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Sep 27 2012

Continetti Shows Standard Conservative Aversion to Facts

The freefall that the Romney campaign is experiencing is plain for all to see. Well, almost everyone. Matthew Continetti demonstrates the typical right-wing immunity and aversion to reality, blaming it all on that darned liberal media for bringing up those stubborn facts that disturb his almost touching self-delusion.

The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.

The conceited arrogance with which our most sophisticated and well-schooled editors, writers, and journalists voice this conclusion makes it that much more annoying. Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature but also erodes whatever credibility they had left. Indeed, the ridiculous manner in which the political press has covered the 2012 campaign suggests that “bias” is no longer a suitable description of the character of the media establishment. “Partisan toadies” may be a better one. “Obama’s army” is another.

There must be a course taught somewhere for conservatives called Blaming the Media 101. It’s almost a kneejerk reaction, a way of filtering out all those pesky facts that contradict what they want to believe. Romney hasn’t lost the election yet, but it should be clear to any reasonable observer that a loss is becoming more and more likely by the day. The last month has been one disaster after another for the Romney campaign and they are reeling. Anyone who could possibly see otherwise is simply filtering out inconvenient realities in order to preserve their wishful thinking.

Continetti never bothers to mention the tidal wave of criticism coming from Republicans, or the constant leaks from inside the campaign about how desperate things have gotten. It isn’t the press that has made one unnamed Romney adviser or staffer after another go to reporters and point the finger at everyone other than themselves. Has he noticed that there hasn’t been a single instance in this election of anyone in the Obama camp doing that? They have no reason to do so. Romney staffers, on the other hand, have already begun the post-mortem phase, trying to get ahead of the curve in directing the blame to others, including the candidate himself. That sound you hear coming from Romney headquarters is the sound of a thousand staffers and consultants updating their resumes.

It isn’t the liberal media that has made House and Senate candidates try to build a firewall between them and the Romney campaign. It isn’t the liberal media that made Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol and many others talk openly about what the keystone cops-like operation of the campaign. When you start hearing a campaign talk about “retooling” and “rebooting” a few weeks before the election, that isn’t because things are going great — it’s because they know they’re going to lose if they don’t do something dramatic. It’s a sure sign of a desperate and flailing campaign.

The thing about reality is that it doesn’t disappear no matter how tightly you close your eyes and scream “LALALALALALA” at the top of your lungs.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree?

    Nope.

    That about sums it up.

    Hope I’m right there.

  2. 2
    Larry

    If the wingnut “woe-is-us” chorus is starting to tune up like this, six weeks before the election, imagine what it is going to sound like the day after the Obama landslide. Should be fun.

  3. 3
    Randomfactor

    Gee, they seemed to LIKE the media consensus that Al Gore was a liar who sighed too much during the debates, back in 2000.

    Fickle, those conservatives. Romney and Ryan were only “serious voices” because of the mindless boosterism of the same talking heads. Who now realize their meal tickets depend on them FINALLY stating that the stench is overpowering.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much.

    Reckon so.

    The voters might as well stay at home.

    Um, no, please don’t. Low voter turn out its Mittens only remaining hope – and there are plenty of other important things decided in the election also or so I gather.

    Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature ..

    “Premature” eh? I’d say it was belated actually.

    Continetti never bothers to mention the tidal wave of criticism coming from Republicans,..

    The Republicans never were that fond of or enthused about Mittens to begin with were they?

    Looking back – or at Mitt – you can’t really blame ‘em can you?

    But if you can’t even get your own political side behind you, you’re never going to get the whole nation are you?

    They have no reason to do so. Romney staffers, on the other hand, have already begun the post-mortem phase..

    Time for a new doco series- Inside Natures Politics (not so?) Giants – maybe?

    They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly..

    I’d say it was about the time Mittens put his name into the ring and somebody convinced him (or he convinced himself?) he could actually win. That people would actually be *that* stupid as to elect him as POTUS.

  5. 5
    raven

    The freefall that the Romney campaign is experiencing is plain for all to see.

    This is one of the few pieces of evidence that the gods might exist. LOL.

    The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news.

    It’s not over till it’s over.

    I refuse to get excited until it actually happens. There is a well known physics principle here. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

    That summarizes much of the 21st century so far.

