Interesting Observation

My granddaughter Sarah currently lives in Wales; she is attending the University of Wales and will graduate this summer. She reads the Guardian, and this morning sent me the following text message.

“Taken from the comment and debate section of the Guardian this morning: ‘what you need to say and do to be credible in the Republican Party essentially deprives you of credibility outside it. The Republicans recognize this, but like an obese glutton at an all-you-can-eat buffet, they just can’t seem to help themselves.'”

The comment was in response to an article on “The American Right, Stuck in a Hyperbolic World,” and I think it captured the current dynamic perfectly. Right now, for example, it looks quite likely that the House GOP will shut down government, despite Democrats’ willingness to meet their demands halfway. (The Republicans want 60 billion in cuts; Democrats are offering 30 billion.) They seem absolutely oblivious to the damage indiscriminate cuts will do to the still-fragile recovery–and equally oblivious to the political damage their posturing is inflicting.

As the commenter noted, they just can’t help themselves.


  1. I’m not yet prepared to level this characterization at the Republican Party as a whole, but that quote gave me something ruminate on: the notion that the expressions of fealty required by the base creates a cognitive dissonance similar to what one sees in a newly recruited cult member or in a prostitute being turned out by a pimp. Once committed to it, humans have a tendency to be more loyal to an idea that is difficult, uncomfortable, or humiliating. To be disloyal to that idea would be to devalue the process that was difficult for you.

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