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Tina Dupuy: The GOP psyche: an explainer

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:37 p.m.
Updated: February 1, 2014 10:37 p.m.
 

I believe the Republican Party’s psychic break happened the moment their “compassionate conservative” economic philosophy melted the world’s economy. President George W. Bush, the champion of deregulation, bailed out the banks and then offered: “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

I know when I first heard it my head exploded. It sent the Republicans reeling.

They had always believed if liberals just stepped out of the way conservative alchemy would usher in a new golden age for America. Then the opposite happened.

This was the same historical moment the Party of Lincoln saw the star of the future first half-black allegedly liberal president with the middle name of Hussein rising, while the economy—spiked on their hyperbole and bluster—had busted. This was all that was needed to crack the collective psyche of America’s right wing.

And just to pry it open even further, the new overwhelmingly popular president whom they disavowed as a Bolshevik Nazi Black Panther Kenyan Illuminati Muslim Socialist, had ideas which were actually centrist Republican policies — shooting Osama bin Laden in the face, for example. Also shrinking the size of the federal workforce and therefore shrinking the size of the government, renewing the Bush Tax Cuts, reducing the deficit and cutting spending. Basic Republican staples when they actually live up to their rhetoric.

ObamaCare’s individual mandate had been the Republican alternative to socialized medicine since the days of Nixon: Americans having private insurance instead of Medicare for all. Now the individual mandate, according to Republicans, IS socialized medicine.

Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort that arises when self-image conflicts with reality. This phrase was coined in the 1950s by psychologist Leon Festinger and fleshed out in his book “When Prophesy Fails.” Festinger found when believers are faced with a doomsday deadline that comes and goes, instead of disillusionment, they “often increased their enthusiasm and activity. They poured greater energy than ever before into obtaining new converts.” Hence the rise of the tea party: Basically they’re the Grand Old Party fueled by the psychological backlash from failed prophesy.

Often the way this stress is dealt with is by re-defining values. It’s commonly referred to as moving the goal posts. This explains why the GOP used to be OK with secrecy, drones, bailouts, NSA spying and deficit spending—but now, post-Bush, see these things as tyranny. It’s what Festinger called, “ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions.”

The GOP believes they’re patriots and the stewards of free markets. Once that belief collides with facts, like conservative policies asphyxiating the middle class, they have to make it the fault of an enemy. Meaning: To Republicans a Democratic twice elected (by huge margins) President has to be a foreign Muslim treasonous dictator whose economic policies are killing us all because otherwise everything they’ve ever held true is a lie.
This explains why Republicans have to be against anything proposed by the man the Heritage Foundation’s president, Jim DeMint, hilariously calls our Imperial President. Unilaterally giving federal janitors a raise doesn’t exactly make one Darth Vader unless your own sense of self is in a death grip.

In cognitive dissonance theory, proof doesn’t matter in self-perception. History can be revised to gel with belief. For example: Ted Cruz, the architect of the 2013 government shutdown blames the disaster on President Obama and the Democrats. He has to. What he did was unpatriotic. In order for him to continue to see himself as a patriot, he has to convince himself (and us) that Obama did it.

The least radical guy in the country is now dubbed the most radical guy in history according to his dissident dissonance-sufferers. Now something as ubiquitous and usual as the executive order (FDR did 3,522 of them: Bush 291: Obama so far has done a paltry 168) is unprecedented, lawless and the end of the Republic!
What does this mean? It means we’re dealing with people who are unstable. They’ve gone through a great trauma (the Bush years) and they’re still trying to piece themselves together. Their numbers are dwindling and it’s only the true believers left.

As the GOP struggles with their fractured identity Obama is making it worse by implementing their policies! He’s set to cut $9 billion from the food stamp program.

What does it mean for liberals and progressives? It means we’re defending Republican policies to Republicans who now deplore said policies as communist plots.

Yeah, it’s nuts.

Tina Dupuy’s columns are distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate

Comments

JohnnyCash: Posted: February 2, 2014 11:19 p.m.

After five-plus years of a failed presidency, Ms. Dupuy is left with nothing but to blame the opposition.

I'll bet most Obama supporters didn't think they'd be making excuses and partisan spin well into his second term.


technologist: Posted: February 2, 2014 11:48 p.m.

What rubbish! Enough are awake to note the intellectual exhaustion of the Left. They're no longer controlling the narrative.

With the slow rolling implosion of Obamacare, the last gasp of the welfare state may be at hand.


ricketzz: Posted: February 2, 2014 7:01 a.m.

There is no "the Left". As long as there are military contractors and corrupt generals we will have a welfare state.

ObamaCare is slowly rolling but gaining speed. People want it tweaked, not ditched. The Do Nothing Congress are the ones dropping the healthcare ball, and the Great Unwashed can see that.

