BUSH VOTERS WON’T ADMIT IT…. In 2000, nearly 48% of American voters supported George W. Bush. Four years later, just under 51% voted to give Bush a second term.

Oddly enough, a whole lot of these voters want to pretend their votes never happened.

There was a time, though admittedly it’s hard to remember now, when George W. Bush was remarkably popular. So popular, in fact, that he easily won re-election four years ago, racking up what was the largest popular vote total for any presidential candidate until Barack Obama shattered it this year.

So it’s a particularly amusing sign of how far the political climate has shifted that in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 33 percent of respondents admit to having voted for the guy twice, while 52 percent said they’d never voted for him at all. If that were actually true, of course, Bush would never have had the chance to run the country so firmly into the ground that people are now pretending they never liked him.

I remember reading, years ago when I lived in Miami, that a significant percentage of the population of South Florida believes they were in attendance for the famous Dolphins-Charges playoff game in 1982. That’s impossible, of course, since the capacity of the Orange Bowl was only about 75,000, and the population of Miami-Dade is in the millions, but locals remembered the game so fondly, they’d fooled themselves into thinking they actually saw the game in person. It’s similar to the phenomenon of the number of people claiming to have been on hand for Woodstock in 1969 — more people believe it than could have possibly shown up.

Except, with Bush, it’s the opposite. People who really did support him have fooled themselves into thinking they couldn’t have possibly voted for the guy.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.