Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:38 AM
DonViejo (14,961 posts)
Are Republicans doomed to their own echo chamber?
Conservatives’ crisis of confidence
Weeks after the election, the right is still lashing out. Are Republicans doomed to their own echo chamber?
BY AMANDA MARCOTTE, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT
As Democrats continue to bask in the post-election schadenfreude of watching Republicans weep and gnash their teeth at losing the presidential election, the sense that conservatives are the architects of their own misery is only enhancing liberal glee. It seems the initial shock hasn’t warn off: In a conference call with his fundraising team, Mitt Romney is still blaming his loss on those freeloading Americans who wanted stuff.
Clearly, the only explanation for all this delusion is that conservative media and campaign consultants, steeped in years of confidently lying about everything from global warming to the causes of the deficit, got a little too bold about their ability to create their own realities. The only question is whether conservatives will learn their lesson and exhibit more skepticism about their self-selected news media in the future.
The answer is almost surely no, for a very good reason: Conservative credulousness is so baked into the culture of the right that it could well be considered a defining feature. This has been true for as long as movement conservatism as we know it has existed, and there’s no real reason to think conservatives are going to sharpen up about this now.
Before the election, historian Rick Perlstein published an essay examining the long history of intra-conservative con artistry in The Baffler, with a heavy focus on the way conservative publications and mail-order fundraisers exploit audience gullibility to sell people snake oil and convince them to give to “causes” that never see much, if any, of the money. Perlstein’s aim was to explain why it is that conservatives didn’t seem to mind Romney’s nonstop lying, even though his constantly changing positions made it unclear which lie he’d be backing if he ever made it to the presidency. Perlstein argued that after years of training themselves to enjoy the garbage shoveled out by their media outlets, conservatives have come to rely on lying as a kind of comfort blanket, a way to know that they are with their own people.
6 replies, 1083 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Are Republicans doomed to their own echo chamber? (Original post)
Response to mn9driver (Reply #2)
Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:21 PM
longship (26,915 posts)
To put it another way, they have painted themselves into a corner. There is no way out but to continue painting. And it's paint that isn't going to dry.
You hit the nail on the head, mn9driver!