A couple of years ago, a University of Maryland survey found something like 42% of adults in America still believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction long after acknowledgment by the president that we couldn't find any. How could we ever have a national debate about the war on that basis?
A story in today's Washington Post about how "falsehoods" quickly become imbedded truths in campaign rhetoric reawakens my fears. Have a look at this discussion of the truth (know here as "little facts") versus campaign claims and public images:
"The more the New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there's a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she's new, she's popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent," [the GOP strategist] said. "As long as those are out there, these little facts don't really matter."