Tough Guys And Narrative Dissonance

5 comments October 4th, 2006at 10:00am Posted by Eli

I don’t usually post more than once or twice on the same topic, other than maybe The Genius That Is The Weekly World News, but the Foliasco is just a goldmine of material, and I keep finding new aspects and angles on it.

The latest thought that’s occurred to me is the idea of narrative dissonance – that this scandal makes it much harder for Republicans to maintain their illusions about themselves and the party they have triple-duct-taped themselves to.

I think there are basically two primary types of die-hard Republican true believers at this point. There’s the tough guys who fancy themselves like Extra-Special Agent Jack Bauer on “24”, ruthless and steely-eyed, willing to do absolutely anything to achieve their ends (or more accurately, have absolutely anything done on their behalf), and so what if there’s a little lawbreaking or collateral damage along the way. These are the same people who hung out with the school bully as kids, or wanted to, so they could feel tough by association. Of course, they see liberals and Democrats as weak, ineffectual hand-wringers who want to hold them back with nitpicky insistence on obeying stupid trivial little laws like FISA and the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution.

And then there’s the Kool-Aid Khristians (mostly fundies/evangelicals), who believe that Bush in particular, and the Republicans in general, are Good Christian Men fighting the good fight against the Godless Heathen Liberals who believe in Evolution and want to force everyone to have gay sex and abortions (if you’re virulently anti-abortion, wouldn’t that make gay sex kind of a good thing?), and against the terrorists who want… well, pretty much the same things the fundies want, but they give God a funny name.

Most of the horrible things the Republicans have done are not at all horrible to these groups. Torture, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial, outing a CIA agent? Necessary hardball tactics, perfectly justified against The Enemy. Suppressing science, denying equal rights to gays, banning abortion in all circumstances, even in the case of incest or rape or life-threatening conditions? That’s just upholding God’s covenant on Earth. The various corruption scandals are a little trickier for them to reconcile, but I think the true believers from both camps have been able to tell themselves that’s just The Way Things Work in Washington, everyone knows it, even if no-one admits it. They’re just doing what they have to do to keep protecting us from islamofascists and progressofascists (I might need to tweak that second one, it sounds too much like “Soup Nazis”).

But a congressman sexually harassing (at the least) underage pages? Everyone knows real Tough Guys would take him out back and work him over with a tire iron, not look the other way and pass the buck and make lame excuses. And it sure as hell doesn’t fit in with the religious right’s hyper-moralism either (I’m not entirely sure what the right-wing Christian equivalent of the tire iron would be…).

In other words, what the Foley scandal has done is made it much much harder for Republican voters to self-identify as belonging to either a party of Manly Tough Guy Badasses or Saintly Angels Who Walk The Earth. Might not be enough to get them to vote Democrat, but it might be enough to keep them home on Election Day, which may be all we need.

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Foley,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. Seven Star Hand  |  October 4th, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Hello Eli and all,

    Christian Political Leadership, Hypocrisy, Duplicity, and Purposeful Evil

    The current scandal involving Congressman Foley is merely the latest in an amazingly long list of blatant deception and duplicity by Republicans and the Christian Right in recent years. While bedeviling us all with their holier-than-thou pretenses, they consistently support and/or perform blatant greed and abominable evil. Never forget the extent of their arrogance over the last two decades and especially the last 6 years. It is beyond amazing that Christians continue to blindly support such obviously blatant scoundrels, even as they are repeatedly exposed going against the most basic of human values. The level of hypocrisy and duplicity boggles the mind. There is no longer any doubt, whatsoever, that Christianity is little more than a purposeful deception used by political and religious leaders to dupe, manipulate, and coerce entire populations into giving them wealth and power, which they always use for greed, injustice, and abominable evils.

    The actions of Foley and those who covered up for him directly parallel the actions of scores of priests that have raped innocent children, preyed upon others for centuries, and had their actions hidden and abetted by the Vatican. Now, in eerie repetition of Vatican history, we have a power hungry Christian Emperor (GW) working closely with the Vatican and Judeo-Christian aristocrats to lead crusades in the so-called Holy Land. Furthermore, to leave little doubt about the reality of this assessment, the USA, as the new Holy Roman Empire, is about to legalize the torture it has perpetrated in recent years while steadily reversing many of the democratic and civil freedoms that people gained when the Vatican and royalty lost control of their European empire at the turn of the nineteenth century. Now we see them following the same old path of evil as they strive to cement the status of the USA as the latest proxy Vatican empire. Make no mistake about it, the new dark ages are looming on the horizon unless we do something proactive to prevent it.

    Remember that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it!

    These scum and their ilk have consistently proven that gaining and maintaining power, at any cost, is much more important to them than anything they publicly pronounce. They have so little true concern for the well-being of others that they will say or do anything to take advantage of millions upon millions just to line their own grubby pockets and maintain power. This proves, to anyone with eyes to see, that they couldn’t care less about everyone else as long as they get their hands on wealth and power, even if it means pretending to serve the Creator. It is long past time that people stand up for truth and justice and give these scoundrels their due.

    This is a direct challenge to Christians to open your eyes and finally understand that you have been duped about the true purpose and nature of Christianity and the deceptive leaders you have blindly followed. How much evil must be done in your names before it finally dawns on you that you have been fooled by the very scoundrels you thought you were and/or would be opposing?

    Remember the saying that “the truth will set you (and others) free?” How does “opening one’s eyes to the truth” relate to “making the blind see again” or “shining the light” or “illuminating a subject?” Notice the inherent symbolism associated with this supposed New Testament “miracle?”

    I know that many have chosen to write me off as some sort of a quack over the last three years. Now that this country and world have sunk to new lows and many of the things I’ve warned about have occurred, perhaps fewer will be so quick to scoff at things they don’t understand. Neither religious followers nor secularists have been 100% correct and most have been dead wrong about much. Perhaps now more will seek true wisdom and cooperate for the good of all before the Bush-Cheney-Vatican cabal revives the dark ages and puts you all in theological torture camps.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing.”

    We are all trapped in a web of deception woven with money, religion, and politics. The great evils that bedevil us all will never cease until humanity finally awakens, shakes off these strong delusions, and forges a new path to the future.

    Here is Wisdom !!


  • 2. Sanjay  |  October 4th, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    Wonder where the “fiscal cons” stand on foleiasco?

  • 3. Eli  |  October 4th, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    I suspect the fiscal cons are not so much outraged as rolling their eyes at the shoddy management on display.

  • 4. oldwhitelady  |  October 4th, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    if you’re virulently anti-abortion, wouldn’t that make gay sex kind of a good thing?)

    I would think so…

  • 5. Matt  |  October 6th, 2006 at 1:00 am

    In other words, what the Foley scandal has done is made it much much harder for Republican voters to self-identify as belonging to either a party of Manly Tough Guy Badasses or Saintly Angels Who Walk The Earth.

    And yet, I’m sure they’ll find a way. . .

    Great post, nonetheless!

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