Lies Lies Lies, Yeah!

Kevin Drum addresses the same thing Mistermix was talking about when he discussed Wilkinson’s horrible “both sides do it” bullshit:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a real problem for liberals. Sure, we cherry pick evidence, we spin world events, and we impose our worldview when we talk about policy. Everyone does that. But generally speaking, our opinion leaders don’t go on national TV, look straight into the camera, and just outright lie about stuff. Theirs do. And you know, if you’d been told over and over that Obamacare meant getting government permission every time you want to go to the doctor; if you’d been told over and over that the economy is in bad shape because a tidal wave of regulations are strangling American business; and if you’d been told over and over that stimulus spending didn’t create one single job — well, what would you think about Barack Obama’s presidency? Not much, I imagine.

It’s awfully hard to fight stuff this brazen. Everyone understands that politicians fudge details and engage in partisan hypocrisy. All part of the game. But most of us don’t expect them to flat out lie. So when they do, we figure there must be something to it. It’s a pretty powerful formula, especially when the mainstream press no longer seriously polices this stuff, and isn’t much believed even when it does. The answer remains frustratingly elusive.

What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality? How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. They talk about free markets, but have no understanding of economics. Just say deregulate and tax cuts a lot, and MAGIC WILL HAPPEN. Evolution? LIES! Climate change? LIES! Modern Medicine and vaccines? LIES! KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE! That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven!

The cargo cult analogy is closer than many of us are comfortable admitting, and our media has decided to just cover their eyes and pretend that it’s just two sides of the same coin. It’s crazy.

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127 replies
  1. 1
    Anarchaeologist says:

    “What I tell you three times is true,”

    a.k.a. the argumentum ad nauseam.

  2. 2
    Paul in KY says:

    Yeah, some dead guy, Goebby-something-or-other, said the same thing about lying & how if you are going to do it in a political setting it pays to be brazen.

    Our side needs to point out the brazen lies better than we have been doing.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    It is simple really. This denial of reality can go on only till the US is an economic and a military superpower, when you are no longer number one, you cannot afford to ignore reality.
    Greater Wingnuttia’s policies are bringing that day closer than ever.

  4. 4
    Maude says:

    You can’t argue with belief. You end up going in circles.
    The MSM isn’t about to correct the outlandish statements because it makes good tv and shut up, that’s why.

  5. 5
    fasteddie9318 says:

    When Alan Grayson (who certainly had his flaws as a politician and an elected representative, don’t get me wrong) said that the Republican health care plan was “Don’t get sick and, if you do, die quickly,” a claim that was far closer to the truth than what the Republicans were and are saying about “Obamacare,” there wasn’t a fainting couch big enough to catch all the falling Villagers. Democrats can’t even approach the truth/lie line without being smacked down for their intransigence. The media, whose members are at least subconsciously aware which social stratum they and their employers occupy, won’t permit even the possibility of lies that might not benefit the aristocracy, but lies that serve their own socio-economic interests are just fine.

    Remember what eventheliberal Margaret Carlson said about the 2000 campaign? It’s more fun to go after silly liberal whoppers.

    “You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you really get in the weeds and get out your calculator, or you look at his record in Texas,” Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson told radio morning man Don Imus at the height of the campaign. “But it’s really easy, and it’s fun, to disprove Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another whopper is greatly entertaining to us.”

    This is all the more amazing because most or all of Gore’s “whoppers” were, you know, true.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    It’s crazy, John, but it protects the status quo like a motherfucker.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Yeah, the Democrats need to do a better job screaming that these are all lies.

    But to what avail?

    The MSM, if they don’t ignore the Democrats, do their best to marginalize what they say into ‘he said/she said’ bullshit.

    FOX: “Democrats Say Earth is Round – not everyone agrees. Story at 11.”

    I want to update what Shakespeare wrote.

    It now needs to read, “First, kill all the pundits…”

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Yeah, well. If you really believe that the Big Hairy Guy In The Sky is intervening in daily events, sifting chaff from wheat, libruls from blessed, consigning people who Do It Wrong to eternal damnation, then facts about health care policy are a pretty minor detail.

  9. 9
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    … how do you fight someone who rejects reality?

    Welcome to my world…

    I learned a long, long time ago, and quite painfully at that I might add, that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to win an argument w/ the willfully ignorant, the pathologically dishonest, and/or the flat out bedrock crazy…

    We, as a society, indeed have a serious problem on our hands here…

  10. 10
    sherifffruitfly says:

    You guys continue to not get it.

    Politicians do this because the American public ACCEPTS it.

    You’ll start treating this phenomenon with some intellectual usefulness when you start asking “what value is the American public getting for cashing in its intellect and its honesty?”.

    Until then you’re just uselessly spinning your wheels, idiotically pretending that this behavior on the part of politicians is a phenomenon sui generis, in a vacuum, and completely inexplicable.

  11. 11
    numbskull says:

    Well, there is some progress being made. Heck, I remember when you just could not get Drum to unequivocally state that the Republicans were and are flat-out lying.

    At this rate, the young among us may live long enough to see Bob Schieffer’s great-granddaughter say it on live TV. Someday.

  12. 12
    cokane says:

    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....op-debate/

    What’s interesting is looking at the sidebar there with the meters. Just about every lie is about Obama and every truth is about a fellow Republican. Looks like politifact didn’t even bother with some of the lies that have become conventional wisdom within the Republican party, such as the criticisms of Obamacare.

  13. 13
    burnspbesq says:

    And the scariest part is that the dumbing down of political discourse in this country may very well be irreversible.

  14. 14
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @numbskull:

    At this rate, the young among us may live long enough to see Bob Schieffer’s great-granddaughter say it on live TV. Someday.

    Oh please. Like anybody is going to have time for TV by then, when they’re supposed to be toiling in Charles Kochbot 4000’s salt mines 20 hours a day.

  15. 15
    numbskull says:

    @sherifffruitfly: Please enlighten us, Oh Obi-wan. What value IS the public getting for cashing in its intellect and its honesty?

  16. 16
    burnspbesq says:

    @MattF:

    Yeah, well. If you really believe that the Big Hairy Guy In The Sky is intervening in daily events, sifting chaff from wheat, libruls from blessed, consigning people who Do It Wrong to eternal damnation, then facts about health care policy are a pretty minor detail.

    And if you would take your head out of your ass for a moment and look around, you might notice quite a number of people who believe in the Big Hairy Guy in the Sky haven’t taken leave of their senses or abdicated their responsibilities as responsible adult citizens.