  6. 6
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    If something goes wrong with the public perception, blame the folks who presented the facts, and not the source of those facts themselves.

    Continetti is just doing what conservatives seem to be good at these days: blaming someone else.

  7. 7
    fifthdentist

    Blaming someone else is the conservative national pastime, and raison d’etre. I mean, if they can’t blame someone else, they’d have to take personal responsibility or something.

  8. 8
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Given that I keep hearing that Fox is the most watched news channel, pretty much any nation- wide political radio show will have a conservative bent and there’s hardly a shortage of conservative leaning newspapers (even as that industry is folding) it seems to me that blaming the media for the failure Romney’s campaign is just one more example of the right’s problem with projection.

  9. 9
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Heh, I thought that said “confetti”.

    Wow, that is a whole ball of interlocking fractal stupid. Yes, the politburo has spoken. </eyeroll>

  10. 10
    Michael Heath

    A conservative booby prize if Mitt Romney loses will be an additional data point “proving” the media is a liberally biased. So if and after Mr. Romney loses, morons like Matthew Continetti will point back to writings like the one Ed references here and say, “See! The media was able to cause Mr. Romney to lose! That once again proves that the media is biased to the point conservatives who should win based on character and policy positions will lose because the media is duping the non-conservative public.”

    This sort of circular logic is indoctrinated into the children of biblically inerrantist children when they’re told the Bible is the word of God because certain passages in the Bible asserts it is the word of God. I have no idea what religion Mr. Continetti is nor care, it’s not relevant. What is relevant is that a sub-population of the public thinks like this and submits to rhetoric like this from their authority figures. Such childish submission to logical fallacies such as these also increases the commitment to this type of thinking and the conclusions which result.

  11. 11
    tommykey

    Heh, I thought that said “confetti”.

    Either that, or “Incontinetti.”

  12. 12
    valhar2000

    Are there polls, or something, to support the notion that Romney will loose? As inept as I consider the candidate and his campaign, I have far too much faith in the essential stupidity of America to have significant doubts that the worse candidate will win.

  13. 13
    Deen

    What’s funny is how Continetti helpfully reminds his reasons of all the incidents that show what a weak candidate Romney really is. With friends like that, does Romney really need liberal media enemies?

  14. 14
    Deen

    That was supposed to read “reminds his readers” of course…

  15. 15
    flex

    Let me put my tinfoil hat on for a moment….

    This is all a clever ploy by the Romney campaign. They will let the polls slide for another 2 weeks and then you’ll see Romney, The Comeback Kid, ride into Washington as an outsider and reformer. You’ll see. In four weeks from today the media will be marveling at how much of a change in the polls occurs as Mitt “SHAZAM” Romney and Paul “Captain America” Ryan defeat the Socialist-Facist-Islamo-Godless-Entitlementist’s who rule America with their iron fist in an iron glove! You’ll see!!!

    /tinfoil

    Hmm. Probably needs more exclamation points.

    More seriously, it looks like the “Anybody but Romney” campaign which was running throughout the primaries is continuing.

  16. 16
    dogmeat

    I refuse to get excited until it actually happens. There is a well known physics principle here. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

    Personally I refuse to get excited at all. We end up with one slightly-right-of-center authoritarian over a batshit-crazy authoritarian (or at least a slightly-right-of-center authoritarian willing to let his batshit-crazy friends implement their insanity). At this point I’m likely to vote Green or Socialist; Obama isn’t going to win AZ anyway, so I might as well voice my displeasure at our one-party system.*

    *Note: I fully plan to vote for the Democrats in down ticket races, the lunatics running for the House and Senate here don’t need any help.

    ———-
    Valhar2000:

    Are there polls, or something, to support the notion that Romney will loose?

    With the exception of Rasmussen, just about all of the polls suggest Obama will win.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html

    You can also check out fivethirtyeight.com (avoiding link), as of today Nate Silver has Obama with an 81.9% chance of winning in November, I could be wrong, but that’s about the highest I’ve seen the odds to date.

  17. 17
    Area Man

    There must be a course taught somewhere for conservatives called Blaming the Media 101. It’s almost a kneejerk reaction, a way of filtering out all those pesky facts that contradict what they want to believe.

