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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:36 PM

Unlike the media and his supporters, I always knew that Romney was going to lose

Last edited Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:43 PM - Edit history (3)

I recognized early on, especially after every incident and statement in which the Romney camp exposed their own incompentence, arrogance and utter lack of self-awareness, that they didn't have a clue about how they came off to people. The likability deficit that Romney created was a huge clue and they completely ignored it. So did much of the national media, as I had very well classified their unabshed cheer leading for Romney in the same way that a prostitute would have sex with anyone who gives them money.

Most of all, I think that best explanation for Romney, his voters and the national media's unrealistic assumption that he was going to win is defined in The Dunning-Kruger effect. It was clear to me that the Romney campaign was utterly incompetent and, had he been elected, would run the country in much the same incompetent fashion. Dunning-Kruger is quite explicit about how the ability to overrate ones own competence correlates with identifying with other incompent people and completely disregarding true competence in others.

To these people, they can create fantastic rationalizations in order to believe that the President should be kicked out of office and a complete charlatan like Romney should replace him. Forget about the auto bailout, the economic recovery and the killing of Bin Laden ordered by this president, none of that was supposed to matter in comparison to every absurd fantasy that they created to condemn him... THOSE fantasies were good enough reason to elect Romney instead.

I mentioned before that this phenomena is nothing more than magical thinking.

Now, although I say that I didn't have any doubts about President Obama's reelection, I understand that concerns over GOP voter suppression, election tampering and fraud were all valid concerns. That would have been the only way that Romney could have gotten elected, given the way that he came off to the people who weren't living in a hell on Earth under the rule of a Scary Negro.

It's quite clear from the Right's post-traumatic reaction that the fear and anger that they've been expressing for the past four years is not going away, at least not easily anyway.

That anger is quite comfortable and all too familiar to them. They are complete ill-equipped the function outside of that skewed frame of reference. They will resist coping with reality as long as they have a support group of other completely incompent, utterly unrealistic, prevaricating and wholly clueless sub-cultural assholes to pander to them.

These people are exercising the absolute right of a free society to engage in magical thinking. They are offended that anyone, an authority figure who was reelected, a truthful and competent press or a majority of winning voters would attempt to dissuade them from their God-given right to create their own self-sealing, highly resistant to reality misinformation bubble.

To them, such any attempts would be "unAmerican". This, of course, explains their penchant for assigning outsider status to everyone that they hate. To me, their cultishly tribalized behavior is as American as cherry pie. Ask anyone who stands outside of the culturally defined norm of this country and they'll tell you the same.

What was clear to me was that, by operating sheerly on that tribalism alone, Romney could not get elected. But most of all, that tribalism that he espoused would create the very conditions for his downfall. It wasn't because he was a better candidate, he was by far the worst candidate that I've seen in my fifty-one years on this planet. The tribalism itself created very good reasons to vote against Romney, as well as the defiance created in the outrage against GOP voter suppression efforts. Democracy was at stake here and the American people responded valiantly by stepping up to the plate.

We have a president, in Barack Obama, that shows that he puts his faith in the American people. To him, that was the only sure thing about this election. He didn't have to create a phony self or fabricate a Mitt Romney that didn't exist. All he had to do was both tell the truth and allow the Romney camp to continue demonstrating their utter contempt for the political process and ordinary Americans.

In the end one side knows what America is all about, while the other side is dealing with the pain of confronting an America that doesn't comport while their narrow and unrealistic vision.

Gawd... It must really suck to be them.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:26 PM

1. I agree with you about the the role that the Dunning-Kruger Effect played in this

election cycle. I believe that that aspect of human cognition plays a vital role in all levels of social/political/religious interaction and dynamics, yet, in this election cycle I think that cognitive dissonance played a larger role.
Republicans have created their own reality and the realization that we all don't labor under the same delusions is tough for them to deal with. They cling to their own version of reality even more tightly as they recognize that the rest of us don't.
Dunning-Kruger comes into play as the mechanism that allows the least competent to have the most confidence about their abilities to see things clearly and to direct appropriate policy for our current situation. They are wrong but they are confident that they are right.
Obama suffers from Dunning-Kruger too, he just represents the other end of the D-K spectrum. According to Dunning-Kruger, the most competent are aware that they don't know everything and therefore lack the confidence of the least competent.
This explains why Obama is so willing to accept compromise and also explains why the right wing is so unwilling to compromise.
As someone who has taught high school for many years, I witness this condition all the time in my classes. Let your students grade their own work and you will discover that the A students always under-estimate their work's value and the C and D students always think they have earned an A.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:50 PM

5. You are absolutely correct

To witness the sheer amount of cognitive dissonance on the Right throughout the entire process was staggering to behold.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:16 PM

14. I'm sure I will know how they are feeling

if I live to see the second coming of Christ.
My jaw would be on the floor. I would be in shock and awe. I would have to admit that I had been a fool. And I would have to hope that there was room upstairs for at least one doubting Thomas.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:31 PM

2. Well, MrScorpio, THIS Scorpio had said it for a while, too! :-)

I "apologized" to my Republican friend, who was shocked at the results, for not telling her beforehand to relax on 11/06, because it was going to be an Obama blow-out. I kept this solely amongst my Democratic pals!