  17. 17
    AndoChronic says:

    I’ve given up. Like H.L. Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

  18. 18
    You Don't Say says:

    I took a creative writing class once and we broke out into little critique groups. Someone had a story about a fundamentalist Christian woman frothing mad, using profanity, because a mentally disabled child had moved next door. My criticism was I didn’t find the woman believable. Everyone in the group looked at me like I was crazy. They were right.

  19. 19
    Yevgraf says:

    That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven!

    Gubmint-bought fatty scooters under the control of pasty white Appalachio-American gun owning patriotic Social Security Disability recipients (who wear XXXL “These Colors Don’t Run” t-shirts bought at that thar county fair, and stained with funnel cake grease) is good. Providing solid educations for Americans regardless of race, creed, class or geographical location is bad (as is provision of routine health care), and therefore soc!alamistical marxism, probably started in Kenya or one o’ them other African places….

  20. 20
    cleek says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    “what value is the American public getting for cashing in its intellect and its honesty?”.

    they are getting more blissfully-ignorant free time.

    the less time a person spends trying to figure out which politician is bending the truth more is more time that person can spend on blogs bitching about politicians.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I know and I’m friends with many believers who are honorable and intelligent adults. But I do think that the habits of belief lead many people astray. You disagree?

  22. 22
    Yevgraf says:

    Oh, hey, and does anybody know if that cinematic masterwork remake of Red Dawn is ever going to make it out of the editing room?

  23. 23
    Tony J says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And if you would take your head out of your ass for a moment and look around, you might notice quite a number of people who believe in the Big Hairy Guy in the Sky haven’t taken leave of their senses or abdicated their responsibilities as responsible adult citizens.

    Given that MattF was pretty specifically whaling on the subset of Big Hairy Guy believers who actually have taken leave of their senses and in so doing abdicated their responsibilities as responsible adult citizens, you may want to follow your own advice.

  24. 24
    Gilles de Rais says:

    Our side needs to point out the brazen lies better than we have been doing.

    @Paul in KY: Wow, you just don’t get these people. Which is, I suppose, a good thing.

    You can point out the lies until you’re blue in the face. Absolutely useless. Study after study has shown that doing so just makes them believe it more.

    I’ll leave you to come to the inevitable conclusion regarding how you fight this.

  25. 25
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It is simple really. This denial of reality can go on only till the US is an economic and a military superpower, when you are no longer number one, you cannot afford to ignore reality.

    In Anglo-American political history circa 1640-1865 this little problem with a fading enthusiasm for empiricism was solved using a civil war every once in a while, rather than waiting for somebody from outside the fractured polity to come stomp our ignorant asses. But I suppose we could try something else for a change seeing as how we are a bit overdue on the last civil war, which should have happened at some point in the last 50 years and arguably came close during the 1960s.

  26. 26
    TuiMel says:

    That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven!

    This sort of gem is what keeps me coming back to this blog.

  27. 27

    @numbskull:

    You didn’t ask me but I have a possible answer anyway.

    A good part of our society wants to cling to the illusion that we can control or at least predict and prepare for most of the things in life. If you follow the rules, you’ll be okay. If you save money, you’ll have no problems. If you work hard, you’ll not be unemployed. Etc. They don’t want to accept the fact that a large part of our lives is really and truly out of our control.

    They really hate people that talk about unknowns and risks and don’t know all the answers. They hate people who talk about peak oil and don’t have anything to take its place. They hate those who talk about climate change and cannot tell you exactly what is going to happen. They really hate the idea that capitalism itself is out of control and careening around like a pinball.

    They like people who lie and tell them some easy-to-understand answers that are probably wrong. They like people who say that the folks who talk about the unknowns above are mean and evil people and shouldn’t be listened to. And they might just buy into the fiction that a macho dude can fix things.

    That affliction affects about half of our society.

  28. 28
    opal says:

    That’s easy. Just reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, give it teeth and put Factcheck-dot-org in charge of it.

    Sure, a lot of other things would have to happen first…

  29. 29
    harlana says:

    work our own memes, such as:
    “It’s not class warfare, it’s math”;
    Republicans reject disaster relief and want to shut down the gov’t because they don’t want Americans to have jobs,
    and so forth

    really, how hard is it?

  30. 30
    SteveinSC says:

    That fucking “debate” was just Murdoch showcasing the loons on his propaganda outlet. It looked not so much like a debate as Madame Toussaud’s Wax Museum of Ghouls, Murderers, Serial Killers, Hysterics, Inquisitors all lathered up in foam and fecal matter in front of a shrieking audience from the Roman Coliseum. They have the spotlight because Fox can give it to them. The answer to them is showing up on TV with ads from AARP, MoveOn, AFSCME and others. If TeaNN does another fellatio “debate” then the Federal Election Commission should be contacted to force equal time to Hoffa, Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell and Alan Grayson. Hell, get me on there too.

  31. 31
    Li says:

    The Republicans gives us rage; rage at the brown terrorists, at the brown baby makers, at the poor, and the helpless, the gay, and the outcasts. Their leadership has little use for such emotion, they fell nothing but greed, but that is more difficult to sell to the little people. They wallow in their hate, two minutes are never enough; now they have multiple channels of 24/7 rage against anyone who opposes them. They feed their great engines of hate with lies and half truths, and no one in the media dares to say what they are up to outright for fear of the shitstorm that will surely fall on them if they tell the truth.

    The Democrats give us fear; fear of the terrorists and their plots, fear of underwear, fear of disclosure, fear of the truth, and, most of all, fear of Republicans. Many in the leadership feel this fear, unlike the opposition; any suggestion of threat, and they trash our liberties, and spend our money. Any not of opposition, and they pre-negotiate themselves under the table in terror that they will be not perceived as bi-partisan. This has been encouraged, of course. For a long time, most fearless Democrats have found an early death. And, unfortunately, it’s easier to get them to do nothing out of fear than to motivate their voters with fear, despite their greater numbers. Fear tends to depress people, whereas rage is enervating.

    But now, lo, and behold, true believers have reached the heights of Republican leadership. And the old guard has no concept of how to contain the beast of rage and hate they have fed and cared for over the decades. Their rage threatens even the flow of public monies that feed the gambling habits of the real backers of both parties, the party of Money.

    And now what? What happens when a force of misdirected rage meets an opposition made of quivering jelly, while the real powers’ life-money gets cut off? We shall see.

