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Sigmund Freud hypothesized that denial is a psychological defense against facts too painful to accept. Despite overwhelming evidence a person, or groups of people, reject reality. "I am not an alcoholic". "Climate change is caused by natural cycles". "Obama fixed the unemployment numbers". "Obama won the first debate".

Denial is dangerous because it prevents us from facing problems and making the changes that need to be made. Denial allows destructive behavior to continue. It is a common response to rape and child abuse. Children who report abuse by authority figures are frequently disbelieved. It is easier to call the child a liar than to accept the abuse and confront the authority figure. Denial enabled child abuse to continue for years after Joe Paterno was first informed of it at Penn State. Denial enabled many cases of abuse to occur in many countries over many years in the Roman Catholic church.

Denial is keeping us from taking effective action to prevent catastrophic climate change. It is far easier to think it's a long-term problem that we can put off to the future than to confront powerful entrenched interests and to change the way we live.

Denial is the root of ridiculous conspiracy theories.

these Chicago guys will do anything. can’t debate so change numbers.
Romney and his supporters cannot accept the fact that the economy has improved under Obama because it destroys their main campaign theme that Obama's economic policies have failed. Moreover, Bloomberg has destroyed Romney's claims that tax cuts would propel small business job growth.  Job creating start ups are not profitable, so tax cuts for the rich would not help them. Increasing demand for products and services drives job growth, not tax cuts for the rich.
More important, recent economic research shows that small companies play no greater role in job creation than large ones do. What matters more is age: New businesses account for the biggest share of job gains. Those companies tend to be small yet unprofitable. They would be largely unaffected by an upper- income tax increase.
Romney will lose badly if he continues to deny that the economy is improving. He will sound like a whiner and people hate whiners. People want an optimistic leader who gives them hope.

President Obama admits he lost the first debate. He is not in denial. President Obama is correcting his mistakes. He is taking charge. He is exposing Romney's lies and going on offense.

Like he does almost every time something goes wrong, Obama eschewed the mea culpas — he’s not big on apologies in front of his staff — and shut down to think things over with the adviser whose company he values most in times of trouble: himself.

At first, Obama didn’t think his performance was a complete disaster. But he began Thursday morning by watching excerpts of his own performance and was especially struck by his own tentative, grim demeanor — especially when he and a more relaxed Mitt Romney were broadcast in split-screen. It was worse than he thought, according to one person close to the situation. He was subdued but positive on a conference call with staff.

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Please stop the denial. Mitt Romney had dozens of debates over the past 2 years while President Obama was busy righting the economy, killing Osama and ending the Iraq war. Just like a champion with a long rest before the championship series he came out rusty, while the challenger was sharper. And we, the supporting members of the team, need to turn up our game and not depend on our star player to do it all by himself.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know if this (14+ / 0-)

    constitutes denial.  I watched the debate with no pundits.  At the end, I decided it was a tie, so the punditocracy would give it to Romney.  Obama would have won, but he didn't appear to be listening closely enough to Romney - Romney set up so many points that could have been instantly knocked down.  However I thought it was balanced out because Obama's coolness and Romney's heat would actually serve Obama well in the long run.  Of course the punditocracy told me I was wrong in my judgment.  But it's still my judgment.  And the purpose of the debate is for each of us to judge.

    In other words, Obama can agree with the Village Wisdom that he lost the debate - he doesn't want to appear out of step.  But I prefer the cooler, more level candidate on the stage.  For me, Romney won the skirmish but Obama won the larger battle because he hasn't had to retract a single thing he said, while R has walked it ALL back.  

    And since the debate is supposed to affect each voter individually, no one can tell me that, for me, Obama lost the debate.  In other words, everyone in America can decide that Romney won, but if I think Obama won- in my house, he did.

    Now - is that denial?

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:57:49 AM PDT

  •  I compare how the two campaigns react to setbacks. (9+ / 0-)

    President Obama didn't perform the way he wanted to on Wednesday, so he looked at what went wrong, his campaign developed a strategy to address the debate (Romney lied his way through it) and is implementing that strategy in a unified manner.

    Mr. Romney is caught on tape writing off half the country, spends over two weeks doubling down on the comments, has surrogates talking about parasites and leeches, cuts an insincere commercial saying he cares about all the country, and finally, almost 3 weeks later, states that the comments were wrong (but note, doesn't apologize for them).

    President Obama's campaign is still vastly more competent than Mr. Romney's, and President Obama is a vastly better candidate than Mr. Romney.

    "We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology."-Edward O. Wilson, in "The Social Conquest of Earth"

    by sparkysgal on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:36:18 AM PDT

    •  And he said he was wrong on Fox (8+ / 0-)

      Who was he reaching there? He's talking to the audience who thought his initial statement was dead-on accurate.

      He made a statement that was never meant for wide circulation (and for the first time ever, he sounded totally convincing in what he was saying). But he thinks that he can repair the damage by coming out with an insincere statement that took three weeks to craft. Wow.

