David Roberts+ Your Authors @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Oct. 06, 2018 2 min read + Your Authors

The entire right convinced themselves of this lunacy - ignoring evidence, dismissing Ford's testimony, & closing off further inquiry - EASILY. Without breaking a sweat. The entire GOP has embraced Trump's narcissism, delusion, & cruelty. They were just waiting for permission.

Remember this next time some pundit says Dems shouldn't do/say something because it might "give the right ammunition." The right is now entirely capable of making shit up out of whole cloth -- high school doppelgangers, Soros plots, pizza joint child sex rings, sharia law ...

They don't need ammunition. They've got a giant propaganda machine & a base trained to revel in being lied to. They can collectively convince themselves of *anything* now, almost overnight. Protesting assault survivors are paid Soros agents? Sure! They'll gobble it up.

Trump stripped away any pretense. They just make up lunacy & will themselves into believing it now, right in plain sight. This is what decades of tribal epistemology have led to & there is now NO fact pattern - nothing Mueller or anyone else could find - that could crack it.

So whatever Malcolm f'ing Gladwell or any of these other hand-wringing both-sidesers may still stay (still! in 2018!), there just isn't any margin left in persuasion across partisan lines. Each side is what it is & the gulf is unbridgeable.

The right is fully, proudly embracing what it is: white grievance & maintenance of white privilege. It is going to attract everyone who feels affinity for those things. That's a lot of people! But the choice is far too clear now for the left to confuse anyone w/ "centrism."

The only remaining strategy is for the left to, at long last, after apologizing for itself since Reagan, fully & proudly embrace what IT is: racial & gender equality, social democracy, and respect for reason, science, & expertise. To be as boldly itself as the right is.

If the forces of modernity & the forces of reaction are cleanly split & set against one another in the US, which would win? I used to think the former. Now I kind of think the latter. But whatever, at least let's *have the fight*. At least modernity should go down swinging.

Anyway, to bring it back around: people who could watch last week's hearing & convince themselves, w/in 48 hours, that Ford is part of an elaborate Soros-funded plot & Kavanaugh, that thumb-faced mediocrity, is uniquely qualified for SCOTUS ... are simply beyond persuasion.

They will believe whatever they need to believe to do whatever they have to do to keep power. That is baked in. Arguments are performative & epiphenomenal. Only countervailing exercise of power will make any difference. Organizing & fighting, not factchecking.

You can follow @drvox.


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