    One thing I am sure of, I doubt you will be able to send a letter about the what is to unfold soon via USPS.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    I’ve used the cargo cult metaphor for years to describe right wing thinking on a lot of things–but not on politics. Because the essence of cargo cultism is a failure to grasp how a system really works. The original Cargo Cult was supposed to have developed after Allied Ships stopped dropping supplies during WWII in some forgotten South Pacific Atoll. The indigenes then began building fake, hollow ships with flags and other accoutrements and praying and exhorting deus ex machina style airplanes to return and drop more cargo. They didn’t realize the workings of the larger system that had brought goods/cargo to them.

    At the top political level, however, the Republican party certainly understands very well the total political system, how it works,and how to leverage the stupidity, cupidity and venality of their own voters. They don’t make the mistake of putting up a fake candidate and wasting votes. The fact that their candidates are liars and, often, morons doesn’t mean that the party itself doesn’t have a perfectly instrumental plan for using them to get into power. The stated policies may be lies, or foolish, or just plain evil. But the real goals are actually pretty straightforward and practical.

    aimai

  33. 33
    huckster says:

    @Linda Featheringill: and it also helps if you look like them

  34. 34
    Hungry Joe says:

    Re Lie Lies Lies/GOP debate:

    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a “You gotta be fucking kidding me.”

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    No great insights to add. Republican strategy is tailored to their base and it’s much more easily stated, packaged and delivered than communications to, well, complicated, fancy-thinking hippietypes.

    It’s like the Republicans learned the rubes they need are all hot dogs so all the party needs to do is offer them buns and condiments. Conversely, the Democrats need to operate an organic farmer’s market, a fancypants French restaurant, an authentic taco wagon, a fair trade espresso shop and a wood-oven pizza joint to attract and keep a base. As we’ve seen, they’re not terribly adroit at it, either, and the pizza joint is always running out of wood and the espresso machine is broken.

  36. 36
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    There is another component too, which IIRC nobody on either the Left or the Right much wants to talk about. In the decade after WW2 the US was an economic superpower without rival in the history of the world. We had roughly 50% of the global manufacturing capacity, at a time when a job in manufacturing was the Golden Ticket to the middle class for folks without a lot of other advantages like being born to wealth or advanced education. On top of that, courtesy of the massive influx of upper-middle-class refugees from war-torn Europe and East Asia, we in the US reaped the benefits of the prior generation’s investment in higher education from those regions of the globe. Those were long-term investments which we in the US did not pay for, but reaped the benefits of in the form of the R&D which went into our scientific, engineering and manufacturing sectors during the 1950s.

    There was no way we were not at some point going to go thru a massive climbdown from that high. And there was also no way that climbing down from those heights, heights which most Americans regard as their native birthright rather than a fortunate accident of history, was not going to generate a nasty cultural and political backlash. Politics in the US won’t be normal again until we get over the idea that we are the bestest nation evah, not because we worked our asses off to try to make it that way, but just because somebody (God, the FSM, or the inexorable forces of Hegelian History, take your pick) just likes us so damn much.

    The US is a like giant toddler coming down off of the world’s greatest sugar high.

  37. 37
    Citizen Alan says:

    This is a great post, John, and it crystallizes something I’ve been trying to articulate for a few years now. The three biggest tent poles in the GOP big top are (1) Fundamentalist Christianity, (2) Constitutional Originalism, and (3) Free Market Economics. And the typical Republican doesn’t understand anything about any of them. When a Gooper starts ranting about any of those three topics, it’s without any real understanding of theology, constitutional law or economics. As somebody noted here recently, it’s more like they just want to wave those things around to ward off evil liberal spirits, like some ignorant savage would wave a fetish amulet. The problem is that despite all our cheerful bleating about “inevitable demographic changes,” their numbers are growing. You see, it’s depressingly easy to create more ignorant people — just kill off public education and within a generation, the overwhelming majority of the U.S. citizenry will be a drooling, GOP-worshiping troglodyte.

  38. 38
    DarrenG says:

    @aimai: I’ve also used the cargo cult analogy for years, and your point about the right-wing elites understanding exactly what they’re doing is largely true, although I’d say based on the GOP debates and current punditry it’s rapidly becoming less so.

    Even those in charge after 40 years of this nonsense are starting to show signs of having drunk the Kool-Aid, and the tail is starting to wag the dog at times.

  39. 39
    SteveinSC says:

    @aimai: Also too,

    like a coca cola bottle from heaven!

    Gods Must be Crazy

  40. 40
    harlana says:

    well, Reid said it
    have to give him credit
    republicans want to deny disaster relief funding and destroy jobs
    TY!

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Brian R. says:

    @harlana:

    well, Reid said it
    have to give him credit
    republicans want to deny disaster relief funding and destroy jobs

    Really? Outstanding.

  43. 43
    Cat Lady says:

    @trollhattan:

    As we’ve seen, they’re not terribly adroit at it, either, and the pizza joint is always running out of wood and the espresso machine is broken.

    And the customers whine and blame Obama instead of eating a perfectly good taco.

  44. 44
    MonkeyBoy says:

    I would recommend viewing the trailer to the “award winning” film “Agenda: Grinding America Down”.

    This is basically a paranoid conspiracy theory about the communist campaign to destroy the US from within. As with paranoia any “fact” can be made to fit the theory by invoking a hidden conspiracy and in fact such “facts” are the evidence for the hidden conspiracies.

    The people involved in such thinking are the same as those who claimed Eisenhower was a communist, that international communists were forcibly introducing rock&roll into the US to destroy the American youth, etc.

    It is from the writings of this group of theorists that Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian camp shooter) cribbed much of his manifesto.

    There is absolutely no way to argue with such epistemologically isolated individuals. They are crazy like Glen Beck but somewhat more internally consistent.

  45. 45
    28 Percent says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a “You gotta be fucking kidding me.”

    You know, I think you actually just improved on Eliot. Now do Prufrock.

  46. 46
    agrippa says:

    “both sides do it” means absolutely nothing.

    The GOP is doing this or that. True and proved to be true.

    The fact that the Democrats have done or are about to do the same thing, does not alter the fact that the GOP has done this or that.

    “both sides do it” is a variant of the “you are one too” argument.

  47. 47
    agrippa says:

    To put it another way: Every crime stands on its’ own.

  48. 48
    Yevgraf says:

    Those were long-term investments which we in the US did not pay for, but reaped the benefits of in the form of the R&D which went into our scientific, engineering and manufacturing sectors during the 1950s.

    Which we pissed away on the Cold War (see the photos of the mothballed production of 2 generations of education at Davis Monthan AFB), useless and extreme displays of disparate and unearned wealth by inheritors and executives, and tax cuts for that same class of useless parasites.

  49. 49

    Look, mates, the lies work because they tell us what we want to hear.

