Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs

If you are anything like me, you read and re-read and sometimes still read the Chronicles of Narnia. I have always especially loved The Last Battle, with its nefarious plots, darkness, and heroics. It is perhaps the most obvious in its Christian allegorical implications, but any reader can create meaning and draw parallels, and as a nonbeliever, the most striking and current parallel I have is pulled from Chapter 13: "How the Dwarfs Refuse to be Taken In:"

"Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks - not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan - bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.

They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time - poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats - and that would translate into votes for Romney.

As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn't reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night."

Wait, that's an article about the Romney campaign on November 6.

Let's try this:

Tirian had thought... that they were inside a little thatched stable, about twelve feet long and six feet wide. In reality they stood on grass, the deep blue sky was overhead, and the air which blew gently on their faces was that of a day in early summer... Lucy led the way and soon they could all see the Dwarfs. They had a very odd look. They weren't strolling about or enjoying themselves (although the cords with which they had been tied seemed to have vanished) nor were they lying down and having a rest. They were sitting very close together in a little circle facing one another. They never looked round nor took any notice of the humans till Lucy and Tirian were almost near enough to touch them. then the Dwarfs all cocked their heads as if they couldn't see anyone but were listening hard and trying to guess by the sound what was happening.

You remember it, right? Everyone emerges through the door into a bright, sunny paradise, but the Dwarfs sit huddled in a circle, only able to see the dark, dirty stable. They close ranks and refuse to listen to anyone:

"Now it's time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.
"To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way."

Oops. That was Sen. Mitch McConnell.

"But it isn't dark, your poor stupid Dwarfs," said Lucy. "Can't you see? Look up! Look round! Can't you see the sky and the trees and the flowers? Can't you see me?" 

"Are you blind?" said Tirian.
"Ain't we all blind in the dark?" said Diggle.

"There is no black hole, save in your own fancy, fool," cried Tirian. "Come out of it."

Now, I don't expect republicans to be wandering about a post-election world in which they lost, taking gulps of bright, autumn air, sighing sparkles, and peeing rainbows, but the choice has been made, it was clear, and people want action.

They don't want yammering about a republican mandate when House republicans, while still in charge, had fewer votes than House democrats. They don't want continued obstructionism from a Congress with historically low approval ratings.

All the "modern" GOP has to offer is denialism and the inability to prepare for all outcomes if those outcomes do not fit with their created reality. Karl Rove going live on Fox News to tell them they had it wrong when they called Ohio for Obama. Running an entire end-of-campaign strategy on the belief that polls are skewed and that your anecdotal observations and internal polling tell the Real Story because the other one doesn't look good. Choosing to believe that the Obama ground game was all just smoke and mirrors, and that their own ground game was superior and would carry the day when they had not even truly tested their big, expensive GOTV apparatus. Ignoring any data showing Obama in the lead in both electoral and popular counts. Thinking that we still live in an America where all that counts is GOTWV: Get Out The White Vote.

And closing ranks on November 7, vowing to stick to their dark, fantasy-based belief in cutting taxes and obstructing the President, all in the name of party and politics.

“Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs."

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