      MSNBC commentators were absolutely incredulous that Obama didn't bring up the 47% thing, but even at the time, I was so glad he didn't. I figured the Romney team must have crafted some response to that, so I'm glad he didn't have the chance to spin that story. So he had to go on Fox, missing out on a substantial audience -- and pissing off a bunch of his base.

      Well played or luck, I don't know, but at least that turned out well for Pres Obama. And then Romney fired Big Bird and his surrogate called Obama lazy and stupid. Even when Romney wins, he loses...

      “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn.”

      by theKgirls on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:05:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (7+ / 0-)

    I didn't think he did awful. It is just that Romney was over the top rude and aggressive by comparison.  
    People wanted a gladiator contest for entertainment.

  •  Obama didn't "win"... (5+ / 0-)

    but is it rational to say the pathological LIAR was victorious? rmoney's "big win" was clearly as dubious as everything else that comes out of his campaign

    It wasn't a sports event. Or a beauty pageant.

    No trophy for you/no trophy for you. No need for a trophy.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:52:00 AM PDT

  •  It's not just denial (0+ / 0-)

    going on there.  It's the standard bully type of attitude when people decide to try to knock down anyone who disagrees with them on the topic of Pres. Obama or dares to criticize him.

    It's the fainting couch, pearl clutching, mean kind of ridicule and mockery that we see here all the time. It's similar to the hippie punching thing we've seen for four years now.  Anybody who says anything negative about this administration is to be knocked down, called a purist, a hater, sometimes going to the length of racism accusations.  It comes from the top (see Rahm, Gibbs) and it comes from the bottom (dkos hyperpartisans). It's the standard response, not denial. It's disciplining.  It's not denial, it's the mob rule kind of demanding that people get the F in line and stay on message, whether the message is an honest one or not.  This administration and party leadership thinks this is the way to handle their base -- with contempt.

    One interesting example of it is Rachel Maddow. Right after the debate, Rachel offered some criticisms and analysis of the debate.   I saw a bunch of comments here about how she's horrible, how they are not going to watch her show anymore, etc.  I'm sure she got swarmed on Twitter, the place where OFA is focusing most of their efforts for this election (and social media in general) instead of the blogs.  So on Thursday night, what did Rachel do?  A complete 180, basically.  Even though she herself was offering honest criticisms about the debate just the night before, she came out swinging and talking about Democratic "bedwetters" the very next night.  In other words, she got the F in line even though she herself was one of those "bedwetters" the night before.

    This is the program, Fish. It's not denial. It's the strategy for dealing with the base.  The strategy is to treat the base with contempt, smack them down if they get off message, abusive kind of treatment and this has been the status quo since Obama was inaugurated.

    Not denial.  It's more like the Bush admin description of a "reality-based community".  Remember that?  What actually happened in that debate is not the important thing -- it's the reality that you attempt to create afterward. The idea is for nobody to remember Obama's performance a week later but instead for everyone to only remember that Romney 1) lied and 2) wants to kill Big Bird.  Poof!  Change the reality.  Well, maybe that's where the denial comes in, the idea that if you manipulate the media and social media strongly enough, you can make people forget what happened, that marketing trumps everything else. It didn't work out too well for the Bush admin in the end but it might have worked for them temporarily at times.

    The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove[1]):
    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." ... "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."[2]

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:02:26 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the amusing rant (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps you are right. Perhaps the Obama team has assigned resources designed to hippie-punch you and every other over-the-top critic.


      Perhaps you get bad reactions to your screeds because they are too screedy to be taken seriously by 95% of the Democratic Party base.

      God only knows. Have a nice day.

      •  I doubt that 95% of Democrats agree on anything. (0+ / 0-)

        All administrations attempt to blunt criticism in a variety of ways. This administration is no different. I have little use for either Emanuel or Gibbs. If they represent 95% of the Democratic base, then the party is in trouble and deserves to be. Emanuel's actions toward the Chicago teachers tell me everything I need to know about that charlatan.

        As far as this site, there are those who would love to make this place an echo chamber. Fortunately they don't represent the majority here nor do they make the rules.

        I would find the reactions to the President's debate performance amusing if the fallout didn't have consequences down ticket and with other ballot proposals. IMHO, he played it safe, avoiding any serious gaffes while hoping that Romney would continue to self-destruct. Outside of his Social Security comment, he was probably successful in avoiding gaffes.

        Was this the correct strategy? We will see in November. If he wins, it will be seen as a prudent move. If he loses, it will probably be considered the game changing event.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:15:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well...Romney lied and...he wants to kill (0+ / 0-)

      big bird. That's the reality.and it's more important than Obama not being himself during 1 of 3 debates:)

  •  But when it comes to the issue of climate change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the American people lost on Wednesday night.  We know Mitt is in the O-zone when it comes to energy policy but  Obama was mute on the subject and even let the claim that the investments in renewables has been a misdirected waste of money go by.  Cognitive dissonance is alive and thriving when it comes to energy policy by the American people and our political leaders.  Collective denial is the result.

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

    by John Crapper on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:11:35 AM PDT

    •  Yes, we all lost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Crapper

      The failure to address climate change in the debate keeps it off of the media radar. Because the politicians don't discuss it, the media treats it as if it isn't important.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:06:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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