    1. We’re hard-working Americans with solid moral values.

    2. Our country is the greatest on Earth.

    3. The free market produces amazing things (This one is true actually.)

    4. The Free Market rewards the hard working individual who creates these amazing things.

    5. The wealthy will pay the skilled, hard working man more for his labors to ensure his own continued success.

    6. If you’re not enjoying these sorts of rewards or you’re not reaping the benefits of your employer’s success, it’s not your fault, it’s not your bosses’ fault, it’s not the Free Market system’s fault, it’s the fault of Big Government getting too heavily involved in the economy.

    7. If you find yourself unemployed or unable to find a new job, see item 6. Also the fault of Big Government.

    8. Other Americans are taking advantage of your tax dollars by deliberately not finding work and the government rewards them because it secretly wants to create a class of permanently unemployable citizens it has to support indefinitely for some nefarious purpose. Also, you know who those other Americans are. Yeah, the ones that the government gives special breaks to at your expense even though you had nothing to do with what happened to their ancestors and they personally didn’t experience the traumatic event, and they really should just get over it now since we have a black president, even if he is a Kenyan Mooslim Usurper who stole the election from a real American, and have you seen Perry in that uniform? Strong, dynamic, powerful, a hulking man in command who would take what he wants and… and… uh… baseball, grandma, church…

    9. Getting rid of Big Government would solve all of your personal financial problems and you’d be able to pay for your own private unemployment insurance, private retirement account, and private medical insurance.

    10. We’re totally not lying. All you have to do to live the American dream is just elect Republicans and get rid of Big Government. We totally won’t let companies put carcinogens into your water supply, or if we do, we won’t tell you about it or the caps we’re going to put on lawsuit awards.

    11. Besides, we’re pretty sure if you do get cancer and your health insurance won’t cover the treatments that your church could have a bake sale.

    12. Besides, God wouldn’t give a good hard working American cancer. So if you do get it, you’re probably a sinful liberal and you should probably die.

  50. 50
    Linnaeus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    This denial of reality can go on only till the US is an economic and a military superpower, when you are no longer number one, you cannot afford to ignore reality.

    I tend to believe this myself; as long as Americans, generally, receive the psychic wages from being citizens of a dominant power, there will be greater tendencies to ignore reality. Once Americans begin to see what happens when 1) the US can no longer freely impose its will everywhere and 2) other countries will be able – to some degree or another – impose their will on the US, you may see people moving away from such denial. Not holding my breath right now, though.

  51. 51
    ET says:

    Like the Thompson Twins reference.

  52. 52

    Jonathan Bernstein has a similar post up today … his point is a little different, he’s basically saying that “RomneyCare” isn’t the dealbreaker for GOP voters that many pundits assume it would be, simply because most GOP primary voters don’t know that RomneyCare is identical to ObamaCare. If you get all of your news from Fox and Rush then you have no clue about any of that at all. Is feature, not bug.

  53. 53
    harlana says:

    @MonkeyBoy: Beck’s ravings are becoming even more and more just disjointed, disturbed ramblings, i don’t think he has any idea what he’s even saying now – it’s so A Face in then Crowd, except that Lonesome Rhodes was an infinitely more sympathetic and likable character

  54. 54
    DanF says:

    @fasteddie9318: Al Gore 2000 was the first thing I thought of when I read this too fasteddie. We are lead by some deeply stupid and un-serious people.

  55. 55
    piratedan says:

    I’m just waiting for the first Democratic candidate to stand up and state that if you folks REALLY don’t believe in climate science and in a government looking out for the little guy, then by all means sit at home and wait for Jesus to provide. In six months, government services will be by to remove your dessicated corpse and send a note to your family.

  56. 56
    Kola Noscopy says:

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality? How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts?

    Well I don’t know , Cole, why don’t you give us some advice on how to do that, based on your many years as a Wingnut?

    What has changed about your core way of processing information from then to now? You’ve never really explained that. Did you suddenly see a blinding light and speak to Jesus about it, or did you just exchange one blind allegiance for another?

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Nothing will happen on the left until messaging guru George Lakoff writes another critically-acclaimed, widely embraced book, this one called Lie More. Lie Better. Lie Now. Yes, You.

  58. 58
    Hungry Joe says:

    @28 Percent

    In the room the wingers come and go
    Talking of Marco Rubio

  59. 59
    danimal says:

    How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts?

    You don’t.

    Laugh at them. Deny them respect until they engage honestly in a fact-based dialog. Until then, mock them and ridicule them. Sneer at their stupidity.

    Liberals were afraid to call out conservative lies as lies until a couple of years ago. Now it’s time to call them stupid when they are being stupid. They want respect for their views, but respect is earned, not given. If they want to pander and deny evolution, climate change and the speech they made last week, they can, but they should be mocked and scorned for it.

    Again, respect is earned. They aren’t earning it.

  60. 60
    Hill Dweller says:

    In other news, Gallup just released a poll showing 56% believe Obama is either the same(22%)or worse(34%) than Bush.

    Republicans brazenly lie because it works.

  61. 61
    Nemesis says:

    The US is a like giant toddler coming down off of the world’s greatest sugar high.

    Shakespeare right there folks.

  62. 62
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hill Dweller: I’d love to see a partisan split of that 34%….

  63. 63
    Paul in KY says:

    @c u n d gulag: Keep on repeating it. Message discipline. Sorta like Cato the Elder when he would end any freaking speech with ‘Carthago delenda est’.

  64. 64
    priscianus jr says:

    As I’m reading your post, there’s an ad from amazon.com just to the left saying, “Discover how liberalism destroys peoples and nations.” Something’s out of control here.
    There’s a piece on DK about it.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....t-Wing-Ads

  65. 65
    Paul in KY says:

    @AndoChronic: That’s a great quote. Sorta sums up the typical American Republican voter.

  66. 66

    @danimal:

    Laugh at them. Deny them respect until they engage honestly in a fact-based dialog.

    This. We don’t use humor enough. This is why Stewart and Colbert are such treasures. There is one thing which Republicans have and that’s a gigantic inferiority complex. Hit them where it hurts. Remind the world that they’re idiots.

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gilles de Rais: I’m not so sure. If all they watch is Fox News, then they aren’t getting many lies pointed out to them.

    It also matters how you go about it.

  68. 68

    And where the cargo cult analogy falls apart is that when the Republicans construct their alternate reality, they get the planes to land. They actually win elections and power. They won’t win against things like climate change, of course. But the next election? Sure, why not? Who’s laughing at who then?

