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View Diary: The Right's Culture of Intellectual Dishonesty (33 comments)

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  •  The thing that fascinates me (4+ / 0-)

    is that, no matter how bad the Movement Conservative Right gets, no matter how vile, how underhanded, how mercilessly unprincipled they become the opposition to Movement Conservatism keeps clinging to the politics of the 1990's and the idea of chasing bipartisanship and governing with the Republican Party you wish existed, rather than the one that does.

    The Right is enabled in America. Every step of the way.

    What about the culture of Movement Conservatism Denialism that exists in some powerful quarters on the center left of American public life? If I go on MSNBC and accuse the GOP of being governed by intellectual dishonesty I'm going to get blasted by non-Movement Conservatives as being hyperbolic and blinded by partisanship. As sure as I am going to get wet if I jump in the sea. I marvel at how often and consistently the Movement Conservative Right is engaged as if it is acting in good faith and is governed by intellectual honesty and academic rigor. Like we are in an argument with an academic peer who, on occasion, fudges reams of data in his or her own work and occasionally spreads lies about your work to get you seen as akin to a conspiracy theorist who can't get published in peer review journals. We disagree, it's just that besides holding a differing opinion on things, my friend from Ohio, California, Nevada, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Wyoming, or Utah just might throw out dozens of ballot boxes of votes that probably hurt his or her chances of winning reelection. What a card.

    I can, must, and should point out every intellectually dishonest thing they do, and wouldn't ever stop doing that in the future as a part of the pushback.

    I'm not a Movement Conservative. Or a Republican.

    I can't stop the GOP from being intellectually dishonest.

    I can try and stop my party from doing things that help the GOP dictate what is possible in American public life.

    Part of the reason we can't deal with Climate Change Denialism is that we have to fight it with one hand and one leg tied behind our backs because, at any given time, the industries that underwrite the denialism because of their bottom lines may be blessed to find that a Joe Manchin or a Mary Landrieu is going to be on the firing line with the worst Movement Conservatives or we may have to watch people that we voted for and donated time and money too might be squishy on things like the XL pipeline or new EPA rules.

    I can't blame the Right for that.

    Policing negotiating in good faith with people who are acting in bad faith and tolerating enabling is on us.

    I agree with you 100% about the Right having a culture of intellectual dishonesty. Winning is the only thing that matters on the Right. It doesn't matter how you win, just that you win. From purging as many people of color who could be voters who might vote for Democrats as if they are sure Democratic votes to making shit up and presenting it as fact to people who have no idea what the truth is so they buy the prettiest ad they see.

    But, at some point, the triumphs of the Right say a lot more about us, the non-Movement Conservatives, the opposition to Movement Conservatisn.

    I think we have to autopsy the opposition to Movement Conservatism far more rigorously when something as wrong and as vile and epic fail as it is keeps winning and winning and winning no matter how awful its track record in practice.

    It can't just be the money advantage. Although that helps.

    It can't just be the Village. Although that helps them.

    What are we doing wrong? What can we do differently?

    We can autopsy everything from climate change denialism to the politics of Othering and how people get conned into voting against their own interests, and then watch somebody like Andrew Cuomo rise to rockstar status in the party knowing that if he ever runs for President he's going to get demolished because it's not 1996 and he probably couldn't have run and won as he is now in 1996.  

    Frankly, in 2014 that is beyond weird and frustrating to the point of being deeply disturbing and unsettling.

    These people and their ideology are an existential threat to the United States of America. If that strikes one as hyperbolic, I would say that that person hasn't been paying attention to what is going on in Movement Conservatism and the GOP from 1993-2013.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 04:15:03 PM PDT

    •  Conservatives use emotional imagery to trump (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Youffraita, a2nite

      reason based argument, and it tends to prevail. I have a book (I bought used) that provides a how to guide for emotional manipulation for political ends titled "Words that Work" by Frank Lutz (ugh).  

      If we liberals want to know our enemy and the techniques they employ against us then we need to read this book.

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 04:44:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with what ur saying; but, at election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster

      time and all the time via lobbyists, there's no doubt that all of the dark money on the right is effectively getting people to vote against their own self-interest.

      The Koch's have been working at this game for decades and they have changed the conversation with money/influence.  Would we or the Republicans be talking about Obamacare as the biggest issue otherwise?  Would there be any debate on climate change?

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