October 6th, 2012

Cognitive dissonance…

…is a bitch.

In general, rather than resolve cognitive dissonance by changing one of the dissonant ideas (“Obama is a genius” plus “Obama looked like a stammering fool” means “Maybe Obama’s not such a genius after all”—or even worse, “Maybe Romney’s smarter than Obama), a person will try to rationalize the dissonance away.

Thus, the list of excuses for Obama’s poor performance grows apace:

1. He’s Just Too Interested In Finding Common Ground and Rising Above Petty Disputes To Lower Himself To Being An Effective Debater…

2. Obama’s Empathetic Nature and Fellow-Feeling For All Humanity Restrains Him From Humiliating a Lesser Life-Form, Such As Mitt Romney…

3. Obama Was “Too Professorial” To Explain Complex Thoughts To A Lay Audience…

4. Obama Cares Too Much About “Substance” To Debate It…

5. Obama’s “Too Authentic” To Do His Homework For A Debate…

6. Obama’s Too “Cerebral” To “Engage the Issues” in Debate…

7. Obama Is “Too Contemplative” To Debate, Which Might Make Him Too Cool For School…

8. Obama Finds Debates “Absurd” and Beneath His Dignity And So Must Strain to Simply Keep His Wits About Him…

9. Obama is Too High-Minded To Handle Romney’s Lies…

10. Obama Is At His Best When He Is Entirely Unchallenged And Simply Making Unrebutted Assertions To An Adoring Crowd.

Read the whole thing.

39 Responses to “Cognitive dissonance…”

  1. Steve Says:

    I think the excuse that Axelrod and others are pushing is that Obama just told the truth and that Romney was lying.

  2. GoodShip Says:

    It is a great weariness.

  3. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Too much pre-debate CHOOM.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: that’s what Bill Maher says.

  5. SteveH Says:

    Libs better hope the real Obama doesn’t show up for debate. An empty chair is better than a frothing at the mouth class warfare bigot.

  6. Mark Says:

    I’ll go for option 10, please.

    But I’m concerned about the “town hall” format of the next presidential debate. Wouldn’t the alphabet media want to rig the game by filling the audience with Obama fans? And Jim Lehrer was soft spoken enough that Romney could push through and make his case. I’m sure next moderator will not make that same mistake.

  7. M J R Says:

    “9. Obama is Too High-Minded To Handle Romney’s Lies” — Is this the one that refers to Gore-acle’s speculation that Obama had just landed in mile-high Denver?

    (Serious question: was Gore being tongue-in-cheek or was he really offering that as an explanation?)

  8. Oldflyer Says:

    Well, at least they gave up on the altitude, hanky-gate, prozac overdose, etc.

    I really liked the hanky gate. Did I hear Romney just after blowing his nose, say in response to one of Obama’s whoppers: “Mr President, that is just snot.”?

    Apologies, but I simply couldn’t resist.

  9. n.n Says:

    Obama is their last, best hope for deceiving people that they respect individual dignity. Their effort to manipulate perception through semantic games; emotional extortion and appeals; selective history, science, and reality; is increasingly being rejected.

    People recognize that positive progress will not occur through institutional discrimination. It will not occur through progressive, involuntary exploitation. It will not occur through the normalization of behaviors which constitute evolutionary dysfunction. It will not occur through individuals and cooperatives which exploit our base appetites and vulnerability to advance their own political, economic, and social standing. It will not occur when a majority of America’s women reproduce in the minority. It will not occur when a large minority of America’s physically and mentally solvent individuals live through the involuntary exploitation of their family, friends, and neighbors.

    People recognize the progressive (i.e. cultural) corruption which underlies the crises. People need to reject dreams of instant gratification. Anyone who promises them this outcome is an opportunist and profiteer. Those dreams cannot be generally fulfilled withing the constraints of reality without enduring consequences.

  10. Tom Murin Says:

    After checking out The New Yorker cover I stayed and read some of the comments about the debate. All of the items noted above are covered. These folks are in major denial to say the least. They simply cannot handle the truth when something doesn’t fit the narrative or storyline (storybook?). They really think O is something like the president on the TV show The West Wing….

  11. n.n Says:

    The following is cause to hope for change:

    Message from Bishop E.W. Jackson to fellow black Christians

    While the reasons may vary, there is a consensus about the conclusion. The Democrats are largely a lost cause. The Republicans need to be held accountable to their stated principles.

  12. blert Says:

    Too many reefer breaks during the debate prep…


    It was all too much for Choomsky.

  13. stan Says:


  14. FenelonSpoke Says:

    “Magical Mormon Hanky of deception.” That description from Protein Wisdom made me spit my tea on the monitor.”

