This Just In: Conventional Village Wisdom Wrong; also Pope Catholic

(cross posted at LeftinLowell)

One sure sign that the village is about to ignore reality is when it asserts anything about the desires of Americans.  As Greenwald pointed out today:

One of the most common and most corrosive aspects of our political discourse is the endless assertions — based on nothing — about what “Americans believe.  It is exceedingly conventional wisdom that Americans generally view the world through the prism of Jack Bauer and therefore want our government to torture, want Guantanamo kept opened, and do not want suspected Terrorists to be tried in civilian courts inside the U.S.  It is even more commonly asserted that Americans do not want, and even further, would never tolerate, criminal investigations into the various crimes of Bush officials.”


Turns out that there is polling on these questions, and the American people seem to have missed the memo from the village about what they are supposed to believe.  Of course the polling is phrased to try and push them toward village conformity, but alas the village is doomed to be disapointed (that is if they really cared if their claims about American opinion had any basis in truth).

Greenwald has the details but here are some hits:

By a wide margin —  58-40% — Americans say that torture should never be used, no matter the circumstances.

Moreover, a majority of Americans (53-42%) favor the closing of Guantanamo,…

a majority of Americans (50-47%) believe that the Obama administration should investigate whether the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees was illegal.

Americans would have opposed (52-42%) the issuance of pardons by Bush to those “who carried out his administration’s policy on the treatment of terrorism suspects.”

I guess it turns out that Americans get, unlike Fox, that Jack Bauer is as advertised… entertaining fiction.  Of course the village will no doubt go on misunderestimating American opinion.  They will claim insight into ‘conventional wisdom’ and assert that these majority views are actually only the opinion of the far left.  

One can hope now that those who dismissed anyone that was ‘reality based’ are out of office, real reality might begin permeate the consciousness (and conscience) of the village.

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11 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Yet

    By a wide margin --  58-40% -- Americans say that torture should never be used, no matter the circumstances.

    Yet, American Idol remains on the air.

  2. Conventional $quot;wisdom$quot;

    News agencies reporting on polls is like putting dictionary definitions in your term paper. It's meant to show you're thinking (or right), when most likely just a lazy tool to get you over the requisite word count.

    Conventional wisdom will buy stocks when their up and sell when their down. It will believe the world is flat. And, as any Orwellian O'Brien knows, it can be created by control of the media and thought police.

    Just sayin' -- the door swings both ways.

    Have you ever seen that show -- must be from the 1980s -- where a group of scholars, politicians, and others role play through a moderated event. It's fascinating to watch, and it should given anyone pause that just because the "village" thinks it's so makes it so.

    They had one session on torture. Very interesting to witness the thought process. And I guess that's part of the notion of conventional wisdom is that it's beliefs that haven't been examined. Not exactly the type of stuff I want to see us basing national defense policy on.

    Hopefully, it will be left to scholars and others to wonder what course of history would have been if Iraq did have WMD and the intent to use or sell them and we chose to negotiate rather than to act. Hopefully, an Obama administration won't have those choices to make.

    Who controls the hand of destiny? If Russia had not been so willing to negotiate, would the missels in Cuba have been assembled and launched? Would conventional wisdom still be that preemptive action is wrong?

    Obama was in a fortunate position where he could stand away from the pack of other U.S. Senate candidates by opposing a war without having access to the information on which others made their decisions. It turned the sound-bite campaigning of modern day (powered through the village by the net and its conventional wisdom) into a game of "I said it first."

    And so, now we have the cart before the horse. Closing GITMO without a plan of how or any pledges to help or any discussion of what happens if....  

    Remember when it was Bush with whom the media were enamored (those stupid nicknames seemed to be all they talked about)? Remember how nauseating, no infuriating, that was? The priveleged press, asleep at the wheel. No one asking "What if?" What if we weren't embraced as liberators? What if there are no WMDs? What if?

    Let's no repeat those mistakes. Joan said it well today.

  3. I don't get the second part

    There isn't anything about the Pope in the whole post.  ?

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Mon 1 Sep 7:18 AM