How will you brainwashed Chicken Little righties describe real disasters; you have used up all your ugly words for an insurance restructuring. What will you call it when milk goes to 10 dollars a gallon? When the Canadians poison all our good water?


projalice11: Posted: February 2, 2014 8:20 a.m.

Ms. Dupuy your opinion column is going to rile certain posters. So be it.

Ms. Dupuy I quote you:
"The GOP believes they’re patriots and the stewards of free markets. Once that belief collides with facts, like conservative policies asphyxiating the middle class, they have to make it the fault of an enemy. Meaning: To Republicans a Democratic twice elected (by huge margins) President has to be a foreign Muslim treasonous dictator whose economic policies are killing us all because otherwise everything they’ve ever held true is a lie."


JohnnyCash: Posted: February 2, 2014 8:56 a.m.

That was deep, projalice11. You opened my mind to a whole new world with that comment.

Projalice, I quote you:

"Ms. Dupuy I quote you."


therightstuff: Posted: February 2, 2014 9:04 a.m.

"""To Republicans a Democratic twice elected (by huge margins) President has to be a foreign Muslim treasonous dictator"""

Oh my....we're back on the "Republicans think Obama is a Kenyan" kick again?

As long as Democrats and other useless partisans like Tina Dupuy continue to focus on these fantasies, they will ignore the real problems facing America and fully earn another "shellacking" in November. Keep 'em coming Tina!


therightstuff: Posted: February 2, 2014 9:14 a.m.

"""It means we’re dealing with people who are unstable. They’ve gone through a great trauma (the Bush years) and they’re still trying to piece themselves together. Their numbers are dwindling and it’s only the true believers left."""

If GOP numbers are dwindling, how would an Obama suck-up like Ms Dupuy explain how her president's approval numbers keep plummeting? Can she site a single poll to prove what she's saying is true? (No wait, she's a liberal Democrat...evidence is not required for their outlandish statements.)

The GOP is expected to hold the House and has a very good shot at taking the Senate in November. Unstable? Piecing themselves together? Numbers dwindling?

Only the crazy BINGO lady, er uh....Projalice...would swallow this crap.


projalice11: Posted: February 2, 2014 9:26 a.m.

Ms. Dupuy your opinion column did rile the bullying natives.

Job well done.


therightstuff: Posted: February 2, 2014 11:02 a.m.

Some people get riled with lies because they prefer the truth.

Others consider lying as the norm and have no reaction whatsoever.

They were the 50.6% of the "huge majority" Ms Dupuy referred to her column.

If the purpose was to "rile people up", then job well done. If the purpose was to change hearts and minds, then it was successful as Obama's stimulus package.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 2, 2014 11:11 a.m.

Well stated, TRS.
Ms Dupuy and President Obama sure have one thing in common; they are very good at presenting straw man arguments.


technologist: Posted: February 2, 2014 12:03 p.m.

Example from the recent SOTU:

President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/no-women-don-t-make-less-money-than-men.html


therightstuff: Posted: February 2, 2014 3:08 p.m.

Here's the disgraceful thing about Barack Obama. He KNOWS he's lying, even as he does it. Just like his claim about healthcare sign ups. He KNOWS he is lying, even as he spews it. Even the liberal Washington Post gave Obama THREE PINOCCHIOS for THAT lie. The guy is pathological.

Warning: Ignore claims that 3.9 million people signed up for Medicaid because of Obamacare

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/16/warning-ignore-claims-that-3-9-million-people-signed-up-for-medicaid-because-of-obamacare/


AlwaysRight: Posted: February 3, 2014 9:10 p.m.

zzzzz. Huh? Wha? I'm sorry, Tina. Did you say something?


ricketzz: Posted: February 3, 2014 5:53 a.m.

The only poll numbers "plummeting" faster than Obama's are those of House Republicans and fake T-Party People.


Observer: Posted: February 3, 2014 7:43 a.m.

"President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. 'Today,' he said, 'women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.'"

It's also going on right now, in his White House.


technologist: Posted: February 3, 2014 9:02 a.m.

The White House is "leading from behind", Observer.


Observer: Posted: February 3, 2014 9:25 a.m.

It would certainly seem so, wouldn't it?


17trillion: Posted: February 3, 2014 9:31 a.m.

"the moment their “compassionate conservative” economic philosophy melted the world’s economy."

People, once you read the first sentence, didn't we realize we were dealing with an idiot? Only a moron would believe the above statement and let it also be noted that I despise Bush. However, to say he or his economic policies melted the world's economy is either due to ignorance or partisanship. Do you agree Lois, I mean projalice?


therightstuff: Posted: February 3, 2014 12:01 p.m.