  69. 69
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    FOXNPR: “Democrats Say Earth is Round – not everyone agrees. Story at 11.”

    FTFY. Fox’s coverage would be “OBAMA lies again about shape of the earth! More after we discuss Michelle Obama’s latest fashion faux pas! It involves BLING!”

  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    Grrr, I wish I could read through all the comments to see if someone has already said this–but I am supposed to be working.

    The Republicans and FUX news and all the other right wing talking heads repeat these lies over and over again. They are not debunked by the majority of media outlets. The President, VP, WH press spokesperson, etc try to get their message out but it cannot compete with the FUX, Republican, Corporate Media axis. Then the “progressives” and the MSNBC types pile on and rent their clothes about how the President can’t/won’t get his message out.

    If the President does go out and give speeches and use that magical bully pulpit then he is criticized for campaigning or mocked for just giving nice speeches. I don’t think the villagers ever just listen to what he actually says and report that. They listen to the comments of other villagers and report the comments. I have heard them complain about what he didn’t say so many times and then gone back to replay the speech or read the transcript only to hear/read that he said exactly the thing they thought he omitted.

    And when was the last time–or the first time for that matter– that you heard a media outlet play even a snippet of the President’s Weekly Address?!

  71. 71
    cleek says:

    @28 Percent:
    i’ll try…

    Let us go then, go and lie,
    To the people, the press supine with tight shut eyes
    Like a patient etherized upon a table;
    Let us go, with fatuous half-truths and deceits
    The fack-checkers in retreat.
    Through the ballrooms and lobbies of Washington hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Nobody follows our tedious argument
    Our insidious intent
    Nobody asks a probing question….
    Oh, do not ask, “That’s not true, is it?”
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the green room interns come and go
    Talking of Marco Rubio.

  72. 72
    Scott P. says:

    Some random points:

    This works in both directions. I have a lot of moderate friends, who respond to my comments on Republican lies with the statement “well, both sides do it.” These tend to be people who don’t like politics or politicians (like most Americans), and tend to see anyone who is interested in politics as someone with a partisan agenda, and therefore an unreliable narrator.

    I think what Democrats need to do is hammer on the “liar” meme over and over. And not accusing Republicans of specific lies – avoid getting bogged down in detailed refutations, just call them liars in various ways over and over. If somebody asks for proof, then you can get into specifics, but otherwise we need to hang this around their neck in the simplest fashion possible. Biden needs to borrow Reagan’s “there you go again” and use it during the next VP debates. Or say that so and so “has fallen into the old Republican habit of lying about something they don’t know anything about”.

    One last note: we really need to make a concerted effort to break into the conservative chain email circles and expose the lies there, if only to put them on the defensive. Doing it when you happen to get an email from such a chain doesn’t work, because you just get taken off the list. But if we forwarded the list of emails to others, then they could post countervailing emails and no retaliation would be possible. In effect, borrowing a lesson from spam emailers, as distasteful as that is.

  73. 73

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality? How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult-

    its what the baby boom has wrought. people believe their feelings are as important as information, because their music, the tv, the tv packaging their music to sell marginally worthwhile goods as must-haves, religion as companion to consumer “freedom”,politics are a reflection of the culture.

    the conservatives, and the corporate media complex learned that you can talk all you want about how much you hate them, you may even mean it, but the only thing they truly fear, is indifference.

    now, sadly, the boomers have screwed things up so badly, that indifference is no longer an option. its a long fight, to counter the effects of the last 40 years, and awareness is just the jump-off of post boomer america.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ cleek: Well played.

  75. 75

    @Scott P.:

    we really need to make a concerted effort to break into the conservative chain email circles and expose the lies there…

    I do that all the time. Whenever I get one of those I hit “reply all” and rebut the lies. That’s a great way to stop getting them, by the way. I remember a neighbor sent me the ol’ “they’re outlawing the word Christmas on television! James Dobson sez so!” chain e-mail. That one is so old it predates e-mail!

  76. 76
    NonyNony says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I do that all the time. Whenever I get one of those I hit “reply all” and rebut the lies. That’s a great way to stop getting them, by the way.

    It is, as far as I can tell, the ONLY way to stop getting them.

    And you have to hit Reply All and embarrass them in front of the rest of the mailing list. Whether they’re embarrassed by being wrong or by having a friend/relative who isn’t a kool-aid drinking wingnut doesn’t matter. You stop getting them.

    My favorite one was the “Harry Potter is turning kids to Satansim” that included a link to an article from the Onion as proof of a Santanic conspiracy. That was just embarrassing for everyone involved.

  77. 77

    @NonyNony:

    And you have to hit Reply All and embarrass them in front of the rest of the mailing list. Whether they’re embarrassed by being wrong or by having a friend/relative who isn’t a kool-aid drinking wingnut doesn’t matter. You stop getting them.

    Exactly. Humiliation is the only thing that works.

    We can call them liars all we want but they’ll just grab the Faux Umbrage Concern Kit and call for the fainting couches. That never works for us, we get labeled big fat meanies and accused of “cheapening the discourse” and being uncivil and all that. Meanwhile Sarah Palin can have a campaign ad that’s got rifle sites over Democratic congress critters’ names but somehow that’s NOT THE SAME THING! And … on … and on … and on ….

  78. 78
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    This is all most gratifying. Slowly but surely, balloonbaggers are increasingly unable to deny or contain their inner firebagger.
    .
    .

  79. 79
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The US is a like giant toddler coming down off of the world’s greatest sugar high.

    Yes…

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    Ich liebe die Rolling Stones:

    Lies, lies you dirty Jezebel!
    Why why why, why don’t you go to Hell?

  81. 81
    ABL says:

    nice. a “the gods must be crazy” reference.

  82. 82
    Naive and Sentimental says:

    The cargo cult analogy stands up pretty well. The party leaders, at first, were not the cultists, that was those who bought the lies spread wholeheartedly.

    They were not praying for political power but for American Greatness and libertarian unicorns. The Republican legislators were happy to maintain this cargo cult or at least not actively try to destroy it. But then a funny thing happened…

    The elder statesmen had to eventually retire, and the cargo cult took their place. The inmates now run the asylum. That is actually the better analogy perhaps.

    Running the Asylum has a specific reference from tvtropes in reference to fans of a story later getting the chance to write for them. For instance say a fan of Spiderman getting to now write the storyline for today’s comic and has Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage erased from existence because he didn’t like that development back in the day.

    Check the TvTropes article and tell me it doesn’t describe the GOP perfectly. Reagan is converted into a Mary Sue, economic principles become more and more flanderized and we are left with essentially a political party espousing the equivalent of fanfiction.

