Daily Archives: November 10, 2012

Coming up for air (or can conservatives break out of the ideological bubble?)

I’ve been following some reactions to President Obama’s reelection.

One thread to follow has been the assessments of the comfortable ideological cocoon that conservative media provided for their followers, which left them all–pundits and audience alike–believing that Mitt Romney was comfortably ahead and GOP victory was a foregone conclusion.

Here’s a short NPR piece in which several Republicans blame Fox News for failing to inform its audience. Conservative commentator David Frum says media consumers were “fleeced” and “lied to” by Fox pundits. Click that link to listen. The segment is only a few minutes long.

The Atlantic has a pretty good piece, “How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File,” by Conor Friedersdorf.

Salon produced its list of worst campaign prognostications, “The biggest losers (Pundit edition)“. There’s a similar “Top 10 wrongest election predictions” from Mediaist.com complete with video clips.

And more from a column by Theo Anderson appearing in In These Times (“The GOP’s year of magical thinking“).

Why does the Right’s over-optimism matter?

The 2012 election was a referendum on two very different approaches to public policy. One approach is to use the best available empirical evidence. The other is to rely on faith and wishful thinking. As in their campaign coverage, conservatives consistently opt for the latter route—a choice that has often blinded them to the reality in front of their noses. Climate change and the failure of supply-side economics are the most obvious examples.

They’re no less wrong about those than they were about the election. And moving forward, one of the great questions facing the body politic is whether conservatism is capable of learning to accept actual evidence rather than relying on faith. Mercifully, there was a mechanism for settling the debate in the case of the election. But things are rarely so cut-and-dried in the realm of policy, where politicians and pundits can go on spinning their own realities for years and decades.

Rachel Maddow (“asks Republicans to return to the world of facts).

“And he (Obama) really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States, again, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month, and the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy, and the polls were not screwed to oversample Democrats, and Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad, Nate Silver was doing math, and climate change is real, and rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes, and evolution is a thing, and benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us, and nobody is taking away anyone’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and you UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.”
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1sxqy)

And then from FAIR, “Has Nate Silver Ruined Campaign Journalism?


And then my friend Michael in Hilo pointed me to the right-wing reaction in the Big TX, reported by the Texas Observer (“Buy Guns, Secede“).

I’d forgotten just how good the Texas Observer can be. From their current issue, “Kochworld,” (“To see how the Koch brothers’ free-market utopia operates, look no further than Corpus Christi).