Friday, May 20, 2011

Notes on GOP Groupthink

Score one more for the Law of Unintended Consequences. In 2008, voters hungry for new ideas chose Hope and Change. What they have now is an extreme example of the ancient phenomenon of closed-mindedness.

What Newt Gingrich is encountering fits perfectly the sociological definition of Groupthink “that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive ingroup, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

Republican opposition to the Obama Administration has morphed from wall-to-wall resistance to every proposal to a quasi-religious fervor that punishes even talk of apostasy as harshly as the Spanish Inquisition ever did.

Appearing before the head of the Tribunal Rush Limbaugh, the sinner Gingrich pleads that his Meet the Press reference to “right-wing social engineering” was misunderstood:

"It was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer."

When Limbaugh demands to know why then he called Ryan to apologize, Gingrich grovels further: "It was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble which he doesn't need or deserve. My answer wasn't about the budget, and I promptly went back to say publicly that I would have voted for the Ryan budget."

As a preview of the 2012 primaries, such self-flagellation removes any suspense from the campaign since no one but Ron Paul will be saying anything to offend Tea Party theology.

One sure sign of how toxic deviation from the party line has become is that sly Democrats have taken to praising Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels and other moderate Republicans to stir up doubts among the GOP faithful. Just the kind of thing that used to go on in Salem.


(O)CT(O)PUS said...

None of this really matters anymore. Get your rapture bumper stickers here ... before it is too late!

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Oops! Before I forget. Here is the weather forecast for this weekend.

Anonymous said...

By incorporating the Religious Right into the Republican Party, the R's have been cultivating a group that is entirely faith based, and has spread that mindset beyond the religious right base itself into the broader base.

In the religious right, you must cling to your faith, because your faith makes you good, it makes you pure, it makes you holy. Your faith makes you a good Christian. It will protect you from all evil, and strong faith will make God manifest money, health, and blessings for you. Your faith must be clung to blindly and ferociously. Any who try to dissuade you are minions of Satan himself, trying to take God's blessings and goodness from you. They must be rebuked, if need be violently, without ever, ever listening to them. If you listen to them, your faith will no longer be pure, you will no longer be one of the blessed by God, and you will no longer have the blessings of the church and masses.

This exact mindset has not only spread to become the default of the hardcore Republican base, it's really spread throughout society. (It is far from an equal distribution, though, as this mental framing is very appealing to the conservative mindset.) Views on taxes and global warming and "gay special rights" and education have become religious doxologies, and anyone saying something different must be shut down. If you have faith in rallying in congregations at public halls and shouting your canticles of starve the beast, taxed enough already, and science is a hoax, your faith will protect you. It will guide you. It will make The Job Creators for your under-educated brethren that offer healthcare and high (untaxed) wages.

It's the same primitive fetishism and idolatry of the Religious Right, but infused into the Republican political base.


timr said...

oops, too late. Its Sunday and the world is still here

Anonymous said...

I truley believe Gingrich would have served himself well by calling out Limbaugh on air for what he is, a racist, woman hating, loud mouthed bloviating facist propagandist hate and fear mongering drug addict who hides behind a microphone and does not serve the public nor have it's interest at heart.

In other words, take him on, punch hard, and call him a little man. Ask Rush what he needed that viagra for and why. Point out his destination is a known sex tourist zone and the types of trysts that happen there.

Rush has never served nor stood up for the publics good in any capacity.

By groveling at the feet of Limbaugh, Newt looks like a week buffoon begging forgiveness from a master he choose to serve.

That's not a characteristic of a leader but that of a follower.

One day a sane Republican will take on ElRushbo and find it rather easy to kick his ass rather than live in in fear of the fat bastard.