Thursday, November 13, 2008

The "Intellectual Violence" of Repug Attacks

Yes, this was an election unlike any other, and not just because it resulted in the first African-American president of the United States.

This election marked the moment when the incumbent political party cut its last tether to reality, abandoned all pretense of interest in facts much less truth and focused on garnering the votes of people who question the existence of gravity.

Since their thumpin' last week, the far-right has pushed the crazy to eleven and snapped the knob clean off -- an opening salvo of twisted hackery portending an insane four-to-eight years of attacks on the Obama administration. If the last seven days have been any indication, the far-right is shaping up to make the 1990s seem quaint -- even erudite by comparison. That which used to be your basic, off-the-shelf intellectual dishonesty has grown into, as Digby pointed out recently, full-on intellectual violence.

Intellectual violence. While not a new term, it perfectly defines what we're seeing now: accusations and smears that so severely confound logic they literally attack -- violate -- reality and the human intellect. It's like a berzerker dervish of argumentative elbows and fists indiscriminately flailing around, thwacking anything in its orbit, so much so that constructing a counterpoint is literally painful, "Why the hell am I trying to debunk this?! Ow! My head. Aw hell, I need a drink."

(More after the jump.)
In 2004 we learned that shaking our heads at such insanity and assuming people competent enough to vote would know better was not the best response. But the Swift Boat Liars were a Harvard debate team compared to the Psychopaths of 2008.

But that's precisely what makes these arguments so violent. They literally crush logical reality, making it almost impossible to ignore.

In a perfect world, we probably shouldn't react or to take these things too seriously, and yet we'd be making a huge mistake to ignore them altogether -- or to underestimate their efficacy. After all, there's Drudge who somehow remains a bridge between the far-right's intellectual violence and the establishment press. As we've learned throughout the last ten years, it only takes some persistent badgering and a series of red "SHOCK!" headlines for the crazy to travel by osmosis into the mainstream.

So we're in for many more years of insanity from the far-right. They're not dead. They're not as irrelevant as they deserve to be. And they certainly don't suffer from writer's block when it comes to outlandish and illogical attacks and smears.

Put it this way, if President-elect Obama so much as takes a long weekend off this August, you can bet that the far-right will crap their cages about Obama being lazy and shiftless.

This year, with a preternaturally gifted candidate, a flawless campaign and a convergence of anti-republican circumstances, Democrats managed to prevail against even that nuclear holocaust of intellectual violence, Sarah Palin.

But make no mistake, this was just the opening salvo of a constant, non-stop, soul-draining, brain-broiling barrage of reality-defying intellectual violence from the repugs.

Don't despair, but don't underestimate the power of insane up-is-downism. Don't get caught flat-footed by intellectual violence the same way Democrats in 1968 were caught flat-footed by Nixon's Southern Strategy.

Read the whole thing.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....