    I think it’s more like an entire 4-year degree.

    Attacking the media is not just a convenient way to blame their failures on someone else, it’s also part of the cocoon they weave for themselves, a way to tell their followers that no sources other than their own can be trusted. The misnamed Media Research Center even just issued a public letter telling everyone not to trust non-conservative sources of news. It reads like a parody.

    And it’s not just the news media, it’s also academia and the educational system, Hollywood, and basically anything that might possibly impart some information or ideas to the public. They’re at war with all of it. Their obsession with controlling the narrative is possibly the most bizarre and disquieting thing about the conservative movement, and there’s frankly something totalitarian about it. Part of it of course is good ol’ fashioned authoritarianism and paranoia, but I suspect that deep down inside, they know that they’re selling bullshit, and the only way to win is to keep the masses stupid.

  18. 18
    D. C. Sessions

    FINALLY stating that the stench is overpowering.

    That reads totally differently if you credit the report (in Politico, IIRC) that “Stench” is Ryan’s term for the dude at the top of the ticket.

    Apparently, The Captain calls Ryan “Gilligan.”

  19. 19
    Raging Bee

    At this point I’m likely to vote Green or Socialist; Obama isn’t going to win AZ anyway, so I might as well voice my displeasure at our one-party system.*

    So the only way you can justify voting for a third-party nonentity (I notice you didn’t name any actual names), is by insisting your vote won’t actually count? That’s totally childish and pathetic.

    I’m voting in a right-wing Southern state that very few people expected Obama to win the first time around, and which Obama now (so far at least, Gods willing) looks to carry again. I’m not sure exactly how us radical pinko libruls managed to turn my state purple, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve pretending our votes don’t count. Your refusal to participate in a demonstrated winning strategy is noted.

  20. 20
    Raging Bee

    Oh, and how can you call this a “one-party system” after differences between our two parties became as stark as they are now? Have you not read any news articles in the last twelve years?

  21. 21
    Jeremy Shaffer

    So the only way you can justify voting for a third-party nonentity (I notice you didn’t name any actual names), is by insisting your vote won’t actually count? That’s totally childish and pathetic.

    With the voting system we have in the US casting a ballot for a third- party, especially one that doesn’t have much popularity or recognition, is often effectively casting a vote for another candidate. While one should vote their conscience, in some states that may be impractical if the election results will be close and one of the more likely winners are particularly loathsome.

    I am currently going to vote for Dr. Jill Stein in this election. Do I think she has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning? No but I simply like her platform the best. That said there is also the reason that in my state (Alabama) it is pretty likely that the Republican Party (not necessarily a particular candidate) will win hands- down anyway. But, if there was a good chance Obama could win Alabama, or if the election would even be close, I just might vote him instead if only to ensure Romney gets one less state or to help show that there may be hope for Alabama yet.

    If you want to call that “totally childish and pathetic” I can’t stop you. However, as I said, one should vote their conscience. If your conscience dictates that you vote for whomever you like the best regardless of likely outcomes, more power to you and you’ll get no judgment from me. Maybe you could extend the same courtesy to those that do give credence to probable outcomes.

  22. 22
    dogmeat

    So the only way you can justify voting for a third-party nonentity (I notice you didn’t name any actual names), is by insisting your vote won’t actually count? That’s totally childish and pathetic.

    No, I find that the third party candidates (Dr. Stein & Mr. Alexander if that makes you feel better) better represent my stance on issues than the Democrats do given their slide to the right. I’m actually trying to influence the position of the party by voting to the left of them, not being “childish or pathetic.” Also, note, I never said my vote wont count, you plugged that in which says a lot more about you than it does me.

    Over the last 10-20 years we’ve seen a general shift to the right on numerous issues. Simply having the Democrats to the left of the Republicans (but still on the right) isn’t enough for me.

    I’m voting in a right-wing Southern state that very few people expected Obama to win the first time around, and which Obama now (so far at least, Gods willing) looks to carry again. I’m not sure exactly how us radical pinko libruls managed to turn my state purple, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve pretending our votes don’t count. Your refusal to participate in a demonstrated winning strategy is noted.

