The current Republican expressions of outrage over Hillary Clinton's "deplorable" remark -- a remark that was perfectly justified by the data -- is not sincere. Back in 2007, Heather Digby wrote about the GOP tactic of ersatz shock. Her first reference goes to a Democratic event in remembrance of the late Paul Wellstone:
But Vin Weber, one of the Republican party's most sophisticated operatives, immediately saw the opportunity for a faux outrage fest that was more successful than even he could have ever dreamed.
By the time they were through, the Democrats were prostrating themselves at the feet of anyone who would listen, begging for forgiveness for something they didn't do, just to stop the shrieking. The Republicans could barely keep the smirks off their faces as they sternly lectured the Democrats on how to properly honor the dead -- the same Republicans who had relentlessly tortured poor Vince Foster's family for years.
But it's about more than simple political distraction or savvy public relations. It's actually a very well developed form of social control called Ritual Defamation (or Ritual Humiliation) as this well trafficked internet article defines it:
Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character or standing in the community of a person or group of persons by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. For the purposes of this essay, the central element is defamation in retaliation for the real or imagined attitudes, opinions or beliefs of the victim, with the intention of silencing or neutralizing his or her influence, and/or making an example of them so as to discourage similar independence and "insensitivity" or non-observance of taboos. It is different in nature and degree from simple criticism or disagreement in that it is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by an organization or representative of a special interest group, and in that it consists of several characteristic elements.
The article goes on to lay out several defining characteristics of ritual defamation such as "the method of attack in a ritual defamation is to assail the character of the victim, and never to offer more than a perfunctory challenge to the particular attitudes, opinions or beliefs expressed or implied. Character assassination is its primary tool." Perhaps its most intriguing insight is this:
The power of ritual defamation lies entirely in its capacity to intimidate and terrorize. It embraces some elements of primitive superstitious belief, as in a "curse" or "hex." It plays into the subconscious fear most people have of being abandoned or rejected by the tribe or by society and being cut off from social and psychological support systems.
In a political context this translates to a fear by liberal politicians that they will be rejected by the American people -- and a subconscious dulling of passion and inspiration in the mistaken belief that they can spare themselves further humiliation if only they control their rhetoric.
That was from 2007. We can now take it further: "Controlled" rhetoric is seen by much of the public as insincere. Trump's uncontrolled rhetoric is precisely the factor which causes his followers to describe him as someone who tells it like it is, even though he lies incessantly.
Much of the public cannot comprehend the difference between honesty and thoughtlessness. Even when they see proof that a Trump statement is a fib, they don't care. In their hearts, they yearn for a candidate who is all Id and no Superego.
(They also yearn for a candidate who is as ill-read as they are. They do not want a candidate who knows the meaning of the terms "Id" and "Superego." And they long for revenge on people like you and me, precisely because we do know.)
The double standard for honesty. In the clip embedded above, Michael Daly of the Daily Beast examines Trump's claim that he lost "hundreds of friends" in the 9/11 attacks. Daly attended many 9/11 funerals and memorial services in that period and never saw Trump -- and never heard of Trump attending any other funerals. Obviously, Trump's statement about "hundreds of friends" is questionable -- unless his definition of "friend" differs from the usual.
No Democrat would be permitted to tell such a fib. But Republicans are permitted.
At this point for msm the war against the Clintons becomes a dilemma of epic proportion. They just can't stop now or admit defeat. They invested a lot of money,their journalistic integrity(mostly lack of) and reputation. And the Clintons are still here and winning. They have to see this through.
posted by Anonymous : 2:56 PM
Im no fan of HRC bit the media here in nyc just gave her a kicking. The 9/11 press coverage was very unfair. It's hot here and that event goes on for ever. I'm not surprised she called it quits early.