Conservatives' Enthusiasm Factor Masquerades As A Gilded Bubble

Peggy Noonan to Stuart Varney on November 6th, before the polls closed: "I'm seeing Romney rising here." Apparently Peggy was smoking some really good something before she had this interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business yesterday. She

Peggy Noonan to Stuart Varney on November 6th, before the polls closed: "I'm seeing Romney rising here."

Apparently Peggy was smoking some really good something before she had this interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business yesterday. She waxed poetic about how Romney was "stealing in like a thief with really good tools", spinning Romney rallies as huge overwhelming successes and Obama rallies as unfilled stadiums.

And oh, that Nate Silver! Noonan's Sunday Wall Street Journal column was rife with denial. This particular section made me double over with laughter, actually:

Obama and the storm, it was like a wave that lifted him and then moved on, leaving him where he’d been. Parts of Jersey and New York are a cold Katrina. The exact dimensions of the disaster will become clearer when the election is over. One word: infrastructure.

Yes, that would be the infrastructure the president asked Congress to repair in 2011 when he sent the framework for the American Jobs Act to Congress. You remember President Obama's speech in front of the bridge between Ohio and Kentucky that desperately needs repair? The roads, the bridges, the infrastructure that the president practically begged Congress to tackle before something catastrophic happened? That infrastructure.

Instead we got 30 bogus 'jobs bills' and Congressional obstruction on anything to do with infrastructure.

Yet here comes Peggy Noonan, cheering the infrastructure like a holy God coming down from the heavens to spark...enthusiasm. For Romney. Yes, Peggy Noonan and her bobblehead Stuart Varney are nodding away like she's a sage with prophetic God-given powers to Know What This Country Needs.

Hilarious and not hilarious.

This is the gilded conservative bubble writ large. This thing that Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch built is a bubble where people can go to deny their own responsibility for that failing infrastructure, for the destruction of wide swaths of coastline, for the wrath of angry seas filled to bursting while Noonan and Varney deny climate change and cheerlead the "surge" for Romney.

For these people, math and science don't matter. There's no climate change because they say so, and Romney was surging in enthusiasm because they say so. Facts don't matter. Perception matters.

Last weekend, Josh Marshall posted this short blurb:

Listening to a story from a friend this evening. Guy in a social setting talking to a group of Wall Street heavyweights. Every single one in the room certain Romney wins. Has Ohio locked. Has the whole thing tied up. No doubt.

No doubt, because the bubble insulated them. Wall Street insulated them. After all, spending a billion or so on something ought to get a result, and that result was the desired result. Because they actually believe we all think just like they do.

They actually believed it was a lock. I showed you the pictures; I wrote about the trends. Nate Silver predicted all fifty states correctly. Every last one. Because math. Math operates in a fact-based reality. And it doesn't lie, like Fox News/Business talkers do. Anyone following Nate Silver understood that the odds were deeply against Mitt Romney winning much of anything besides the deep South and the uber-conservative heartland states like Indiana, Wyoming, et al.

But they kept on spinning that it was a lock for Romney, kept lining the bubble with lie after lie after lie and now it's the day after and the bubble didn't protect them from hard cold reality. Barack Obama put feet on the ground eighteen months ago, brought a populist message and a passion that Mitt never had.

As their fantasy bursts, it's instructive to see how deeply it impacts their victims. Take, for example, Glenn Beck's The Blaze, where this week's feature questions whether or not the Second Amendment will be the first victim of Barack Obama's second term.

Reality bubble. Gun rights expanded during Obama's first term. There's no reason for anyone to speculate about the second, but hey, it's scary and fires up the True Believers unwilling to let go of the sides of the bubble.

Or Tea Party Nation, whose bloggers are in a full meltdown over the "Unionized Socialist States of America."

Yes, those are the extremes, but even moving into the more "mainstream" conservative thought leaders' bubbles shows similar patterns.

Dick Morris confesses that he was wrong because he thought Latino, Asian and African-American voters would fade to pre-2008 levels and old white men would do what old white men have done for 30 years. What rational person would think that? On what planet did he think those voters would simply fade away when conservatives have worked like dogs for four years to marginalize them?

As the president said, "Voting is the best revenge." Today, Dick Morris is tasting the delicious flavor of a large helping of crow today as he realizes he no longer lives in a world that accepts old white men's edicts as a mandate for this country.

Or the handful of Romney staffers and supporters in Boston last night after the billionaires took off in their private jets after the party celebrating nothing, who can't understand what went wrong at all.

Indeed, what was striking after Fox News called the race for Obama, at about 11:15 p.m., was how stunned so many of Romney’s supporters were. Many said they were influenced by the prominent conservatives who predicted a big Romney win, and they fully expected Tuesday night to be a victory celebration.

Yes, folks, we do still live in a world where you can't simply say things and make them so. Fox News has its limits, as do the hate talkers, and saying Romney will win did not mean he would.

Because math. Because science. These things are fact-based and they do not change on the whims of Fox talkers and fantasy-makers.

Or the Mary Matalins of the world, who project their own flaws onto the guy who won. Oh, Mary, you really must get a grip before writing things like this.

What happened? A political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform.

If you stopped there, you might imagine Matalin was going to engage in some serious self-reflection about the candidate Republicans chose, his shallowness, his lack of empathy for those not of his station, and most of all, his mendacity. Right?

Welcome to the bubble:

Instead of using his high office to articulate a vision for our future, Obama used it as a vehicle for character assassination, replete with unrelenting and destructive distortion, derision, and division.

To which I have a two-word reply: Mitt's mendacity. Over 900 lies told in the past year; no regrets on Mitt's part for that. Just Mary Matalin screeching about distortion, derision and division.

Mary, step out of the bubble, come to the world we all inhabit, where people actually view the vile birtherism and other attacks on the president's character over the past four years as evidence of derision and division.

Mary will not step out, nor will Peggy, nor will Stuart, nor Dick Morris, nor any of them because they cannot. To do so would mean they must admit they don't get it. They don't have it right. They might actually have to consider viewpoints other than their oligarchs'. They might actually have to pay attention when scientists predict catastrophic consequences from climate change.

Conor Friedersdorf has the only intellectually honest critique I've found today from a conservative thinker, and he has some advice for bubble-dwellers: Stop putting up with the lies and nonsense.

Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism. Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a "Grand Jihad" against America. Seriously?

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who'd lose worse than George McGovern.

Of course, that won't happen, because then they might actually have to acknowledge they wield less power than they do.

Why should they do that when they've got a perfectly safe bubble to hide in?

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