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View Diary: Obamacare enrollment hearing a total flop for Republicans (102 comments)

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  •  Convincing Yourself (32+ / 0-)

    When I was a public defender for about 20 years, I found what others often find - that it is often the clients who are the biggest a-holes with the worst cases that force you to trial, often turning down reasonable offers that would cut their time.

    In those cases, you take whatever tattered shreds of fact that there are that you can somehow present to a jury and rehearse it, over and over again in your  mind, trying out different ways of describing it, how to project a movie of what you want into the minds of the jurors.

    You know that you need to be yourself and use your sincerity and communicate it to the jury.

    "It's not a lie if you believe it". - George Costanza, Seinfeld.

    By the day of trial, you've convinced yourself of the validity of your reasonable doubt argument - because you had to. But this isn't really deliberate. You don't tell yourself that you're about to convince yourself of something.  It just happens. It works out that way, and you sincerely make your argument to the jury.

    When the verdict comes back guilty, you're sort of disappointed.  How could they not see it your way? It is right in their faces.

    Living an argument causes you to fall for your own bullshit, in a way.

    I think that's happened here. It happened when Romney was humiliated by Crowley because he believed his own bullshit. Objective facts cease to be relevant, because you just know.

    All of us here, and readers of other sites like TPM knew in advance what was going to happen at that hearing. The insurance companies said what was going to happen.  And the Republicans still marched right in and held their hearing and humiliated themselves. They've convinced themselves, completely, of the legitimacy of their arguments, even if they started out cynically aware that it was only propaganda.

    I regard myself as a reasonable person who is not easily sold a bill of goods. But I've convinced myself of the validity of terrible arguments after living in those arguments during trial prep.  This is a large scale version of the same phenomenon, except these clowns have convinced themselves that everything that is good is bad, and that everything that is bad is good.

    •  Great comment, thanks. (7+ / 0-)

      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

      by TrueBlueDem on Wed May 07, 2014 at 01:28:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (8+ / 0-)

        I think I was going somewhere else with that, and got lost in the rush of work deadlines.

        When I got married at 31, my wife already had a son of about 9. She told me that a parent will experience all sorts of strong urges in reacting to a child's behavior. The one great lesson she had learned, she explained, was the ability to distinguish between that immediate urge and reaction with the concept of "how do I get what I want?"

        At first glance, that sounds pretty Machiavellian for parenting. But what it really means is, should I turn around on my 3 year old and lose my temper a little and indulge myself in the base emotion welling now, or do I stop, and use my mind to consider how to respond in a manner that will influence my child's behavior in ways consistent with what I want?

        I have found "how do I get what I want" to be a valuable check on myself, not representing crude self-interest, but instead recognizing my limited time here and my desire to disturb various complex systems to behave in ways I find desirable.

        If I were to take a hard look at myself, I would likely conclude that at least part of my interest in politics lies in the fact that it affords me daily opportunities to feel superior to others. Conservatives in particular (and I know they aren't really "conservatives" as much as they are "reactionary fools").

        But my ego-driven feelings of superiority feel good, but what do I want?  And how do I get what I want? It does not accomplish much for me to feel self-satisfied compared to some poor uneducated rural sap who has been convinced that government is the enemy (while picking up his Social Security Check at the Post Office). Shoving facts in his face does not increase Democratic turnout, which is, just perhaps, the key to civilizations's survival.

        If I can even track my own point here, if there is a point, it is that while demonizing is fun, it may not be a practical way to get what you want. Know your enemy. Understand why the enemy thinks the way he does. Use what to know in countering effectively.

        And beyond that, the ultimate issue is voter turnout, which should not be analyzed by applying assumptions, but by studying and learning from experience how to generate turnout in the target demographic.

        So how do we use what we know about the human capacity for self-delusion to increase turnout and win elections?

        Hey, I never claimed to have the answers. I might have had them, but I've also had a couple of bourbons.

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