Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
—Philip K. Dick
Between 2003 and 2005, researchers conducted a series of studies comparing how Democrats and Republicans interpreted facts about the war in Iraq.1 The researchers were interested in what happens when people encounter new information, especially when it contradicts their existing beliefs.
The original invasion was justified in no small part by the Bush administration’s claim that Iraq was concealing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and posed a threat to the United States.
The U.S. did not find any WMDs, and as the war continued, it seemed increasingly unlikely that WMDs would be found.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats challenged ...