Last night, Rachel Maddow took the right to task for existing in a media bubble divorced from reality:
Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States, again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to over sample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And Climate Change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the Moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.
Decades ago, the right wing , backed by a lot of corporate money, built itself a massive media machine with the express intent of manipulating public opinion. And it worked! The nonstop flow of scripted propaganda convinced millions of Americans that they were under attack by gays and blacks and immigrants and liberals and terrorists and Muslims (same thing, really) and atheists and possibly even Bigfoot! It worked so well that Karl Rove declared that reality would henceforth be whatever they said it was.
Seriously, he actually said that:
“That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he (Rove) continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Of course, the problem is that reality is not terribly subjective and reportedly has a liberal bias. An orange is an orange. An apple is an apple. Trickle down economics has never worked. Allowing Wall St. to run rampant collapses the economy and insisting that Obama couldn’t possibly have won Ohio doesn’t actually change that he did.
What we have witnessed is an entire political movement buy into its own bullshit. Perhaps Fox is TOO good at its job because even Karl Rove, Master of the Universe, couldn’t seem to grasp an idea that most of the world saw coming weeks and months ago: Romney was going to lose and he lose badly.
If we’re lucky, Maddow is right; the bubble will pop and the GOP will finally start having serious discussions about how to solve our problems. More likely, though, the right will contract on itself in a spasm of ideological purification and internal witch hunts. They will become even more extreme and insular. This will hurt in the short run as the Senate GOP filibustering and House GOP hostage taking will continue. The upshot is that the country has already rejected this fundamentalist attitude and will be repelled by more of the same to such a degree that the GOP will wither and die in a prison of its own making.
Couldn’t have happened to a better group of fanatics.