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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:50 AM

Krugman: Delusions of Reason

Delusions of Reason

Brad DeLong sends me where I would normally never go — to an article on RedState, discussing what appears to have been a major case of death by consultant in the Romney campaign. It’s an interesting story — apparently they were drinking their own Kool-Aid, “unskewing” not just public polling but their own internal polls. But what struck me were some of the comments, this one in particular:

THANK YOU for bringing this to light. I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but : DATA IS KILLING US.

We ARE the party of reason, and logic. We are the ones that actually know what we’re talking about, and stand firm. We need to run these charlatans out of town on a rail, and start over NOW. No more listening to wishful thinking polls ( *cough* Karl Rove, Scott Rassmussen *cough*). No more trusting the “elites”!

This has been a persistent delusion in certain parts of the right. Brad likes to tell the (second-hand) tale of Larry Lindsey arriving at the Council of Economic Advisers in 2001 and declaring that the people who really understood economics had arrived. A lot of 1-percent Romney supporters believed that only the unwashed masses could actually believe that Obama was making more sense on economic policy. And so on.

What’s so strange about this is that everything — everything — that has happened for the past decade has demonstrated the opposite. Modern Republicans are devotees of faith-based analysis on every front. On economics, in particular, they are devoted to supply-side fantasies that keep being refuted by evidence — and their reaction is to try to suppress the evidence. They’ve spent pretty much the whole past four years issuing dire warnings about inflation and soaring interest rates that keep not coming true; they cling to the belief that if only a Republican were in office we’d have a 1982-style recovery even though economists who actually studied past financial crises predicted the slow recovery in advance.

And don’t even get me started on climate change.

The truth is that the modern GOP is deeply anti-intellectual, and has as its fundamental goal not just a rollback of the welfare state but a rollback of the Enlightenment. Yet there are some wannabe intellectuals who delude themselves into believing that they have aligned themselves with the party of objective (as opposed to Objectivist) analysis.

- more -


Great comment in response:

Reason and thought fled the Republican Party and its right wing fringe puppet masters a l-o-n-g time ago, and even with the schellacking the party took on Tuesday no one over there has stopped for even a moment to say, "Hey, folks, maybe we're doing something wrong here."

Calling Obama's campaign "small bore and brutish," Ron Fournier at National Journal fumed "Obama hurt his cause by running a hard-edged and negative campaign against Republican Mitt Romney, hoping to convince recession-weary voters that his rival was unworthy of the job."

The example at Red State Mr DeLong sent you wasn't even its worst bit of logic twisting. On Wednesday, Michael Hammond listed 30 reasons why Obama won, (http://www.redstate.com/mikehammond/2012/11/07/30-reasons-republicans-lost-the-election/) beginning with the laughable "Republicans allowed Democrats to pick their nominee for them."


Beyond the fact that no one has ever accused Palin, Bachmann or Santorum of being bright, Democrats would have loved to run against any of them; Romney was seen as the one Republican with a decent chance of winning. But such is the self-delusion occurring on the right in the aftermath of Tuesday's drumming.


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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:55 AM

1. Surely the administration can use Prof Krugman in some position of high responsibility


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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:00 AM

2. They key phrase here is

'faith-based'. It's either faith or reason and ReTHUGs have opted for faith.
Unless reason replaces faith, they will keep on losing. Good.

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:16 AM

4. They're delusional. Think about this:

Do they know that they're blaming God for Mitt's loss:

Republicans Blame Sandy for Killing Romney's Momentum

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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:35 AM

6. Well it allows them to not deal with the real factors that led to their shellacking

Fugg 'em! - they lose, we win.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:01 AM

3. Yep. The buzz is how they are going get women and minorities to vote republican

because those are the voting demographics that came out for president Obama in large enough numbers to overcome the white male establishment vote.

They don't appear to grasp that it is a fundamental policy issue. That the hate, discrimination and inequality written into the repuglycan platform alienates people.

The focus seems to be on schemes for duping people into voting against their best interests. It is an odd thing to witness.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:41 AM

7. 30 reasons why Obama won............

That article linked in the OP deserves a careful read.
It is basicly a primer on how to be a better dishonest used car salesmen.

3. The House GOP Should Have Used The September Continuing Resolution To Frame The Election. The House Republicans, without help from anyone, could have refused to pass a continuing resolution for October 1 through March 31, unless it barred funds from being used to hire IRS agents to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate people who filed to pay their ObamaCare premiums/fines. Had that been the case, all of October would have been spent debating Obama’s threat to shut down the government for the sole purpose of preserving the mandate.

The 30 reasons why we lost is not because snake oil is garbage. We lost because we weren't good snake oil salesmen.

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Response to wandy (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:12 PM

8. Republicans are delusional. Same premise as that article:

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