Saturday, November 3, 2012

The other showdown coming on Tuesday

Of course the headlines at first will all be about who wins the presidential election - along with what happens to the House and Senate. But as we begin to absorb all that - there will be another accounting...and that one will be between facts and delusion.

The facts are most often represented by people like Nate Silver - who has been personally bludgeoned by the wingers lately for his statistical analysis. But he's hardly the only one in that camp. Take a look at the nine electoral college predictions by those working with facts ( btw - since that was published, TPM has updated to 303 electoral votes for Obama).

For those who are delusional, you need merely look at folks like Dick Morris, or Karl Rove, or Michael Barone. Their predictions are not about facts - just heavy doses of spin and delusion designed to keep the charade going.

I wanted to write about this because its a great metaphor for what is going on in our politics these days - especially as evidenced by the presidential election. One side has data, history, facts on their side. The other has anger, fear and delusion. To make matters worse, folks who've bought into the latter have constructed a system of epistemic closure where facts can't intrude.
One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted.
In case you think I might be exaggerating,  take a look at these interviews with Romney supporters (if you have a low tolerance for wingnut hate and ignorance, you might not want to watch).

The difference this time is that we are going to have a day of accounting on Tuesday. With all my heart, I hope that the outcome is one that is overwhelming enough that there can be no denying or obfuscation. We need that as a country.

But I tend to agree with Infidel753 - those who have been fooled are going to have to find a way to deal with the cognitive dissonance of a delusion being shattered...and it might not be pretty.


  1. That reporter was amazingly able to ask each person the questions respectfully, and even gently challenge them, but he almost lost it when the guy talked about Buddhists coming into the country.

    1. I thought he did a great job. And yes, you could see the facade crack when the guy started talking about the "great Buddhist threat." LOL

  2. This was quite telling. I had to postit on FB. Ihave some really conservative relatives that plan on voting for Romney, I just have a hard time with that and they aren't dumb kpeople, but have been listening to Beck and Fox too long and one issue Contraceptives and abortion and yet they all used contraception at one time or another in their lives. It's just amazing. I just read a post on the Mormon Church and Romney's plans if he gets in teh WH. It was really gut wrenching. I will pass it on to Smartypants maybe you can make some sense to it. Thanks for all you and TOD do.

  3. SP this is the website on the article I was talking about above
    The global turning point. Mitt Romney will get rid of FEMA.