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Liberals see Obama’s feet of clay: So then what?

Liberals see Obama’s feet of clay: So then what?

Maureen Dowd has become disillusioned with President Obama in his second term. It’s probably correct to conclude that Dowd stands for millions of other liberals similarly let down.

But don’t get too excited—it’s highly probable that neither Dowd nor the rest are considering a leap to conservatism, or even to taking conservatives or Republicans seriously as alternatives to Democrats. And this despite the fact that many erstwhile Obama supporters acknowledge (as Dowd does) that Obama seems weak and vacillating, less charming and articulate than before, unwilling to schmooze with or reach out to Democrats in Congress to push his agenda, aloof and just plain “weird.”

These are characteristics that much of the right detected in Obama from the start—and that was just the tip of the iceberg of the problems they saw. Now that many more liberals and leftists have also noticed, in the immortal words of Hillary Clinton in another context: what difference will it make?

Dowd and company will most likely believe that Obama has merely lost steam and changed from the wonderful person he used to be. The vast majority of his previous supporters are highly unlikely to think that their judgment was impaired in their original assessment, and/or that Obama was and still is deceptive or manipulative. The vast majority will not question their basic political belief system, which will remain intact, or try to see the enemy (Republicans, that is) in a new light. They will support Obama as best they can, halfheartedly and despite their disappointment, and then turn to the next liberal candidate (perhaps her initials are HRC) and trust the mainstream media to guide them as before.

One of the things that explains this is the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance, which is a universal human experience:

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc…

Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one’s belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance through misperception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others.

Political change is rare, even when people are confronted with dissonance that should be a challenge their beliefs. It is just too painful, too threatening (too “difficult,” as expressed in the title of my series) for most people to actually change their political affiliation, despite whatever challenges their beliefs might encounter.

There are other aspects of political change that are hard. Prominent among them are the social negatives: rejection by friends and family if one is leaving the fold, or at the very least social awkwardness and the need to avoid certain topics if peace is to be maintained. But serious and sobering though that prospect is, it pales in comparison to the more basic potential alienation: separation from the previous self and its beliefs. And so it is hardly surprising that most people will do almost anything to avoid such a rift.

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Comments

If Conservatives try to come to the rescue and fix Obama’s failures – they will immediately be tarred as the culprits.

We must stand by and watch the 2nd term pain caused by things like ObamaCare. American must truly understand what electing a liberal just for racial healing and free stuff really means.

One of the reasons that the Libs are down on Barry is that he’s not “doing anything.” And his frustration in being thwarted in his pernicious agenda — which, sadly, the Libs generally share with their idol — is also why he’s become snarly, in addition to being self-centered and shallow.

But the only thing standing between Barry and his goals is the Republican House. If it goes back to Botox Nancy, we are truly doomed. So we conservatives need to hold our noses, get over the budget and debt ceiling “crises” and let Obamacare’s many flaws be the campaign issue that lets us keep the House and perhaps gain the Senate. If that happens, the whining and nastiness of Barry and the Libs will be something to behold — but will be useless howlings which we can mock and ignore.

The Won, as with many of the political elite, all have one thing in common: They’ve never worked a real job. They’ve never dealt with Joe Public, they’ve never seen a boss struggle to meet a payroll, they’ve never been mentored, they’ve never had an example to follow, they’ve never had to answer to anybody.

Remember Barry’s and the Libs’ mantra: There is no god but the State and Barry is its prophet.

And if the Libs abandon Barry, then their motto will shift to the next anointed leader: There is no god but the State is Hilary is its prophetess. Of course, in that case, “what does it make” will be the refrain of the snarling Queen of Benghazi.

The most likely result of the realization that Obama is a failed politician it to find another new kid on the block saying the right progressive stuff and repeat the mistake.

Something along the lines of “That Al Gore fellow was morally flawed and too centrist but that John Edwards fellow is Liberal with a capital L …and dreamy”

In short, the rubes who bought a pig in a poke will simply rinse and repeat- to complete the mixed metaphor.

    Radegunda in reply to Howard Roark. | September 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Shortly after Edwards’s “issues” came up, I hard a lefty telling another lefty it was such a shame because Edwards was “like God.”

Faith and thinking are separate activities. Liberals may think Bush was evil, but they believe Obama is the Anointed One. Jonathan Edwards said something along the lines that you cannot reason with a man who presumes to speak for God. So it is with liberals.

Just like with the Soviet Union — it’s not Leftist policies which have failed. Those are beyond question. Everyone thing and everyone involved can be blamed for not trying hard enough, but the policies are perfect!

Leaving the fold is especially difficult if your political opinions are not just conclusions arrived at by observing, reading, and thinking, but are vital parts of one’s self-image. Then disagreement with the ideas is perceived as an attack on the personhood. In other words, if a basic part of your self-image is, “I am a liberal and for social justice and peace; therefore I am a good, decent, and morally superior person,” then it’s not just a matter of, “I guess that idea was wrong,” but much more difficult.