Worthless partisans like the author of this hit piece always fail to mention that for two years prior to the meltdown, Democrats controlled both the Senate AND the House of Representatives. Were the likes of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd pushing "compassionate conservative" economic policies? Ms Dupuy needs to get her nose out of Obama's ass and get real.


17trillion: Posted: February 3, 2014 12:20 p.m.

TRS,

There is plenty of blame to go around, more than this space will allow me to dimension. I recall Bush bragging about the rate of homeownership and attempting to take credit for it. The fact is that the cause of the meltdown has several parents from both parties and only a POS like the above author would attribute it to one man. That in itself is silly beyond reason. One person caused that? Rolling my eyes.........


therightstuff: Posted: February 3, 2014 3:41 p.m.

I totally agree, 17T. The difference is that conservatives will hold Bush accountable for his actions but liberals will never, ever take responsibility for actions by their fellow Democrats.


ricketzz: Posted: February 4, 2014 6:59 a.m.

The Democrats had 80 days of control in the Legislative, not 2 years. And to complain now that they didn't fix everything in the first 80 days speaks to your hypocrisy in several ways. Did you really want a legislative steam roller when the world economy was hanging by a thread?

The economic meltdown was the result of deregulation. Everything bad started with Clinton and Phil Gramm.


CaptGene: Posted: February 4, 2014 8:47 a.m.

So, a "legislative steam roller" would have been bad then, because the economy was shaky, but you support the "legislative steam roller" that gave us Obamacare, even though the economy was just as shaky then.

What a remarkable hypocrite.


ricketzz: Posted: February 5, 2014 7:02 a.m.

If you think 2009 was no more perilous than 2010 you have chosen to ignore facts. Obama saved your sorry "capitalism". Just like FDR did 80 years ago.

I don't recall ever saying I support the methods used by Congress. They are hopelessly corrupt. The entire system is that of blackmail, bribery, treachery and deceit. I will take a victory for the People when I get one. The entire govt needs to rededicate itself to public service and adopt a "no lobbyists" zero tolerance rule. Corrupt business-people have turned the Goddess of Liberty into a 2-bit hooker.


CaptGene: Posted: February 5, 2014 7:59 a.m.

If you think that Obamacare was a win for the people it is you that has chosen to ignore facts. Obamacare is a win for the insurance companies, I'm sure they thank you for your support.

As to whether 2009 was more or less perilous than 2010 is a matter of opinion, the failure of Obamacare is not, it's a matter of fact. I know how frustrating it must be for you that the facts aren't on your side, but that's the way it is with facts.

Should you choose to continue digging, please spare us your self serving little hallucination about how "facts lean left" or whatever that psychotropic induced nonsense is that you bleat out every now and then.


ricketzz: Posted: February 6, 2014 5:36 a.m.

"Facts have a liberal bias" Stephen Colbert roasting President Bush at a WH Correspondent's Dinner.

I suggest you try to withdraw from the media propaganda bubble and find out what the true facts are. Hint, all American mainstream media is corporate owned and hopelessly corrupt. Most political blogs, same deal. KCET and KOCE both have a variety of non-commercial and or foreign newscasts daily. Democracy Now is an excellent alternative newscast, available on FSTV (DiSH, DirecTV, Roku) and on channel 28 subchannel something. Antiwar.com is a fiery libertarian site with an emphasis on the con job war is. Expand your horizon and get out of your comfort zone.

And quit hanging around with those idiots.


CaptGene: Posted: February 6, 2014 7:55 a.m.

The quote is: "reality has a well-known liberal bias". And it was uttered by Colbert, a Theater Major and comedian. He said it as a joke, yet you have trotted it out as if it is some serious revelation relative to whatever is being discussed.

And yet, you lecture me on my choice of news sources.

Well, it makes sense that you would make such a laughable comment; you get your news from comedians. --edited.


technologist: Posted: February 6, 2014 5:02 p.m.

One day we can aspire to ricketzz's comedic perspective, CG. When holding forth, he's the very picture of probity!

Perhaps hanging a sad clown on velvet portrait in my office will serve as inspiration. --edited.


ricketzz: Posted: February 16, 2014 7:18 a.m.

CG; Tekkie; Comedy works because at the heart of every joke is a generic truth.


CaptGene: Posted: February 16, 2014 9:24 a.m.

The problem is that you take the entire "bit" as the truth. Seriously, broaden your horizons.


ricketzz: Posted: February 19, 2014 6:44 a.m.

You have no idea about the breadth of my horizons. I understand that you are jealous, but comedy comes from misfortune and struggle and a spark of humanity; thus it is to be reserved only for the professionals who have paid some dues.


technologist: Posted: February 23, 2014 12:34 p.m.

"You have no idea about the breadth of my horizons."

True. We can only extrapolate from your postings.



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