  83. 83

    […] can never resist a parody poem challenge. Even if it’s not directed at […]

  84. 84
    Hungry Joe says:

    @cleek

    I knew there had to be a reason Marco Rubio was put on this earth.

    (Too bad Eliot was such a prick. He could write some.)

  85. 85
    Tony J says:

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality?

    The sad thing is, you’re can’t fight them. Like an argument with a drunk, it doesn’t matter what you say, they already know what the answer is and it’s you that’s in the wrong for not agreeing with them. It’s got to the point where it’s no longer important to them who’s right or wrong on any given issue, you just have to be punched in the face until you stop saying anything at all – they they ‘win’.

    The actual fight that needs to be waged is to reclaim the heights of mass-media where the vast majority of people who aren’t politically engaged get their news. How you do that I do not know. All news sources big enough to reach a mass-market are determined to dumb down every issue of importance until the ‘punching someone in the face option’ starts looking like advanced politics. They make money out of it, and it’s a gravy-train that almost everyone in the media seems happy to get on.

    Eventually something has to give. America’s status as the world’s major power, or the stranglehold the Corporate Media still holds on the Election Day opinions of the average, generally uninterested voter. IMHO, the odds don’t look too promising.

  86. 86
    mclaren says:

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality?

    No. It’s simple.

    Stand up and shout THEY’RE LYING.

    Yell “They lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie. Everything that comes out of their mouth is a lie. They lie in the morning, in the lie in the evening, they lie when they say hello and they lie when they tell you goodbye. The Republican party is a collection of sociopathic compulsive pathological liars.”

    That’s how you do it. And you do it over and over and over and over again until it sinks in.

  87. 87
    kdaug says:

    @Southern Beale: Rather than just “Reply to all”, forward the mailing list to YOUR like-minded friends, and ask that they do the same. Precisely the same mechanism the chain emails use, but in reverse. Now instead of just you refuting the arguments, there’s hundreds of refutations.

  88. 88
    replicnt6 says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a “You gotta be fucking kidding me.”

    My hat is off to you sir. I am now going to shamelessly steal that line.

  89. 89

    Speaking of calling out the liars. Sen. Mary Landrieu just read Darrell Issa’s e-mails begging for clean energy loans for his district, on the Senate floor no less. Issa and the the House Republicans tried to gut the program by holding FEMA funds as a hostage.

    This is the kind of stuff that never gets played on the “liberal” media but if the shoe were on the other foot Fox would broadcast it all day long.

    We need a liberal media.

  90. 90
    kdaug says:

    Also, too: I think the debates themselves, both the audience and the cowardly response from the candidates are providing some new talking points, to wit:

    1. The republicans want you to die if you don’t have insurance

    2. The republicans love killing people on death row

    3. The republicans hate our soldiers, fighting and dying in our wars, if they’re gay

  91. 91
    Montysano says:

    I started to write a well thought out comment, but realized that “Brawndo has electrolytes” really says it all.

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @Linda Featheringill #27
    Yes! To acknowledge that life has been made so precarious that if you get sick or lose your job or something goes wrong THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN is terrifying–as it should be. It makes it easier to cope if you can blame the unemployed or bankrupt person. They must have done something wrong, made a bad choice, fallen out of favor with God, are moochers, don’t pay taxes, want to take from the rest of us…

  93. 93
    Angela says:

    I started asking my right wing family and friends “Don’t you ever get tired of getting lied to?” It shuts them up.

  94. 94
    jake the snake says:

    @DarrenG:
    Don’t forget what Aimai’s grandfather said. “All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”

  95. 95
    Gilles de Rais says:

    holy holy holy holy

    god of euphoria

    i own all the garbage in America

    i’m President of Infomania

    so give me what i want

    exactly when i want it

    forever now once upon a time

    i wanna use my nightmares

    to get rich and famous now

    i want to brainwash my own brain

    don’t want to be told how

    more original sins

    and more beautiful pain

    find the treasure in the trash

    and sing in the acid rain

    so give me what i want

    exactly when i want it

    forever now once upon a time

    holy holy holy holy

    god of America

    i want a new mania

    that tells better lies than the media

    i want my own satellite

    World Entertainment War every night

    live on prime time no commercials

    this is just a dress rehearsal

    greater glories yet to come

    a golden age thy will be done

    on earth as it is in 7-11

    don’t want to have to go to heaven

    heaven must come down to earth

    this is my prayer for what it’s worth

    give me what i want

    exactly when i want it

    forever now once upon a time

    holy holy holy holy

    god of female ecstasy

    to show my love for Mother Earth

    i hug the trees and eat the dirt

    now i demand a woman chief

    of the USA and MTV

    women got to be on top

    in the bed or on the job

    give me what i want

    exactly when i want it

    forever now once upon a time

    god you’re great and god you’re good

    and i thank you for this mood

    grant me this unselfish wish

    everybody in the world gets a satellite dish

    choose from half a billion stations

    truly sexy information

    not the tease-and-frustrate kind

    of i, me, my, mine

    but a genuine democracy

    where people vote for ecstasy

    and April Fool’s comes every day

    give me liberty or give me Chevrolet

    legal highs not legal lows

    everybody gets a crazy horoscope

    global warming in my pants

    all the monsters learn to dance

    turn the whole world upside down

    help me god i don’t know how

    give me what i want

    exactly when i want it

    forever now once upon a time

    give us what we want

    exactly when we want it

    forever now once upon a time

  96. 96
    Judas Escargot says:

    @kdaug:

    Last night I kept wondering what it all will look like to some viewer, not yet born, watching it 50 years from now. Most of the (ahem) “nuances” and assumptions behind the rhetoric will mean nothing by then. All that will be left is a record of what they cheered, and who they jeered.

    The GOP: Saying “Fuck You” to the future since 1964.

  97. 97
    Scott Supak says:

    The Gods Must Be Crazy, indeed… Reminded me of this from the movie:

    “Narrator: The rhino is the self appointed fire prevention officer. When he sees a fire, he rushes in and stamps it out.”

    It’s the GOP’s idea for replacing union firemen and saving the rhinos (RINOs?)…

  98. 98
    trollhattan says:

    @Southern Beale:

    That’s awesome. When did Landrieu get the spinal transplant?

    (Issa is simply a horrible, horrible person. So proud to live in the same state.)

  99. 99

    Meanwhile, over at Twitter people are posting videos of cute kittens and puppies with the hashtag #LikelyToBeBooedAtNextGOPDebate

    I confess that makes me laugh.

