Republicans As Sociopathic Bullies

I was going through some archives looking for an older post of mine and came across this Chris Britt toon I published back in November 2010.

Nine months later and the base is still yelling, “STAND UP TO THE BULLY!! GROW A SPINE AND LEAD!”

Unfortunately, there is more to this particular bully than simply standing up to him.  When your opponent is borderline insane – nix that – when your opponent is totally insane, it gets a bit trickier.  I know.  I’ve had experience with a crazed and delusional sociopathic stalker and if I’ve learned anything from it, it’s that Republicans exhibit many of the traits of a sociopath.

[The] sociopath [...] shows a lack of regret in his or her actions. A major personality behavior trait is the violation of the rights of others.

Research has shown that the sociopath is usually a person with an abundance of charm and wit. He or she may appear friendly and considerate, but these attributes are usually superficial. They are used as a way of blinding the other person to the personal agenda behind the sociopath’s behaviour.

Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with sociopaths, eventually comes to learn some basic facts.

1. YOU CANNOT REASON WITH THEM.

The debt crisis nonsense highlighted this first point.  There was nothing which President Obama or Dems could possibly have offered Tea Party Republicans that would have satisfied them.  Sociopaths adopt a righteous stance and no degree of fact or logic could dislodge them from their beliefs.

2. THEY PLAY THE VICTIM CARD

Stand up to a sociopath and call them out on their actions and they instantly cry foul.  When Vice President Biden accurately compared Tea Party negotiator’s tactics to those of a terrorist, the right-wing freaked out.  Case in point was Sarah Palin who called Biden’s remark “vile” and “quite appalling”.  Yes, that’s the same Sarah Palin who is fond of making the claim that the President of the United States “pals around with terrorists”.

3. PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION

Here’s how Wiki describes it:

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.

Point out that Herman Cain exhibited bigotry in his stance over Muslims, and you are immediately called a bigot or racist for daring to call a black man a bigot.  Point out that Sarah Palin is an airhead and you are accused of being misogynistic.  Point out that Republican tactics in Congress are hurting the country and you’re accused of being unpatriotic.  You get the idea.

So what is my point here?  Simply this: These are not normal times and the President is facing an opponent who plays by a unique set of rules – rules which they create and change which each new crisis, real or contrived.  An opponent who has no interest in compromise or debate or reasoned dialog.  An opponent whose actions are dictated by a singular purpose: take down this President.  And if that means crashing the economy into a brick wall, or watching more people join the ranks of the unemployed or destroying an entire middle class of Americans, so be it.  In their sick and twisted minds, the end always justifies the means.

So every once in a while, progressives need to take a step back and come to grips with what it is this President is facing.  Their frustration is understandable but screaming out, “GROW A SPINE!!”, while satisfying in the moment, might not be the most constructive approach to the matter.

Dealing with insanity requires a cooler, calmer approach.  Stand up to them, yes.  Speak of truth and facts but know that you are not addressing the crazies.  They’ll never understand because…well, because they’re crazy.  Progressive’s and liberal’s only hope lies in ensuring that moderates and independents don’t fall for the slew of lies and misinformation put out by the right-wing’s well-oiled noise machine.

I can think of no better words to describe the current state of U.S. politics than to quote the opening paragraph from Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

The age of foolishness, indeed.

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Comments

  1. E.A. Blair says:

    This is something I’ve posted elsewhere (I think I first posted it about four months ago), and it’s exquisitely appropriate here:

    “The American Psychological Association is currently in the process of compiling the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is scheduled for publication in 2013. It is my opinion that the manual should include “Being A Republican” as a subheading under Sociopathy.”

  2. Randy R. says:

    Thank you, Mario, for doing such a great job of expressing what I’ve been struggling to put in to words for the last week or so. Here’s what I had so far:
    “When we elected Obama, the man who just took office 2 years and 7 months ago, we elected the equivalent of the Good Guy. He walked in to the top office in a country on the brink of ruin, largely caused by the last 10 years of GOP rule. Instead of considering ourselves lucky to have gotten rid of at least some of the Bad Guys and trying to give Obama all the support he needed to take on such a dire mess, like children we demanded instant gratification. We pouted and stamped our feet, “Fix it all now!” we demanded. And when he didn’t do the impossible, we grabbed our marbles and left, letting the Bad Guys, who were watching and waiting, scramble back in.”

    I’ve realized, especially since the 2010 election, that a heck of a lot of people go to the polls mad (in both senses of the word) with the idea of poking a finger in the eye of Washington, i.e. “sending a message.” They don’t have a clue that they”ve voted against their own best interests and the message they’ve sent is not what they meant.

  3. I’ve been working on a similar post myself, but you’ve said this so well I may just send readers over here. My post didn’t get very far, but was working off of an interesting discussion happening on blogs re: a comment at the post “Chumps” in Washington Monthly:

    The predominately white progressive intelligentsia don’t see Obama clearly because of our racial blind spot. We don’t see the role of race in how he seems to understand himself and how other perceive him. First of all, we think that he understands himself as one of us

    . (portion of comment)

    Laura Novak’s column How We See It comments on that comment and there are lots of links to follow for some interesting and varying perspectives. On August 19, 2011 at about 4:00 EST, the above phrase garnered “about 584 results” so the discussion is spreading.

    Whatever your perspective, I think any rational human being would agree that our President has shown nothing but grace under pressure and a level of composure that escapes most of us. His demeanor is especially impressive under the constant attack of the Right and the Left. During these volatile times, I’m glad to have him as our President.

  4. Tacy says:

    Completely agree, but I would also add if more Democrats would have voted in the midterms elections, things wouldn’t be so bad.

  5. Sandy says:

    I have also been saying all along: you can’t reason with crazy. I was married to a sociopath for 26 years, but didn’t figure him out until the last couple of years of our marriage. He had everyone fooled. The repubs lie and tell people that the money saved by cutting all of these vital programs will be given back to the citizens to be used for their benefit. WRONG. The money will be divided between politicians and greedy upper class, and Dillard Dumb Butt will be left with NOTHING, and will never know what hit him. He’ll still be blaming Obama after he has been denied welfare benefits. Sociopaths are extremely dangerous, and not enough of us can see through their lies. Their minds are set. They would all sell their mothers to slave traders if the price was right. We’re
    not dealing with humans here. Don’t know what the solution is. We laughed at and ignored these sick freaks, unaware that they could destroy us. If they win, God help us all.

  6. martin = "rearden" the stalker says:

    Honestly, Mario, do you think you will ever be rid of “Rearden” the stalker, or Lisa, or Martin, or whatever it is calling itself today?

    You should see the moronic caturwalling it spews on Digg, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so creepy.

    Poor, pathetic lil’ feller, that “Rearden”

    I wonder how it even continues?

  7. I stopped reading that creepy stalker’s garbage a long time ago. I have no time for delusional sociopaths. Besides, he’s done a fine job of making himself out to be an insignificant jerkoff. The important people who needed to know already know. I’m good with that.

  8. Scared of these nuts says:

    Ask yourself what the Tea Party’s agenda is. The answer is genocide. They want anyone who cannot afford insurance to die. They want old people to die so they don’t have to fund SS. They want blacks to die because they are racist. They don’t want to help the low income in any way. They tell them to help themselves by getting a job but they don’t take into account that many people work low wage jobs that leave them without healthcare or enough to even pay their rent. They don’t care because they want you to die. If you aren’t rich enough to afford what they can afford you should die. Your life has no value unless you have money. Money, not Jesus is their God.

    Yet they hide under the banner of Christianity. This folks, is the anti-christ.