  15. The Commissioning of the USS Michael Murphy and Saturday Links! Says:

    […] explains exactly why cognitive dissonance is a […]

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Those excuses prove that cognitive dissonance is the flip side of F. Scott Fitzgerald dictum; “The test of a first class mind is the ability to hold two opposing views in one’s mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

  17. Paul in Boston Says:

    GB, Those excuses prove that cognitive dissonance is the flip side of F. Scott Fitzgerald dictum; “The test of a first class mind is the ability to hold two opposing views in one’s mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

    Umm, isn’t that the definition of Doublethink from 1984? Or as O’Brien explains to Winston Smith,

    “You are a slow learner, Winston.”
    “How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
    “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  18. foxmarks Says:

    Anybody bother to point out that one bad game didn’t mean Brett Favre was a lousy quarterback?

    Righties look at all the interceptions and see confirmation. Lefties look at all the touchdowns and suffer cognitive dissonance?

    Both sides are withdrawing into incompatible realities. That’s the dissonance that matters. How will it be resolved?

  19. GoodShip Says:

    9. Obama is Too High-Minded To Handle Romney’s Lies…

    What’s with this lying thing? I don’t remember accusations of lying being standard practice before they went after Pres. Bush. It’s so low-level. Wouldn’t it be classier to have that old British gentleman’s code – no name-calling and baseless accusations?

    I am not innately political, it’s all a mystery.

  20. Oldflyer Says:

    Foxmarks, huh?

    It is true, one bad debate does not make a bad candidate or President. But, the phony losing his mask in front of 67 mil people has its effect.

  21. waltj Says:

    Cognitive dissonance, yes. I think what you’re also seeing is the behavior exhibited by enablers who make excuses for their abusive and/or addicted loved ones: “He only hit me once”, “she doesn’t drink THAT much”, etc. Intervention via public debate, anyone?

  22. Sam L. Says:

    He was expecting the Romney of the NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, and alphabet nets’ reports. Hint: They liiiiiiied!

  23. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    I think it’s more likely #11, that Obama is not as bright as he is presented to be.

  24. PlatoBunker Says:

    I agree with StB: #11 sounds right. And it explains the reaction of the liberals. They have suffered a brutal narcissistic injury. Liberals believe deeply that they are more intelligent than conservatives. They regard their liberal beliefs as proof of their intelligence. So to see the liberal leader, supposedly a very intelligent man, demonstrate so conclusively his cognitive limitations is beyond jarring. Either they reject Obama as a fraud or they reject their world view and self-regard. Good bye Mr. Obama.

  25. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    Totally OT, Neo, but up your professional alley:


  26. davisbr Says:

    @neoneocon Read the whole thing.


    I don’t think so. I mean, I just can’t. Sorry.

    I’m rather to the point of being profoundly weary of that man, and even more so of his ridiculously fawning devotees.

    Enough already.

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    1. Romney won the first debate because he used a Cheat Sheet

    here they go… from the inane huge radio (when you can make a ipod nano), on bush back… to the cribsheet hankie…

    see? no such thing as merit, the ones on top cheat
    which is ok if they are your cheaters, but not if they are the opposition

    here is DUmmie FUnnies following the conspiracy line at the Democratic Underground

    DUmmies Accuse Romney of Using Cheat Sheet

    Watch Romney’s right hand. What’s up with that?
    I bet he wasn’t counting on there being cameras at the rear of the stage to catch him pulling his cheat sheet out of his pocket!
    OMG, he did pull out paper from his pocket! What a sleazeball.
    Wow you got it! He was cheating. Brought his crib sheet and dropped it on the podium. I say: wow! How could it be a handkerchief. I’d only pull that out when I needed it and then put it back in my pocket. I suppose this is how spoiled rich kids get by in school as well as life. BY CHEATING. F*CKING CHEATING!
    This needs to go to Rachael or Lawrence.
    Earlier this am, hubby told me that he saw at the very end, Rmoney going to the podium, getting a paper and then seemed to not know what the hell to do with it. Started to put it in his pocket a couple of times, but decided not to. Eventually gave it to his son, who quickly put it in his pocket. Hubby says he was nervous as hell. This was before he knew of this post. We need to find the tape that has the entire ending on it, after the Obama’s leave.
    We need some high definition, enlarged photos that’s what we really need.
    At 1:32:39 he goes back to the podium to get his cheat sheet
    we need to source the hankie! When did he break that out and where did it come from?

    IF you haven’t been watching them for 30 years like i have, you might have missed the past performances (hundreds of them), but the net, makes them easy to see.

    Realize where the whole wacky conspiracy stuff always comes from (grassy knoll) – which actually tends to negate the more realistic stuff that’s actually confirmed (fast & furious). [then they project to the other as its embarrassing to their ego to remember they were the nut jobs. same here. in 6 months after the traction, it will be the other side not them]

    there is more at Dummie FUnnies including running comments.

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    Sorry… make that 1 a 13… my personal inserted option devised from on the ground research in the actual threads of the others discussions.