    ‘Bee, I’m not a Democrat, never have been, I’m also not refusing to participate. Regarding the Democrats, while I like some of their policies better than the Republicans, I dislike others enough that I don’t feel comfortable voting for them. You feel comfortable voting for Obama and pushing your state towards the Democrats, great, more power to you, I feel that your state didn’t really move that much at all. In my opinion, the Democrats moved to the right on some issues, minimized others, and more people in your state felt comfortable voting for them. I’d rather the Democrats were successful because they had better policies, and did a better job of articulating them, not because they adopted more conservative policies to appeal to the right or ignored other issues.

    Oh, and how can you call this a “one-party system” after differences between our two parties became as stark as they are now? Have you not read any news articles in the last twelve years?

    When it comes to civil liberties? They’re pretty damn close.

    When it comes to launching unilaterally authorized airstrikes, killing civilians alongside “legitimate” targets, the Democrats have actually upped the ante.

    When it comes to “eliminating” American citizens without the pretense of a trial, the Democrats have upped the ante.

    When it comes to affiliation with corporate interests you’ve got the Republicans as a wholly owned subsidiary of a number of industries, but just because they’re only leasing the Democrats with an option to buy doesn’t make the Democrats world’s better.

    Look at many of the appointments Obama made, certainly they were attacked by the Republicans as “radicals,” but the reality is, many of them might as well have been appointed by Bush or a hypothetical president McCain. Obama’s court appointees are liberal on some issues, but when it comes to state powers they align with the state at the expense of liberties. Are they better than a Scalia or a Thomas? Yes. Are they liberal, no.

    I support Obama over Romney because he is better, but he doesn’t get, nor does he deserve my absolute support. Simply being better than your opponent isn’t good enough. Yes, there are some stark contrasts between the two parties, which is why I specifically mentioned voting for candidates in races in which the outcome is not already determined, but overall the two parties are both right of center and quite frankly, I’m not.

    To me the choice is similar to being asked if I would rather be shot in the head or shot in the foot. Personally, I’d rather not be shot at all. In effect, you’re saying I have to choose to be shot. Why precisely, other than possibly wasting a bullet(?), I’m not certain. I’m saying, no, I don’t.

    I’m simply doing what people have done for generations. When the two parties shift too far in one direction or the other, it comes down to the voters to draw them back. In the late 19th/early 20th century the parties were too far to the right. Progressives within their parties and voters drew them back. During that time period the Socialist party emerged as a major third party power. The Democrats adopted a lot of “crazy” Socialist ideas; insane ideas like the 40 hour work week, overtime compensation, disability and unemployment benefits, safety standards, social security, all sorts of “wacko, crazy” ideas. Personally I feel that the time has come for a similar influence. Obviously not every policy of those parties is feasible or desirable, but simply running to win for winning’s sake isn’t an acceptable outcome to me.

    The more I consider the issues, the more I lean towards Dr. Stein and the Green Party. I agree with Michael that the environment is potentially the most critical issue facing the entire planet. The Democrats do have a number of good stances on the issue, we need more pressure for them to actually force the issue.

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    When it comes to “eliminating” American citizens without the pretense of a trial, the Democrats have upped the ante.

    Which American citizens have been so eliminated, and where?

  24. 24
    Raging Bee

    I agree with Michael that the environment is potentially the most critical issue facing the entire planet. The Democrats do have a number of good stances on the issue, we need more pressure for them to actually force the issue.

    How will voting for a third-party nonentity “force the issue” for Democrats? Those votes for Nader in 2000 didn’t exactly improve anything — even the Greens, who nominated him, admitted that.

  25. 25
    Dan J

    Raging Bee:

    Which American citizens have been so eliminated, and where?

    Check out “Relatives Sue Officials Over U.S. Citizens Killed by Drone Strikes in Yemen” [NYT, 18 July 2012]

    Our President’s record on civil liberties is the primary reason why he won’t be getting my vote in this election, either. I live in Illinois, a state which will (in my opinion) cast its electoral votes for President Obama. By voting for Mr. Alexander (Socialist Party USA), Mr. White (Socialist Equality Party) or Dr. Stein (Green Party), I will express my support for parties which more closely match my political thought than the mighty D and R, while remaining quite certain that my vote will not increase the chance that we could wind up with President Romney.

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