A few years ago, libertarian Julian Sanchez identified an ever-worsening problem on the right: namely, that with the rise of Fox News, right-wing radio, and right-wing blogs, conservatives have hermetically sealed themselves off from all facts, debate and discussion that don't originate from the conservative echo chamber. He called this phenomenon "epistemic closure."
Naturally, Sanchez was widely mocked by the right, with Erick Erickson dismissing the critique as a product of "vegetarian philosophers." Self-criticism and self-reflection has never been wingnuts' strongsuit.
Now, Newt Gingrich is saying exactly the same thing.
...I think conservatives in general got in the habit of talking to themselves. I think that they in a sense got isolated into their own little world. So our pollsters, many of whom were wrong about turnout. No Republican pollster thought you could get 87 percent turnout in Milwaukee. You just sort of have to say that to some extent the degree to which we believed that the other side was kidding themselves, it turned out in fact in the real world – this is a part of what makes politics so fascinating – it turned out in the real world we were kidding ourselves.
Yes, that was Newt Gingirch admitting right-wingers have lost touch with reality. But please, keep listening to Rush and Glenn and inviting Sarah Palin to CPAC, wingnuts!
Later, Newt says that Republicans like Eric Cantor who insist that the party just needs to improve their message and marketing are kidding themselves.
I’m for a big rethinking. I don’t think a modestly reformed Republican Party has any real chance of competing in the absence of a dramatic disaster. If there was a big disaster, people would be driven away from the Democrats, but in the absence of a really big disaster, if you want to compete in a difficult but not impossible world, we’re going to have to have very large fundamental rethinking.
Translation: we have to stop offering lower taxes for rich people as the answer to every problem and we have to stop trashing government and demonizing the poors, women, immigrants, and the gays.
Good luck with that, Newt.