By the way, Neo, you call it cognitive dissonance. The reason why the syndrome doesn’t affect more leftists is, I think, more easily understood if you realize that to be perfectly accurate, what the left undergoes is not “cognitive dissonance,” but “doublethink,” the ability to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

I think the composition of the Democrat coalition is what keeps Obama’s approval ratings inflated. Democrats portray themselves as the savior of society’s oppressed “victims”: the poor, gays, blacks, Hispanics, single women. The other big part of the coalition is the hard-left pseudo intellectual elites. The pseudo-intellectuals constantly reinforce the idea that the “victims” are casualties of conservative Republican policies. So, the “victims” are conditioned to be victims and to be afraid of Republican policies that will keep them victims. So the “victims” aren’t likely to turn against their saviors, the Democrats. And the hard left pseudo-intellectuals who promote the idea of victimology aren’t going to turn on Democrats precisely because they are ideologues. That creates a pretty tight, cohesive coalition.

I’m not sure what, if anything, would cause Obama’s coalition to turn against him in a big way.

Being a radical anti-Obama liberal means you only get down on one knee when you hear HIS name as opposed to getting down on both knees.

Maureen’s disappointment is misplaced. “Barack Obama” is shorthand for both him and the political appointees he brought with him, along with his supporters in the Democratic Party. What we have in office is nothing like the array of skill and competence we enjoyed under the Clinton administration, and which, I think, most Democrats assumed would be deployed in this administration.

There were a LOT of democrats singing this man’s praises as if he were some sort of Messiah, in a deliberate and successful effort to build a cult of personality around a person they did not know. “Lightworker”? Really? This man got awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, before he even did anything in office, any office. Somebody campaigned to get him a nobel prize for no reason, and the campaign was successful. The names associated with that coup would be illuminating. Perhaps Ms. Dowd can do her part and follow up on that.

neo-neocon: One of the things that explains this is the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance

Being disappointed by a particular political leader doesn’t necessarily conflict with political positions. Not sure why you point to cognitive dissonance.

O is nothing more than a “hoax”. Liberals, along with the lapdog media, made him up.

I’ve oft wondered about that, too, but have had considerable doubt. For many of these folks to be experiencing “cognitive dissonance” it would first require some state of cognition against which cold, hard reality would create some sense of dissonance.

Alas, those seem few and far between.

One positive note I’d make for us conservatives is that once a Dem gets the Dem nomination for president and loses, he never gets the nomination a 2nd time. He gets one shot at it. Examples: (1) HHH in 1968, (2) George McGovern in 1972, (3) Walter Mondale in 1984, (4) Mike Dukakis in 1988, (5) Al Gore in 2000, (6) John Kerry in 2004. I think the reason is that a presidential campaign gives them too much exposure to the “low information” and independent voters who decide presidential elections. They see too many contradictions, switching positions on “gut level” issues that even non-ideological voters take as symbolic of general untrustworthiness. Examples. Al Gore was a senator from Tenn. & was pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, anti-porn (wife led a campaign against it), and (in theory) part of the DLC.

When he was the Dem nominee he adopted a more leftist, Nancy Pelosi – Chuck Schumer secularist stance. Had to go to Hollywood, that epicenter of anti-family, pro-abortion, pro-gay rights and beg for money. Never mind all of that Bible Belt pandering for so many years. Now, those “in the middle” I’s and low info voters may not be that religious, they just don’t trust people who switch their political positions for crass political reasons: getting donations, “buying” votes. etc. Each of those 6 failed Dem prez nominees have somewhat different reasons they became unsuitable to ordinary voters, but it reflects a major weakness in the dominant secular leftist, European-style socialism of the Dem Party.

What about Dem candidates that contended for the nomination but lost out? Did they get enough exposure to ruin their chances if they were to get the nomination in a later election cycle? Hillary Clinton, John Edwards were prominent players in 2004 and 2008. Edwards is finished, but Hillary is unknown at this point. (I’d like to think she’s finished!)

Jimmy Carter is a former president who in theory could have run again for president, but he clearly would never have been nominated again, given his disastrous 1st term.

Conservatives, on the other hand, can get a fair amount of national exposure and still successfully run and capture the GOP presidential nomination. It’s not clear if that’s a good strategy for the party or not, given the failures of Bob Dole, 1996, McCain, 2008, Mitt Romney, 2012.

Anyway, I don’t think the core values of conservatism are as “toxic” to the general public as are the “core values” of the dominant secular leftist/socialist wing of the Dem Party. They are very judgmental about conservatives and helping the poor and downtrodden, yet in their personal lives they devote tiny amounts of time and treasure to the said poor and downtrodden. In sum, they are clear cut hypocrites on that issue. Americans want their leaders to lead by example. Apply it to yourself and yours first before you inflict it on the rest of us. The secular Professional Leftists never do that. They never even think about it. Similar points can be made on other issues.

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