This post is not about Sarah Palin. This post is about the rabid personality disorder that continues to afflict so many in our county that would in better times consider our fellow Americans instead of a festering mob of deluded ditto-heads and ideological zombies.
This clip from Game Change (aka "Birth of a Tea Party") just about says it all.
This is not about being ignorant, Palin knew damn well what Party Todd was or wasn't in. Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt correctly states he'd been part of the Alaskan Independance Party for years. Palin herself spoke at their Convention in 1994. You can still watch a clip here of her addressing the AIP as Governor in 2008! Not only was Todd a member, the AIP claims so was Sarah.
It's not about being uninformed. Sarah knew damn well what the truth was, the TrooperGate Report did say "she abused her authority" as Governor, she knew that because she did it, but when confronted with it rather than simply acknowledge her own lie, or even an innocent mistake, she has to double-down and counter attack. And even that counter attack is another lie.
This is what the GOP has become in a nutshell. It's not that they don't know the truth, they don't Want the Truth, they can't Handle the Truth - the Truth is not on their agenda.
Everything coming from that side of the political or social aisle is simply a pack of self-aggrandizing delusion. It's Pathological, and it's been like that for years.
We used to have arguments about whether or not the Bush Adminstration was just lying about what they did and didn't know about Saddam and Iraq, or were simply mistaken.
But there's a third choice. Willful Self Delusion.
This goes all the way back to what Ron Suskind wrote years ago in New York magazine after a having a discussion with a Bush staffer who told him his problem was that he was one of the 'Reality-Based Community', and that he'd never understand the new realities that BushCo were creating until after it was done.
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.It's like the Mad Men on Mescaline School of Governing. Rather than study what is real and adapting to that, they would craft a message for people who are willing to believe it, and their belief will bring it into reality. So of course they didn't know that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his WMD way back in 1991, even though his head of security had told them exactly that (as reported by Suskind again), they didn't want to know that. They weren't trying to hear that. They knew better. They had "Faith".
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and 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."
Their Faith is Stronger than the Facts.
And this goes not just for the Evangelical Right, it clearly was true for the Neo-Cons who believed fully in Bush's Primary ("Fight them over there, before they come over here") Doctrine - the one that so complete flummoxed and embarrassed Palin. It goes for those who believe, despite all fact and reason that regulations kill jobs. They don't.
They all have a Terminal Case of Confirmation Bias.
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.Their "Truth" is only that which confirms what they already believe, all else is nonsense. Lies by the "Liberal Media". Right there you have their entire business model of Fox News. You can't trust the other news, only WE are "Fair and Balanced". They LIE, we don't. (Except that they do, constantly)
Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study.
Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.
I'm not saying they're mentally ill or insane, hardly, the GOP has become more like a Cult. Confirmation bias - the disregarding of unimportant/redundant information as it transfers from short-term storage in the hypo-campus to long term memory in the frontal lobe is a part of our biology. It can affect the smart as well as the drooling stupid equally. It's also known as Paradigm Paralysis. It can only be overcome if people learn early on not to trust what they think they know but to re-check and re-verify it each and every time there could be a discrepancy. People with confirmation bias are incapable of learning because they already think they know everything they need to know.
Truth takes effort. It takes a commitment and sometimes a total surrender of your ego to facts and reality.
I know that I have Confirmation Bias, everyone does to some degree, it accounts for most of my typos. I'm reading ahead of myself, thinking I already know what I typed, but I'm really skip reading and what I did type was something different than what I thought. I have to constantly go back and re-check myself. Admit that I have made mistakes, re-edit and Fix them. Sometimes I run out of time to post before I get them all. And just when I think I've fixed everything, I find something else - even after I've posted.
But for some people admitting that is too much. Which means they can't learn, they can't improve. As Megadeth's Dave Mustane used to say about himself once he became sober, as an addict he had a "Raging Ego with Low Self-Esteem". Someone like that can't correct themselves. They can't fix their mistakes, their ego can't take it. Their self-esteem can't handle it. The truth is their enemy, so they do battle with it concocting elaborate scenarios for why what is - really isn't, it's something else entirely.
It can take a lot of energy to maintain these mental/factual gymnastics. Sometimes they congratulate themselves for it, figuring that they're the truly smart ones for being able to navigate their pretzel logic. Everyone else are the sheep, being led - they think.
Yet they can still be easily manipulated by people they trust.
Hence you have your typical Conservative Republican. Full of fear, resentment and anger. Willing to swallow anything that Faux News dishes out for their gullet.
Hence you have the Tea Party and their Misspelled Signs, misunderstanding of how government works, misunderstanding lower taxes and lower regulation really don't stimulate the economy they slow it down, and their total misunderstanding of U.S. History and the Constitution - and yet they're Proud Of It. All of it.
"Paul Revere Warned the British not to Come". Yeah, sure, whatever dude.
Hence you have Rush Limbaugh who can talk for three days about a bit of testimony he clearly didn't even listen to.
Hence you have James Inhofe who can believe that God will forever protect the Earth, even though Revelations says the Earth will essential end in Fire just before the return of Jesus. (Admittedly, interpretations vary on that)
When you try and fight this with "Science" - they just scoff. All those egghead scientists and their "Theories" - they're just "bought and paid for" with grant money - but we have Faith.
When you fight them with Facts, the Pretzel Logic kicks in and they explain how all your "Facts" come from biased sources (as my tweet war with Breitbart showed) or are simply wrong - cuz... well, just cuz.
