A Quick Tale of Right Wing Ignorance Before the Storm Arrives:
The Rude Pundit, well stocked with enough vodka, sausage, and condoms to last a Siberian winter, is awaiting the bad part of Sandy, the not-at-all-related-to-climate-change-late-October-hurricane-for-fuck's-sake. He doesn't know when he will lose internet or power, so he'll just tell a quick story from this past weekend and save the vaguely articulate arguments for another day.
In a cozy bar in Morningside Heights in New York City on Friday night, the Rude Pundit sat across from the Elderly Southern Belle, who is white and in her 60s. The Elderly Southern Belle had already entertained the group by saying that she wasn't racist just before launching into her version of Black Person's Voice, which sounded like a toothless ghetto whore out of a 1970s TV cop show. The Elderly Southern Belle's own accent could best be described as "somewhere between Deliverance and Mama's Family." So doing another kind of accent to demonstrate that race's ignorance was a little like a rat acting like a pigeon to show what disease-carrying vermin are like.
The ESB started in about politics, the Rude Pundit having vowed that he would avoid the topic in order to keep the evening peaceful. The ESB talked about how bad she felt President Barack Obama had been for business in the nation. The Rude Pundit stayed silent. She talked about how Medicare could only be saved by a Romney presidency. The Rude Pundit stayed silent. She said to the Rude Pundit, "I hope you don't ever want to retire because that money ain't gonna be there." The Rude Pundit could remain silent no more.
"My retirement funds are doing great because the stock market is doing great under Obama," he said.
The ESB said, "Well, they're not gonna if Obama is reelected."
"No," the Rude Pundit said. "When Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones was down to around 6500. It's now over 13,000. That's a fact."
She stared at him and said, "Well, that's because--"
"No 'That's because--,'" he cut her off. "It's a fact, it's indisputable, it happened, under Obama. Can you say it didn't happen?"
She was silent for a moment. Finally she offered, "It went down when he first came to office--"
"For a couple of weeks. And then some of his policies came into place, like the stimulus, and it turned around."
She tried one more time, saying, "Sure, but--"
"No 'but.' No nothing." The Rude Pundit had had enough. "This is a number. It's a fact. It's not an opinion. It's not open to interpretation. It was one number and now it's another number that's twice as high. Under Obama. Argument over."
She gave up and moved on to health insurance. That's a story for another time that involves the Rude Pundit saying at one point, "Fuck those doctors who quit."
This is what Democrats are up against. It can't be said enough: facts don't matter to Republican voters. Numbers are all lies. And, as we saw in that Chrysler's-sending-jobs-to-China ad this weekend from the Romney campaign, reality has no place in the rhetoric of the right.
The truly sad part is how many people, like the ESB, will always believe the lies that confirm their prejudices rather than the truth that challenges them.