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Hullabaloo


Thursday, August 30, 2012

 
We're still just studying what they do

by digby

There are tons of people doing fact checks on Paul Ryan's unprecedented mendacity in a convention acceptance speech so I'm not going to bother. The Romney campaign has clearly decided that this is a base turnout election and the way to win is to throw red meat at their followers, regardless of the truth. They have their own media, after all, so it doesn't really matter if the other half of the country is screaming about their lies. Their voters won't hear it, and even if they do they won't believe it.

Perhaps this still explains the Republican strategy better than anything else:
"When we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
That's not all that different from this:
Romney pollster Neil Newhouse: "We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."
On a more prosaic level, some of this is a function of the massive amounts of information out there and the nature of the two party system. All it takes is for one side to tell a lie and the other side to call them out, for many people to retreat to their partisan corners. They don't feel capable of sorting out the truth so they rely on their tribal identification.

Recall this from the other day:

"We think that the fact that the work requirement has been taken out of welfare is the wrong thing to do," said Peggy Testa, attending a Tuesday rally near Pittsburgh for Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

When told that's not actually what had happened, Testa replied: "At this point, [I] don't know exactly what is true and what isn't, OK? But what I do know is I trust the Romney-Ryan ticket, and I do not trust Obama."

Another Romney supporter at the Ryan rally said it's really tough to know what's true anymore.

"I think we always have to look at who the fact checkers are," Ken Mohn said. "There's lots of ... groups that purport themselves to be neutral, nonpartisan, but often are [partisan]."

So, we have political leaders who have decided they no longer need to be moored to reality and followers who are too confused by the complex world we live in to sort out the truth from fiction. This campaign is the natural result.

And the joke's on us, folks. Does anyone remember this?

Cheney, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, summarizes complaints about the cultural malady best thought of as relativism the belief that, in any situation, truthfulness derives from the political relationships perceived by specific ideologies.

In each of six chapters, Cheney considers a particular aspect of relativism and the damage it has done: so-called multiculturalism in primary and secondary education; political correctness in the universities; deconstructionism in the scholarship of the humanities; radical feminist legal theory in legal education and jurisprudence; politicized exaggeration and falsification in art, popular culture, and psychotherapy; and so-called new (i.e., politically slanted) news in the mainstream press.
She wrote that book in 1995. Just as they adopted the totalitarian methods of the communists they once loathed, they have adopted the post-modern relativism of the pointy-headed intellectuals they once accused of destroying Western civilization. The more they hate a thing, it seems, the more they actually admire it.


Update: You have to appreciate the way they are defending Paul Ryan's lies today.

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