Hence you have Newt Gingrich who during his Not-Concesssion Speech after losing in Mississippi and Alabama attacked Secretary of "Anti-Entergy" Chuo for not pursuing Billions of Barrels of recoverable Oil that was recently discovered in North Dakota. Just like his nutty sounding comments about Moon Settlements, there's Half of something to what he claiming. (Yes, we could and probably should have a moon settlement, but for generating Solar Energy via Space, not for Bragging Rights).
And surprise, surprise, there really is Oil in them there hills of North Dakota.
Ever heard of the Bakken Formation? GOOGLE it. I did, and again, BLEW my mind. The U.S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oilmen/women knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; western South Dakota; and extreme eastern Montana ... check THIS out:Sound too good to be true? That's because it is according to Snopes.
The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable ... at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
"When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea." says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial analyst.
Origins: This item about untapped oil reserves in the Bakken formation (which lies within portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana) appears to have been taken from a tout sheet intended to sell subscriptions to an investment newsletter. It is vaguely true in the sense that geologists have estimated there is a good deal of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in that area, and as the price of crude oil increases and the technology for extracting resources from formations like Bakken improves, that area becomes more and more economically viable as a source of oil for the U.S. However, the estimate of over 500 billion barrels of oil to be recovered from the Bakken formation is an overly optimistic one based on incomplete, outdated information.The amount of Oil in Bakken is exaggerated, and the only way to recover it is by using Hydraulic Fracturing. The mining process that has been linked to Earthquakes in Ohio, not to mention y'know - poisoning the groundwater with diesel fuel and other toxic elements all for just one more year of oil consumption?
Certainly 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable oil is nothing to sneeze at, but a little perspective is in order. The U.S. currently imports an average of about 10 million barrels of oil per day (for a total of about 3.65 billion barrels of oil per year), so even if all the estimated undiscovered oil in the Bakken formation were extracted today, it would only be enough to wean the U.S. off of crude oil imports for one year. That's still a good thing, but it's not nearly "enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight" as claimed above.
For example, shale development requires large expenditures of water and energy, produces air pollution and carbon emissions and leaves toxic byproducts that could endanger the environment.
According to news accounts, although new drilling techniques have greatly increased oil production in Bakken formation in recent years, as of February 2011 that region was still yielding less than half a million barrels per day.
Hence you have Sarah Palin who from the first moment she entered the national stage was playing the "Pretty White Victim Card" and even today is getting all Butt-Hurt over this Ad by the Obama Administration blasting her for basically calling the President some kind of "Reverse Confederate".
Her complaint is that the ad edits several of her quotes together unfairly. Uh huh.
Barack Obama I think has never been seen in the conventional, traditional way of we who would describe a man of valor. … And his profession as a community organizer — what went into his thinking was this philosophy of radicalism … he is bringing us back, Sean, to days that — you can hearken back to days before the Civil War … What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards?But here's the thing, clearly the comments were edited for time, but if you actually include what's missing, it really doesn't get any better.
He is bringing us back to days, you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal. And it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes we are equal, and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin, you have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace God-given opportunities to develop resources and work extremely hard and as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand the gravity of that mistake that took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equally?Seems to me like they pretty much covered it. He is not Stockley Charmicael in disguise.
As I've pointed out before it is a ridiculous accusation to claim that Barack Obama is an anti-white Racist who wants to dismantle the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments as well as the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Acts when it's clearly ALEC, Ron & Rand Paul and the Republican Party who are doing that themselves.
Barack Obama supporting and hugging a Black Law Professor 20 years ago doesn't change that. The idea that he remains "Unvetted" three years into his Presidency, after writing two candid best selling books about his life, after Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers and Rezco, and Flag-Pin Gate and Hand-Not-Over-Your-Heart-Gate is Lunacy!
I mean, Seriously - GIVE. IT. UP. already.
But they won't, because there are people who want to hear what Sarah is saying. They want to believe it. And Sarah's more than willing to pander to their fear, loathing, paranoia and hate. She feeds the delusion. The deeply deluded are her Base as much as the 1% is Romney's base.
And her flock, fearful and angry are turning increasingly to join and form a record number of Hate Groups as documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The American radical right grew explosively in 2011, a third consecutive year of extraordinary growth that has swelled the ranks of extremist groups to record levels, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The rise was led by a stunning expansion of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.Is that rhetoric much different from what we hear from Romney, Santorum or Gingrich day in and day out? But that's what the GOP wants to hear, what they want to believe.
“For many extremists, President Obama is the new symbol of all that's wrong with the country - the Kenyan president, the secret Muslim who is causing our country's decline,” Potok said. “The election season's overheated political rhetoric is adding fuel to the fire. The more polarized the political scene, the more people at the extremes.”
This is how a Half-Term Governor who signed a Bill requiring Oil Companies to Redistribute their Wealth to the people of Alaska in the form of cash payments ranging for $1,000 to $3,000 can walk around and call Barack Obama some kind of "Socialist" for trying to return us to a portion of the Clinton Era Tax Rates that produced 20 Million jobs and Balanced the Budget without batting an eye.
It's Bullshit on it's face.
But it's all about Belief, not Facts. The GOP is Addicted to That Bullshit like a junkie hunting for their next fix. Truth doesn't matter when you only believe what's convenient for you at the moment.
In the end, Palin isn't the disease, she's just a symptom. And it's spreading.