Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Returning to Reality

Back in the days of the Bush Administration, the NY Times reported  on an exchange with a Bush Aide, who dismissed the reporter as a member of the "reality based community" and told him, "we create our own reality."

Yeah, not so much. In this election, Republican pundits were adamant  they were going to win by a landslide.  It wasn't just spin.  They really, really believed it.
One of the more interesting questions of this election is how and why so many Republicans, who are certainly just as capable as Democrats at reading polls, chose to ignore the overwhelming statistical evidence that a Romney win was unlikely. I suppose one could say it is not much of a mystery, and that this mass refusal to accept politically inconvenient facts is of a piece with, say, conservative denial of global warming. And maybe that’s all it is. But I suspect that there was something else at play, too. 
When I was talking to that GOP operative, he repeatedly said that a big reason he was feeling good about his party’s chances was the sense of assurance he was hearing in the voices of Romney campaign aides on the conference calls he was on. “I know when I’m being bullshitted, and they aren’t doing that,” he told me.
They had their own data.  They were making their own reality.

From the Atlantic:
Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, "What went wrong?", they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: "Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?" ...
On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the New York Times got it right. Hint: The Times hired the most rigorous forecaster it could find.    
It ought to be an eye-opening moment.    
We've talked before about the Republican rejection of reality, which we see in evolution deniers, climate change deniers, and the anti-intellectualism that passes for Tea-Party populism.

The big question is, will the sensible Republicans fight to put facts back into their party?  Or will they continue to be distracted by birthers, and conspiracy theories about Muslims?

NY Times:
“We have a choice: we can become a shrinking regional party of middle-aged and older white men, or we can fight to become a national governing party,” Mr. Weaver [a Republican strategist who worked on the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain and Jon M. Huntsman Jr.,] said in an interview. “And to do the latter we have to fix our Hispanic problem as quickly as possible, we’ve got to accept science and start calling out these false equivalencies when they occur within our party about things that are just not true, and not tolerate the intolerant.”
What are the odds?


Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Well observed!

JCF said...

One could say that the ONLY sign that the GOP recognized their demographic problem, was their attempts to suppress the votes of those that didn't fit their chosen demographic.

But our side (if I may be so bold) has a Big Problem, too: we don't vote in non-Presidential elections. Everything we can get done, can get UNDONE (and then some!) by those "off-year" elections. What are we going to do about this?

Brother David said...

The Repuglican reality distortion field is strong with them.

it's margaret said...

"--evolution deniers, climate change deniers, and the anti-intellectualism that passes for Tea-Party populism.

The big question is, will the sensible Republicans fight to put facts back into their party? Or will they continue to be distracted by birthers, and conspiracy theories about Muslims?"

There are no more sensible Republicans... it's an extremist party... just sayin'.

Jim Pratt said...

Well said. I would count myself among the sensible ex-Republicans, with no intention of going back as long as the wingnuts are in control.

I suspect that they are not going to get the message, and will keep on this self-destructive path until they are reduced to an impotent minority.

Grandmère Mimi said...

My guess is it will take the loss of of at least one more national election for the extremists to begin to listen to sensible people in the Republican Party.

Pfalz prophet said...

The moderate Republicans that remain must either wrest control of their Party from the extremists or form a third party and let the Republicans age and die off.

Counterlight said...

I don't think the right will learn a damn thing. I think they will double-down on the crazy.

Counterlight said...

I find it interesting that the very small portion of the Republican Party that is doing some self-critical thinking wants to reach out to Hispanics while ignoring the USA's oldest and most church-going minority, blacks. As always in this country, the black/white conflict trumps all other divisions. It is so old, so bitter, and so personal.

IT said...

I noticed that too, counterlight. It's really disgusting, they paint the African American community as "takers" and "freeloaders". And the flood of racist comments since the re-election, including the N-word freely used on FB an Twitter, and threats to the president, does not reflect well on them. One hopes they will die out, but I suspect they have inculcated the same feelings in their aggrieved children.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Black voters were critical in winning the swing states for Obama. What will it take for the Republicans to face reality? Perhaps they prefer to stand on their "principles" and continue to lose.

IT said...

IT's no surprise that people whom the Republicans have dismissed and treated like crap will not vote for them. They have insulted not just liberals, but women, blacks, hispanics, gays, people with education, people who value arts and culture, people who work hard but need help. They show no empathy, no ability to address what are our concerns. They really do hearken back to an era where only rich white male property holders were able to vote.