Sunday, November 29, 2009

The True Believers

(Photo-Extreme Sheepherding) I posted Dancing with a Snake last January about the scenarios made possible by Sarah Palin's stoking of embers embedded in the darker recesses of American culture. Toxic Distraction provided additional material on the thinking having roots in the Confederacy and like minded folk. In the 50s McCarthy used the fear of communism to stoke the coals, but Eisenhower, having read Hoffer's The True Believer, thwarted efforts to put the nation on a xenophobic witch hunt for the "impure." In addition to his warning about the military industrial complex, Ike advised America to beware the danger posed to democracy by those who seek freedom from the necessity of informing themselves.

Lynch's Twin Peaks has a great scene where the giant tells Agent Cooper, "It is happening again."

Distinguished journalist Max Blumenthal's unsettling Republican Gomorrah discusses in detail the rise of the anti-intellectual, religiously self-righteous within the Republican Party, and it provides detailed research, ample examples, and grounded psychological material consistent with The Brighter the Mask, The Darker the Soul remarks about about Rep. Mark Foley after he was caught sending sexually explicit emails to teenage boys. The book distinguishes a particular pathology well exemplified by Ted Haggard (affair with male prostitute), Larry Craig (soliciting gay sex), Mark Sanford (please), Tom Delay (fraud), Ralph Reed (fraud), John Ensign (please), Jimmy Swaggart (behavior the prostitute called “perverted”), Jim Bakker (affairs, fraud), and other flagships of this psychosis.

The works of Hoffer and Blumenthal point to the same malignant denial of reality in order to preserve a desperate need to cling to beliefs that preserve a fractured identity. Aside from the staggering hypocrisy, the pathology is marked by arrogance, lack of curiosity, certainty of convictions regardless of facts, distrust of research or science, and an obsession with finding and creating agreement to form a "family and friends of the family." Everyone else is the enemy.

In a development predicted in Blumenthal's book, as we speak conservatives within the GOP are now working to pass a socialist resolution. The resolution is not targeting Democrats. Its purpose is to purge the GOP of members deemed "impure."

The Republicans have a real problem as they collide with the distinction between 1) individuals rooted in knowledge, awareness, and facts regarding political and economic reality and 2) true believers focused on strict adherence to a narrow set of beliefs, consumed with hatred and intolerance for anything and anyone that does not conform. How alienating all but a fifth of the nation is anything but political suicide is difficult to fathom, as are efforts to draft Cheney for 2012, "It's not a smirk. You're just not worth the attention of my whole face."

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a usual election cycle, the Democrats would probably lose lots of seats next year, especially the way the Democrats in Congress are bungling over heath care, etc..

If the Republicans go off the deep end with all this blood letting and embrace bat shit stupidity (Palin, etc.), 2010 could be a wash or perhaps even worse for them.

The draft Cheney thing is a real head scratcher. OMG what are they thinking?

11/29/2009 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

It is quite amazing that those most vocal about "family values" and morality are cheating left and right, stealing, and screwing teenage boys, prostitutes, other men's wives, other women's husbands, not to mention all of the corruption, blackmail, and extortion. Ensign's parents paid $96,000 to the parents of the guy whose wife he screwed.

Cheney won't run. It is a head scratcher that people want him to. After all, he said, "Deficits don't matter."

The people screaming about Obama's spending want Cheney to run?

Let's hope the tea party people "purge" the Republican Party and have the Democrats facing Hispanic haters, forest burners, pregnant girl butchers, and skull crushers in 2010. The Dems might pick up a few seats.

11/29/2009 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

If you live in Tucson and you'd like to meet Max Blumenthal stop by Elle Restaurant Thursday at 6 pm. He will have books to sell/ autograph and he will start speaking around 7 pm

12/01/2009 8:20 PM  

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