Conservatives draw psychological strength from feeling persecuted. Persecution justifies their anger and offers a convenient means of circling the wagons. When -- as is almost always the case -- there's no reason to feel of persecuted, they invent one. Because of the faith and emotion that they pour into their arguments and practices, it's vitally important to them that they be right. They can sweep some mistakes under the rug, but a failure of the dimension of the Iraq war won't fit under any rug anywhere. So,
- They argue that the war was "won," attempting to stay away from the reality that the solution in Iraq -- if there is one -- is political and not military; and
- To the extent that the war was "lost," it's because of the constant criticism and doom-saying from liberals and the left.
The domestic and international failures of conservatism are so complete that they must look to their political enemies as the cause. Add to this the fact that they are out of power and you see why Rush Limbaugh -- dressed like an extra from The Sporanos -- screeches so loudly and why his audience cheers him on so enthusiastically: By loudly and flagrantly accusing Democrats of wanting Bush to fail, he diverts conservatives from self-examination. It's a survival technique, really; a huge part of what remains of the conservative movement is faith-based. What can you do when your faith is misplaced other than blame its failings on others? The alternative as they see it -- that they have not had America's best interests in mind and that liberals have -- is too hideous to contemplate.
Jon Stewart vivisects Limbaugh here:
Notice the chanting and the fist shaking. And yet they claim that Barack Obama leads a cult of personality! Which leads me to another conservative trait: Whatever they accuse liberals of is usually something they are doing themselves...
The NOLA Indie Rock Fest is this weekend...