It may be impossible.