Wikipedia defines Psychological Projection as follows:
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.
Do not make the mistake of confusing the above definition of a personality disorder with the political dirty tricks used by the Republican Party. In the GOP’s version, there is nothing subconscious about what they do. Their lies are intentional and it’s all part of a strategy crafted in the backrooms by the Karl Roves of the party to be disseminated to the masses by the grunts and hacks who populate the conservative media.
When a Rush Limbaugh charges that it is President Obama and Dems who prefer propaganda over truth, one could not find a better example of right-wing projection. Obama lies, says Limbaugh, while he and those on the right are “the virtuous ones in our society — we think truth wins. We have this investment in the truth. We think it’s holy. We think that it is profound, and we think it’s persuasive.”
Pass out the barf bags.
Is Limbaugh subconsciously projecting his own traits on to liberals? Not a chance in hell. He knows exactly what he’s saying. Limbaugh believes truth is holy and profound in the same way he believes marriage is holy and profound. How long before wife number 5 enters his life? Limbaugh’s only investment in truth is ensuring it never leaves his lips.
One could make the argument, of course, that pond scum like Limbaugh are simply “entertainers” out to make a buck and push a conservative agenda. Whatever. But what does one way say about a man aspiring to be president who uses the exact same tactics that a Limbaugh does – a man who lies with wild abandon and projects every weakness and flaw that he and the Republican platform possess on to Democrats?
- On the Obama campaign: “The president’s campaign is all about division and attack and hatred.”
- On whether his remarks seemed unhinged: “They were very measured. I can be much more dramatic, I think. I think unhinged would have to characterize what we’ve seen from the president’s campaign.”
- On what he means by the president’s campaign being about hatred: “Well, I think if you look at the ads that have been described, and the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity, and so forth, it’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger.”
- On his view of the president: “The president seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he’ll do anything in his power to try and get reelected.”
- On what has really got him mad: “The president’s campaign has put out a campaign that’s talking about me and attacking me. I think it’s just demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly when we face the kinds of challenges we face.”
Projection at its best. The man whose party has claimed for five years that Barack Obama hates America is now crying that Dems are attacking him personally. Romney is a piece of work. Attacks and questions on what he heralded as his main qualifications for the job – his business experience at Bain – are now seen by him as personal attacks.
Personal is insinuating that a man is unpatriotic and is out to purposely hurt his fellow citizens. Asking to see the tax returns of a man vying for the top job in the country and questioning some of his business decisions are not.
Four years ago it was hard to imagine a more unfit, incompetent pair of political clowns than McCain and Palin. That was until we got introduced to Romney and Ryan.
(The base source photograph for the ‘Last Clown Standing’ illustration is a Library of Congress digital image. The Mitt Romney source photographs are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore. )