  100. 100

    @trollhattan:

    I know, and on clean energy loans, no less! I think someone gave the Dems a good talking to. I’m seeing lots of this kind of thing lately.

  101. 101
    auntieeminaz says:

    Angela:
    I started asking my right wing family and friends “Don’t you ever get tired of getting lied to?” It shuts them up.

    That sounds much better than telling them they’re stupid or delusional. I’ll have to try that!

  102. 102
    OzoneR says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Our side needs to point out the brazen lies better than we have been doing.

    But John’s question stands; How do you point out lies when people believe them?

  103. 103
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Cole

    its not a cargo cult, its a ghost dance.
    And american exceptionalism and the “freed” market are part of the ghost shirts.
    And a lot of liberals believe in that bulshytt, and all glibertarians believe it too.

    And you and mixie and your traitorous alliance with the glibertarians are part of it too.

  104. 104
    OzoneR says:

    @Paul in KY: :

    Keep on repeating it. Message discipline.

    There’s an old man on the corner who stands there almost everyday repeating his story about how the apocalypse is upon them. He’s been there years. Whenever someone new moves into the neighborhood, they listen to him a bit, often wonder if he’s telling the truth, then once they realize he’s just repeating himself, they ignore it, they tune him out.

    The problem with message discipline is to many Americans, we’re just the crazy old man yelling on the corner.

  105. 105
    Samara Morgan says:

    @OzoneR: my ex-friend and ex-co-blogger razib khan/david hume said it best at the secular right racists blog.

    Visiting HotAir Commenter: Telling people they are stupid won’t change their minds —especially if they are stupid.
    __
    David Hume: this is a very good, and depressing point.

    hahaha!

    its inverse social darwinism…..or Selection for Stupid.

  106. 106
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Paul in KY: message discipline doesnt work on the low information IQ conservative base.
    they dont have the substrate to get it.

  107. 107
    myiq2xu says:

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality?

    Just curious, John. Is that how you were when you were a Republican?

    (Was that only four years ago?)

  108. 108
    McJulie says:

    If you’ve ever known a sociopath in a work or social setting, you might have seen the same thing at work. When you are an unrepentant liar, it is very easy to use our social conventions — that the truth always lies “somewhere in the middle” — to manipulate people. So if one person is telling the usual skewed but honest truth, and one person is simply lying, the liar will always get more traction.

    The problem with saying, oh, well, the non-sociopaths need to start lying is this: non-sociopaths aren’t always very good at lying. The same thing that makes sociopaths such naturals at it makes the rest of us not naturals at it. You cannot beat them at their own game.

    They do have a few weaknesses. One, is that they usually tell different lies to different people — because these lies are tailored to be the lie the person they’re talking to is most likely to believe — so if the people they’re lying to start comparing notes this can break down the effectiveness of the lie.

    Another, is that sociopaths are often not merely liars of expedience, but compulsive liars — meaning they will lie even when there’s no clear benefit to them personally. At first this can make the lie more convincing — why would they be lying about that, when it doesn’t benefit them? But eventually it can make their worldview just seem bizarre, and that turns people off.

    The biggest weakness they have is that a world dominated by sociopaths just isn’t very fun and most people don’t really want to live there. Unless you are one of them, their relentless lying and selfishness and callousness and mean-spiritedness and manipulation and secret agendas is wearying and unpleasant. And sociopaths often become more and more unpleasant when they start to lose control of a social situation, driving people further and further away.

    Eventually they lose control of the situation just because people don’t like having them around anymore.

  109. 109
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @auntieeminaz:

    I’ve been trying for years to come up with a line that would make my brother at least think about what he’s forwarding, without completely alienating him (relationship is somewhat precarious). I think this is the line that just might do it.

    Thanks.

    ETA: Thanks to Angela for original suggestion.

  110. 110
    patrick II says:

    @Naive and Sentimental:
    Or, as Vonnegut said, “You are what you pretend to be”.

    Starting with Nixon, republican party leaders pretended to be crazy southern racist social conservatives, and now they are.

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    I could be well off base here, being a foreigner, but the producers and consumers of all these lies tend to occupy a particular set of demographics (namely, over 40 and white). Because this is the target demographic of the news media, and this group is probably the most reliable group of voters, they’re given far more credence as the ‘voice of America’ than they deserve.

    It seems to me the way to fight them is not to try and convince them they’re wrong, but to convince other groups to speak up and vote more. If everyone believed the Republican bullshit, high turnout wouldn’t always help the Democrats, and the news programs parrotting this bullshit wouldn’t rate so low. The change in results from 2008 to 2010 wasn’t about what Americans believed so much as which Americans came out and voted. Fight it on that basis.

  112. 112
    ellenelle says:

    nice the gods must be crazy ref there.

    i could not help but compare the brazen disrespect of truth and reality in the republicans and their corporate media to the brazen disrespect of life by suicide bombers.

    both cases result in the terrorism of just blowing everything to hell and back.

  113. 113
    deanobeano says:

    I have a deep feeling the current republican crop truly believe that if you don’t think it is a crime-it isn’t. Same with lies-you control your own reality.

    That’s why no Republican has ever died in a concentration camp; its so much like their fantasies of America, why would they even feel uncomfortable?

  114. 114
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    John, you’ve stated this whole post much more elegantly in Times Past (February 2009):

    Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    What is so frustrating about it all is how do you fight someone who rejects reality?

    Doubletap to the back of the head.

    Or a IED to their car.

    Either one works wonders cleaning out the dead weight.

  116. 116
    cpinva says:

    are you suggesting that it didn’t?:

    That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven!

    that can’t be!

  117. 117

    […] via Balloon Juice » Lies Lies Lies, Yeah! How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. They talk about free markets, but have no understanding of economics. Just say deregulate and tax cuts a lot, and MAGIC WILL HAPPEN. Evolution? LIES! Climate change? LIES! Modern Medicine and vaccines? LIES! […]

  118. 118

    […] Balloon Juice » Lies Lies Lies, Yeah! How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. They talk about free markets, but have no understanding of economics. Just say deregulate and tax cuts a lot, and MAGIC WILL HAPPEN. Evolution? LIES! Climate change? LIES! Modern Medicine and vaccines? LIES! KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE! That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven! […]

  119. 119
    Mike the Heathen says:

    People at both ends of the political spectrum are afflicted with chronic fact resistance and deeply entrenched belief systems.

    This is not going to end well.

