What the hell is wrong with Republican voters? That's a question I've asked myself again and again and have yet to come up with a satisfying answer. It's as if reality has no meaning for them and they believe the universe is a big chunk of clay, waiting to be molded into whatever they want it to be. Even history means nothing -- just words on a page that can be edited to fit new narratives. We in the reality-based community are stuck in our slavish devotion to perceiving things as they actually are, while conservatives seem to see themselves of free from everything. Everything, that is, but a rigid ideology that runs contrary to most of those pesky facts. Science is the enemy. Math is the enemy. History textbooks are the enemy. The media is the enemy. If it disagrees with the ideology, it is the enemy.
Consider, for example, Minnesota Representative and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Despite being a noticeably low-wattage bulb, she's become a bona fide possibility for the GOP nomination. Public Policy Polling finds that if Sarah Palin doesn't run, Bachmann "will pretty instantaneously vault to co-front runner status with Mitt Romney, provided she can continue her current momentum" and Gallup reports that she "finds herself in a relatively positive position among Republicans as she begins her formal campaign."
Granted, most of this polling was done before Bachmann had a rough few days of seemingly constant gaffes, but gaffes are what she does. A combination of serial liar and ignoramus, none of what's been making headlines for her lately can come as a real surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the woman.
And this is what's so perplexing to me; despite all her shortcomings, many Republican voters seem to believe she's flawless. Maybe it's because she hits all the talk radio buzzwords and talking points, but when Michele Bachmann flubs it, she doesn't really flub it -- reality is the culprit. And it must be corrected.
In light of Bachmann’s latest historical hiccup, people are trying to edit John Quincy Adam’s Wikipedia page to reflect her recent gaffe. One edit, for example, changes his description from "John Adams was the sixth President of the United States" to "John Adams, a founding father, was the sixth President of the United States."
They did the same for Sarah Palin, editing Paul Revere's entry to have him firing warning shots and warning the British. When a conservative celebrity blows it, it's not their fault -- history is wrong and must be corrected.
The reasons for this particular insanity are less important than the consequences. Because these lunatics are who we're supposed to be meeting halfway in any compromise. As I always say, when you meet someone who's crazy halfway, the results are halfway crazy.
As long as fools like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann speak for the Republican Party (and they do, albeit unofficially), then serious compromise is impossible. Real world solutions must be based on real world facts, not on the world as you wish it was. They might like to believe that facts and numbers are no different from opinions, but what they like to think is irrelevant. They are wrong. And it really is that simple.
You can't run a nation with wishful thinking.