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« The perfect letter to the most imperfect president yet | Main | In a more perfect world … »

October 29, 2018

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Funny how the right wingers insist on having it both ways. They call people on the left "snowflakes" and "libtards" which would seem to indicate oversensitivity and incompetence on the left. But then in the next breath also claim that the left is an angry and dangerous mobs capable of cooking up the most elaborate of schemes to garner sympathy for themselves bring out democratic voters. How can both be true?

It's not puzzling at all; it's one of the defining characteristics of Fascism. Umberto Eco laid out 14 traits here: http://www.openculture.com/2016/11/umberto-eco-makes-a-list-of-the-14-common-features-of-fascism.html

Note #8: "The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”"

The goal is to simultaneously create fear and hatred, to engender cognitive dissonance--which leads to irrational anger. And the GOP knows it can channel the anger towards it's enemies.

Sadly, very few people read Umberto Eco anymore.

No matter how the Mid-Terms go, the Republican party is going to get more extreme: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/the-republican-party-is-only-going-to-get-more-extreme.html

The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).

“The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”

Some still do. Reread rather. Foucault’s Pendulum is not unlike self mocking Q-Anon for smart people. This may also have something to do with needing a study guide to get all the subtleties of Eco’s satire. The man is intimidating intellectually.

Excellent piece Max. I would have to agree with the overall conclusion. There was that brief moment in time after Obama’s second electoral victory when Rheince and company were ostensibly going to rethink the Republican strategy of alienating the fastest growing demographic groups in America. But after due consideration they decided....Nah! Let’s just go with deplorability but louder and with more cowbell...I mean white supremacism and lying their asses off.

You know you can generally judge what a piece of political programming thinks of their target market by the advertising that goes with it. The Republicans have concluded there is no idiocy their hard core supporters will not buy. But that’s okay. Both will ultimately get what they deserve.

And when will that be and how will it happen?

A catyclismic event, three consecutive decisive electoral defeats. Must be consecutive. And that will be the minimum requirement. And our grandchildren's generation will still be dealing with things being done right now.

“...in GOP agitprop, they are cast as all-controlling supermen...”

As were the Tutsi in Rwanda. A key difference, thankfully, is that liberals dominate mass popular culture so that the GOP’s medievalism just doesn’t have the vicelike influence on the electorate that they wish it did, which is clearly driving them crazy. Still, vigilance is warranted.

Pretty quick if Trump sticks around and the Republicans hold onto office. There supporters may be dense and gullible but I suspect even they will notice when the Republicans gut the Socialist welfare programs on which their lives depend.

Naaaaa, they were too far gone by '12. That might have only worked if the right-wing were resoundingly beaten in '14; instead, the opposite happened, and we lost the Senate and with it, the Supreme Court.

It's been a long, long slide and it didn't start with Sarah Palin. I'm glad to see The Atlantic profiles the most malignant post-Nixon pre-Trump, Newt Gingrich, "The Man Who Broke Politics." https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/11/newt-gingrich-says-youre-welcome/570832/

Chutzpah indeed. It seems the citizens of Pittsburgh are to treated to an in person regalement of Trump’s biggest ever electoral college victory and the vast superiority of his inaugural crowd. By way of consolation no doubt and also to make sure they know it is all the media’s fault if something bad happened.

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