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:07 PM

9. Sometimes it's best for people to figure out the truth on their own

Instead of attempting to dissuade them from their fantasy world.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:42 PM

3. Happy to be first kick, MrScorpio.

A well thought out OP.

I was pretty much with you in your optimism. Even after the first debate when everybody here at DU was seemingly melting down, I never thought the president would lose.

My optimism was based not on wish fulfillment, but on the data at anybody's fingertips who cared enough to look. Yes, it was a bit scary when Mitt's numbers improved after that first debate. But, when one took in all the data, I saw that Mitt's attempt would likely fail.

Most importantly, I had faith in the Obama campaign staff. And when Joe Biden openly laughed in Paul Ryan's face throughout the VEEP debate, I knew that Mitt was toast. No campaign comes back from that.

But these were just signals. The most important part of my conviction that Mitt would lose was the chasm between the policies put forth by the two campaigns. I couldn't see a majority of citizens falling for Mitt's game. Thankfully they didn't.

Thanks for your thoughts.

on edit: by the time I got this typed in, two more had kicked. iPhone typing isn't fast. Alas.

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:46 PM

4. I typed my OP on my iPod Touch

So I dig where you're coming from.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:55 PM

6. There is a corollary between the magical thinking involved in being a Christian and the

political magical thinking you describe.

If you believe in god coming back from the dead, heaven and all the other bullshit, well, you're predisposed to believe in all kinds of other magical thinking. If your political party's very platform is based on Christian beliefs, you've got to expect the magical thinking to effect everything else, including your chances of winning an election.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:05 PM

7. Good point

Which is why they subject us to all of their rhetoric about their supposed moral superiority, even when they're routinely exposed as god-damned hypocrites.

There a big difference between true moral behavior and piety. I'm just as sick as you are of them using as justification their assholism through all of their pious bullshit.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:06 PM

8. We need to make them face reality

 

"They will resist coping with reality as long as they have a support group of other completely incompent, utterly unrealistic, prevaricating and wholly clueless sub-cultural assholes to pander to them."

WE need to crush their support group.

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Response to RepublicansRZombies (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:11 PM

11. The best way to crush that support group is to keep on beating them

Righties hate nothing more than being associated with losers. It falls in line with their penchant for bullying.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:28 PM

15. Your observation about how righties react to losers is spot on.

Enough losing and they will not associate themselves with the republican party.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:09 PM

10. I admit, I had doubts at times

I was afraid that after the 1st debate people who hadn't paid much attention before were seeing Romney as reasonable. It just felt like the momentum was going his way and the media was propping him up and people like to go with the winner. Also, I have never fully gotten over my paranoia from the 2008 primaries about Obama underperforming the polls (even though it didn't happen in the general election in most states).

For what it's worth, by Election Day I was almost sure Obama was going to win.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:17 PM

12. I didn't have any doubts after the first debate

It was far too early and Mitt had plenty of time to shoot himself in the feet.

But most of all, the President game was always stronger. I knew that he would cope with the setback from the first debate and recover.

Mostly because how Romney "won" that first debate, he lied. He showed his hand much too early and all the subsequent debates exposed his flaws.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:07 PM

16. I never had any doubt that a reasonable person would vote for Obama

over Romney. I felt that Obama should have carried every state but Utah. I knew that would not happen but I felt it should, and I thought it would, if American voters listened to and watched Romney during the campaign.
He insulted everyone, some by direct identification and all by his mendacity. I asked myself many times how he could be so successful a businessman and be such a lying bastard at the same time. His race baiting, his attitude toward women, his lack of respect for gays, his disdain for the working and the poor, his plans for health care and Social Security, but most of all, his incessant lying all mark him as a charlatan, unfit for public office. I hate liars.
I could not see any conscious voter thinking a man with Romney's character flaws was an appropriate choice to lead our nation.
So I was confident that Obama would carry the day.

Yet, the false polls, the media hype, the gazillions of dollars, voter suppression, flipping votes on election day, racism, Fox News, ill-informed voters, and my own paranoid personality all had me on a roller-coaster of doubt and confidence.
Even after most networks had called the election for Obama, when I switched the channel to Fox to see how they were dealing with the news, and I caught Rove melting down, I was worried. I felt that awful pit in my stomach that comes from republicans-are-cheating bile. Thank goodness it lasted only a few minutes.
I'm not sure how we dodged that bullet. Republicans obviously knew too that Obama was the better candidate.

ps: I was surprised to see how many Americans are more racially bigoted than they are religiously bigoted. I had thought it would be the other way around.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:22 PM

13. I followed Nate pretty closely and felt good about the re-election in theory.

But I was real nervous about the voter suppression efforts in OH and FL and then some weird stuff started happening in PA and I confess to having a few anxious moments. I was thrilled at the outcome, and the coat-tail effect in the downticket races was especially heartening.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:29 PM

17. Be careful - we must not osterize our opponents.

If we osterize them we're as bad as they are.

We must compromise and not gloat.

Yeah, right.

I like my schadenfreude on artisan bread with Camembert and speck and a nice white Burgundy.

Great piece MrScorpio!

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:33 PM

18. Osterize? Put them in a blender?

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