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My previous essay on fairy-tales of the “right” showed how the master narrative of the Republicans this year was based on misinformation, logical errors, disinformation, and even outright lies.

What this last week’s news shows is how thoroughly these false stories misled not only many of the voters that bought them, but even the leadership itself, all the way up through Mitt Romney and Karl Rove.

When I watched Governor Romney’s truly gracious concession speech, the main thing I perceived was not the words but the nonverbal communication. Mr. Romney’s face (and the fact that he had not even prepared a concession speech) showed beyond a doubt that he actually believed the phony story—the master narrative—that his campaign and its funders had concocted. He thoroughly expected to win, and had not even been able to consider the possibility—a high one, given all the polls—that he might lose. His face was that of a deer in the headlights: he kept thinking “this couldn’t really be happening: I was guaranteed to win.”

My previous essay on fairy-tales of the “right” showed how the master narrative of the Republicans this year was based on misinformation, logical errors, disinformation, and even outright lies.

What this last week’s news shows is how thoroughly these false stories misled not only many of the voters that bought them, but even the leadership itself, all the way up through Mitt Romney and Karl Rove. When I watched Governor Romney’s truly gracious concession speech, the main thing I perceived was not the words but the nonverbal communication. Mr. Romney’s face (and the fact that he had not even prepared a concession speech) showed beyond a doubt that he actually believed the phony story—the master narrative—that his campaign and its funders had concocted. He thoroughly expected to win, and had not even been able to consider the possibility—a high one, given all the polls—that he might lose. His face was that of a deer in the headlights: he kept thinking “this couldn’t really be happening: I was guaranteed to win.”

This fact is evident from the reaction of a number of other “conservative” spokespeople. Some said that they couldn’t understand how the populace could vote for someone who stood for deficits (somehow ignoring the fact that for 35 years or more deficits have been larger under Republicans than under Democrats) or who was taking the country down to socialism (which my diary on Republicans and Communism shows to be the direct opposite of the true record). And some suggested emigration or revolution.

Weird, weird, weird. For at least 40 years, the “Right” accused progressives of hating America. Now it is the “Right” who hates America—who claims that the “real” America died or who says we should move towards revolution (wouldn’t that be called sedition?) or take up arms or leave the country. This is, I just have to say, nuts: when leftists talked about or implemented leaving the country in the 60s to avoid fighting a war they considered unjust in Vietnam, the Right was quick to accuse them of hating America, or worse. Now the shoe is on the other foot and the “Right” is even more inclined to hate America than the Left ever was. Not for actually DOING anything specific, but for VOTING THE WRONG WAY.

How can you support the Conservative value of “American exceptionalism” and our values of democracy and freedom and reject the results of a free and democratic election? One where the election fraud to the extent there was any was with the Republicans who made it ridiculously hard to vote (my friend from Florida told me that in her neighborhood some voters had to stand in line for 5 hours to vote). How can you say that the voters were stupid or deceived in 2012 without admitting that they might have been equally stupid in 2010 and 2004 and 2000 (oh,wait, the voters actually chose Al Gore in 2000) or 1980 for that matter?

Conservatives are in disarray right now, pondering what they did wrong. I commend them to my essay here in the Daily Kos on fairy-tales to see how they have been deceiving themselves as well as the rest of us. If Conservatives really want balanced budgets, let’s have an honest discussion about the tradeoffs that goal requires, and not bring in the fairy-tale that there is a free lunch—the fairy-tale that if we cut social spending and cut taxes for the most successful, that we can eliminate deficits with no pain for anyone who doesn’t deserve it.
If Conservatives are really afraid that the Obama Administration is trying to create Socialism in America, let’s have a serious discussion about what the word Socialism means and why it is bad, and about whether Democratic policy proposals take use there. If Conservatives really think Democrats support handouts to the unworthy, let’s get specific about what sorts of benefits are not legitimate or are too generous and what to do about them.

In my essay, I said, “Current Republican thinking seems to be based on a Disney-esque belief that wishing will make it so. Republicans seem to believe that life is a fairy tale story where if you want something to be true badly enough, it becomes true.
Republicans WANT lower taxes to lead to economic growth, and so they do. No need to  do the analysis.
Republicans WANT climate change not to be a problem, and so it isn’t.
Republicans WANT austerity to be the way out of the recession, and so it is.
Why is this way of thinking so dangerous? Because the real world, the world of science and of economics [and actual election results], doesn’t care what people think, or what they want. Nature bats last: the facts are what they are and if you ignore them you will get in trouble.”

In this case, the facts were that the electorate wasn’t buying the fairy-tales, and Republican leaders from Karl Rove to Mitt Romney to Rush Limbaugh just didn’t get it and suffered the consequences. Think about that—suffering the consequences of your error—that is a real Conservative principle that I think most people could agree with.

So I urge you to read this essay—the more so if you are a Republican and want true Conservative principles such as responsibility, a concern for the future, and a respect for the past, to be renewed in America.

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