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama needs to be equipped with a signal jammer for future debates. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Romney was being fed answers in a wireless device, so Obama should come in with a signal jammer, that would take care of that if it is an issue.

    There was one point early on where I was sure he had the Bush earpiece

    He pulled what looked to be a stack of index cards wrapped with a rubber band out of his pocket. I noticed this last night when I watched the replay on MSNBC. You can’t really see it in the video provided but I saw it last night

    Make sure the story gets out into the mainstream media and that the Obama campaign draws the general public’s attention to it as well.

    [Yes Blowfeld, right away! to the bat poles… ]

  30. foxmarks Says:

    Seems like there’s too much celebrating among the righties, as well as too much tooth-gnashing among the lefties.

    Did Obama make any gaffes? Were there any memorable lines by either guy? The editorial cartoonists seem to be using Eastwood’s chair, not anything that Romney did.

    Romney had a great game, and Obama was flat. Just flat, nothing career-ending.

    Obama Derangement Syndrome has two sides. He’s not as bright as his supporters wanted to believe, but he’s also not the total incompetent the rest of us like to pretend he is.

    I guess, if you want to believe Obama is that incompetent, then he is a fool, not a knave. And there must be some grand conspiracy running the Administration while Barry is playing golf.

  31. Wry Mouth Says:

    Wry Mouth’s Conjecture: That, should Romney and Ryan be perceived as TOO victorious in the debates, or TOO domineering, that Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden will be the first ticket to be elected because the plurality of voters “felt sorry for them.”

    The time is ripe, America!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012: Trophies for Everyone!

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    foxmarks: I have never said Obama is incompetent as a politician. I have consistently said the race would be close. I think he’s generally a very wily clever politician, and I have often said I think he’s intelligent but not at all wise.

    He is incompetent as a president, however, if you look at what he said he wants to accomplish. And if he’s in fact a knave (and I believe he is), than he may even be accomplishing what he wants to do as president, and therefore you’d have to call him competent in terms of accomplishing his own internal goals rather than his stated ones.

    But he certainly was an incompetent debater last Wednesday night. And Romney was very competent, so much so that almost everyone (including the left) had to acknowledge it. Don’t let your negative opinion of Romney blind you to that fact and that accomplishment.

    However, I think everyone is aware that there’s a lot more to be done. The analogy I’ve heard is to a World Series; the debate was just one great game. There are a lot more before a winner is declared.

  33. progressoverpeace Says:

    foxmarks Says:
    October 7th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I guess, if you want to believe Obama is that incompetent, then he is a fool, not a knave.

    Barky is a malevolent retard.

  34. parker Says:

    “He is incompetent as a president, however, if you look at what he said he wants to accomplish.”

    Ah, but he never wanted to accomplish want he said he wanted to accomplish. That would go against the grain of Reverend Wright, Ayers, and Alinsky.

    “I guess, if you want to believe Obama is that incompetent, then he is a fool, not a knave. And there must be some grand conspiracy running the Administration while Barry is playing golf.”


    Sometimes I agree with you, other times I do not, and once in a while I think you are beaming down from another planet in an alternate universe. BHO is simultaneously a knave, a fool, and an empty chair.

    No grand conspiracy is necessary to explain BHO; BHO is a narcissistic, damaged affirmative action wonder child, and he has not the slightest clue about the real world. BHO simply regurgitates BS he has been fed from an early age without the least understanding of the ultimate consequences of the ideology he swims in. Its all kabuki shadows and empathic dialogue streaming across the teleprompter. Take away the Greek columns and the teleprompter and the empty chair has no clothes.

  35. Monday Mishmash « Witch's Will Says:

    […] the next day there was a new narrative in place — or rather, several narratives: Romney cheated, the altitude was too high for Obama, he […]

  36. foxmarks Says:

    “once in a while I think you are beaming down from another planet”

    It feels like that inside my head, too, parker. 🙂

    I’ve already agreed with the standard reading of the first debate performance. Although, what I haven’t seen mentioned is that Romney’s excellent performance did nothing to bring in the RP/TEA folks I know. To them, Romney confirmed he is another big-gov’t Republican who thinks he can craft the perfect package of regulation and incentive.

    That matters in NV and CO, where the liberty movement may well have the ability to swing swing States. If OH or FL is decided by 1,000 votes again, Romney’s excellent performance might be seen by history as a lost opportunity for rapprochement with the factions he brutalized during the Convention.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    foxmarks: wrong. I’ve seen comments all around the blogosphere, as well as articles, indicating many conservatives were very pleased and motivated by his debate, even people who had previously been lukewarm. They were pleased by (among other things) his fighting spirit and aggressiveness, his criticism of Obama, and his citing of the 10th amendment in particular.

  38. parker Says:


    Think baby steps…..


  39. parker Says:

    “his citing of the 10th amendment in particular.”

    If we could place DC inside the box of the 9th & 10th amendments we could begin the journey back to the republic. No more Obamaphones.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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