  120. 120
    Dr Apples says:

    It is imperative that those who speak for the Dems begin taking on the lies. It is not that difficult to respond by saying “the claim that it amounts to a government take over is false” and to explain why “because the law mandates people to buy private health insurance, and to go to their private insurer for all of their healthcare needs”. It doesn’t happen much, but once in a while this kind of thing actually gets the attention of the media.

    Try: the claim that government cannot create jobs is obviously false because…. Or try: if the stimulus was a failure then tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy because the stimulus was 40% tax cuts. Etc. Quick, easy, contrarian — its bumper sticker politics and it is important to engage in this stuff. The people are hungry for correctives.

  121. 121
    turkeyfish says:

    @aimai:

    “The stated policies may be lies, or foolish, or just plain evil. But the real goals are actually pretty straightforward and practical.”

    “How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. ”

    Lies, certainly. Yes, crazy. Hypocrisy, no question. Done for short term monetary gain, no doubt. But the real question is what to the rest of us do to avoid the inconvenient truth regarding the ultimate consequence of this kind of behavior, namely human extinction.

    When cargo cult Papuans engaged in this kind of behavior, there was enough of the natural environment left for them to keep their societies healthy and as can be seen by anyone who visits today pretty much functioning as do most other nations by overcoming this form of intellectual denial. Indeed, it is rather ironic that people who first experienced the concept of a wheel on the end of an airplane and as now we learn are closely related to the first humans who migrated out of Africa, have proven themselves more intellectually adept than the average republican voter. Perhaps this the most apt and direct evidence yet of the real power of Fox News. If you can hack the British Prime minister’s phone, why not the minds of simpletons. The recognition of this phenomena as akin to a “Cargo Cult” is even more apt, when you think about the fact that more time is actually devoted to constant advertisements in which everyone is incessantly reminded of REAL CARGO.

    Nonetheless, the fundamental question that remains for the rest of us, including those in the media who understand the difference between their social station and that of their owners, is what are we going to do to prevent the republican/Fox News cargo cult from forcing human extinction by failing to wake up to the fact that the reality that anthropogenic global warming is real and threatens the very survival of humans if prompt, serious, and eforts are not made to QUICKLY to reverse it?

    If fears drive the hordes, then why is it that that fear is not yet beginning to more effectively drive the debate and the cargo cults themselves? The reality of rapid global climate change impacting a world already at carrying capacity, is the one reality about which fear is a very reasoned response, whether you are a oil company CEO, a tree-hugging hippie or anyone else. Keep in mind we are talking about global temperatures rising faster than at any time in the history of the planet, except perhaps during the primordial epoch during the earth’s creation from stellar matter.

    The very real possibility of human extinction really literally is just right around the corner. At current rates of increase, large scale human agricultural practices will falter and become virtually impossible within 100-300 years. We are already beginning to see the pH of the marine environment drop and as this happens it will because of the way marine organisms produce their calcareous skeletons lead to mass extinction of many of the very organisms we literally rely on for our next breath. This threshold may be as little as 300-500 years away if the areal extent of this phenomenon, now a problem in the North Pacific, Black Sea, and the Northern Gulf of Mexico becomes more extensive.

    Will the Cargo Cult be the last major world religion or do cockroaches and thermophilic bacteria know something we don’t?

  122. 122
    Bill Arnold says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The US is a like giant toddler coming down off of the world’s greatest sugar high.

    Winner.

  123. 123
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Montysano:

    I started to write a well thought out comment, but realized that “Brawndo has electrolytes” really says it all.

    I’m not one for political bumper stickers, but a “Brawndo has electrolytes” Perry/Bachmann 2012 bumper sticker would be tempting. (Have a FCNL one that says simply “VOTE – Build democracy”.)

  124. 124
    KTM says:

    “The science is settled”

    Talk about a brazen lie…

    There is no such thing as science being settled, this new finding with muons moving faster than the speed of light is the latest example of that. Algore does all of science a disservice with his ridiculousness.

  125. 125
    turkeyfish says:

    In response to 124 KTM

    Although in a sense, “the science is never settled” because it can always be continuously be refined and extended. However, to argue that “the science isn’t settled” to suggest, for example, that global warming isn’t happening is not only to be inaccurate and easily demonstrated to be false, but it is to misunderstand the direction science is currently taking on this particular issue.

    Al Gore is correct and global warming is a VERY inconvenient truth, although he shouldn’t be singled out as having said this first. Its been common knowledge in the scientific community for the past 50 years, but only recently as the statistical reality can no longer be ignored many are beginning to pay attention to the very real and very serious consequences.

    Although there may be relatively minor issues regarding the precision of current climate models, there is virtual consensus with regard to the overall nature of the equations involved and the likely outcome, particular since additional observations are beginning to demonstrate a notable pattern, namely that the predictions of early models concerning how much warming is occurring were considerable underestimates.

    Don’t draw to many conclusions just yet with regard to the CERN neutrino experiment, as even the scientists who performed the experiment openly admit they don’t understand their result either. It should also be noted that the few potential explanations that have yet emerged as things to reasonably consider relate to simply the potential that earlier measurements of light did not account for a fully vacuum fully free of magnetic radiation.

    If you want to bet on probabilities, bet on Texas being warmer and drier next year than it was this year.

  126. 126
    turkeyfish says:

    In response to 124 KTM

    Although in a sense, “the science is never settled” because it can always be continuously be refined and extended. However, to argue that “the science isn’t settled” to suggest, for example, that global warming isn’t happening is not only to be inaccurate and easily demonstrated to be false, but it is to misunderstand the direction science is currently taking on this particular issue.

    Al Gore is correct and global warming is a VERY inconvenient truth, although he shouldn’t be singled out as having said this first. Its been common knowledge in the scientific community for the past 50 years, but only recently as the statistical reality can no longer be ignored many are beginning to pay attention to the very real and very serious consequences.

    Although there may be relatively minor issues regarding the precision of current climate models, there is virtual consensus with regard to the overall nature of the equations involved and the likely outcome, particular since additional observations are beginning to demonstrate a notable pattern, namely that the predictions of early models concerning how much warming is occurring were considerable underestimates.

    Don’t draw to many conclusions just yet with regard to the CERN neutrino experiment, as even the scientists who performed the experiment openly admit they don’t understand their result either. It should also be noted that the few potential explanations that have yet emerged as things to reasonably consider relate to simply the potential that earlier measurements of light did not account for a fully vacuum fully free of magnetic radiation.

    If you want to bet on probabilities, bet on Texas being warmer and drier next year than it was this year.

  127. 127
    Paul in KY says:

    @OzoneR: I guess I don’t know. The person has to trust you at some level to accept your debunking. Video would help :-)

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