Links and Comments: Republican Shamelessness and Hypocrisy; Voter Fraud and Science Denialism

Mostly just links; the headlines and subtitles and quotes speak for themselves.

NYT, Bret Stephens: The Conservative Movement Needs a Reckoning: subtitled, Just as ignorance was strength in George Orwell’s “1984,” shamelessness is virtue in Trump’s G.O.P.

Trump lost for two main and mutually reinforcing reasons. The first is that he’s immoral — manifestly, comprehensively and unrepentantly.

The second reason Trump lost is that conservatives never tried to check his immorality. They rationalized, excused, enabled and ultimately celebrated it. For Trump’s presidency to have had even a faint chance of succeeding, he needed his allies and fellow travelers to provide reality checks and expressions of disapproval, including occasions of outright revolt. What he mainly got was an echo chamber.


GOP Hypocrites Hammer Dems for Refusing to Concede in Must-Watch ‘Daily Show’ Supercut
Featured hypocrites include Kayleigh McEnany, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Greg Gutfeld, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Matt Gaetz, and Sean Hannity.


The Atlantic: How Trump Sold Failure to 70 Million People. Subtitle: The president convinced many voters that his response to the pandemic was not a disaster. The psychology of medical fraud is simple, timeless, and tragic.


Washington Post: ‘My faith is shaken’: The QAnon conspiracy theory faces a post-Trump identity crisis. Subtitled: President Trump’s defeat and the week-long disappearance of its anonymous prophet have forced supporters of the baseless movement to rethink their beliefs: ‘Have we all been conned?’

Comment: yes.


Slate: Goodbye! to Trump’s swamp; a directory to short articles about each one.


Slate: Maybe This Is Who We Are

The fact is we are, perhaps more than any time since the late 1850s, a divided country—divided not only by ideology and policy preferences (that’s normal; it’s what elections are supposed to decide) but also by the way we see the world. The two sides seem to occupy different universes. One universe observes facts, respects science, and values at least the goals of democracy and civility; the other universe does not. And the two view each other with seething contempt. Trump may wind up defeated, but Trumpism very much endures.


NYT: Republicans Claim Voter Fraud. How Would That Work?. Subtitle: Stealing a presidential election requires an unrealistic level of planning, coordination and good luck.

Comment: like a conspiracy theory.


CNN: Five alarm fire: How right-wing media is encouraging Trump’s election denialism

Election Week has given way to two parallel Americas, one that’s reality-based and one that’s grievance-based.


Scientific American: The Denialist Playbook. Subtitled: On vaccines, evolution, and more, rejection of science has followed a familiar pattern

Recalling how chiropractors (!) rejected the Salk vaccine in 1955.

1. Doubt the Science
2. Question Scientists’ Motives and Integrity
3. Magnify Disagreements among Scientists and Cite Gadflies as Authorities
4. Exaggerate Potential Harm
5. Appeal to Personal Freedom
6. Reject Whatever Would Repudiate A Key Philosophy

The purpose of the denialism playbook is to advance rhetorical arguments that give the appearance of legitimate debate when there is none. My purpose here is to penetrate that rhetorical fog, and to show that these are the predictable tactics of those clinging to an untenable position. If we hope to find any cure for (or vaccine against) science denialism, scientists, journalists and the public need to be able recognize, understand and anticipate these plays.

To illustrate how the playbook works—and sadly, it is very effective –I will break down the chiropractor and creationist versions, which have endured for many decades in spite of overwhelming evidence, and point out parallels to the coronavirus rhetoric.

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