The True Believers
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."