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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:59 PM

Conservatives’ crisis of confidence


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.


The devotion to untruth serves right wing’s emotional needs as well. Movement conservatives take discomfort with the changing nation and channel it into a belief that everyone outside of the conservative tribe is out to get them. Everything else flows from that. If the real world is out to get you, reality-based knowledge — especially that mediated by perceived “liberal elites” — becomes suspect. So many urban legends in conservative circles center around the idea that the outside world is conspiring against them, such as fevered claims of “voter fraud” or Reagan-era claims of welfare cheats making three figures defrauding the taxpayer.

From characterizing everyone Not-Them as “moochers” to the persistent suspicion that Obama faked his birth certificate in an effort to take the presidency from someone who actually has a right to it, conservatives fantasize that the mostly older, white population moving further and further to the right is being oppressed by the various groups liberals have forced them to share power with. To give that up would be to completely reorder their world. As painful as it is to grasp the reality of Obama’s win, it’s safe to say they’re going to go right back to putting their faith in fantasy instead of the realities that the rest of us live in.

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babylonsister Nov 2012 OP
union_maid Nov 2012 #1

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:07 AM

1. This just never gets old

There must have been a record number of post-mortems already and yet, there's always room for one more. I'm going to be seriously sad when we run out of articles about what they did wrong.

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