SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2021
...Rachel entertains us: In our view, Epstein and Corasaniti did an excellent job with yesterday's Arizona / Cyber Ninjas "election audit" presentation.
Their news report appears in this morning's New York Times. As they start, they note that the ridiculous group with the stupid name reported / acknowledged a basic fact:
Joe Biden really did defeat Donald J. Trump in Maricopa County!
They start their news report with that basic fact. Quickly, though, they move to the deeply troubling place where the rubber is meeting the road. This is the current problem we're all living with:
EPSTEIN AND CORASANITI (9/25/21): Significant parts of the right treated the completion of the Arizona review as a vindication—offering a fresh canard to justify an accelerated push for new voting limits and measures to give Republican state lawmakers greater control over elections. It also provided additional fuel for the older lie that is now central to Mr. Trump’s political identity: that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“The leaked report conclusively shows there were enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over,” Mr. Trump said in a statement early Friday evening, one of seven he had issued about Arizona since late Thursday. “There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated!”
For Mr. Trump, Republican candidates vying to appeal to voters in primary races, and conservative activists agitating for election reviews in their own states, the 91-page document served as something of a choose-your-own-adventure guide. These leaders encouraged their supporters to avert their eyes from the conclusion that Mr. Biden had indeed won legitimately, and to instead focus on fodder for a new set of conspiracy theories.
Sad but true—and also, extremely important. According to this news report, "significant parts of the right," including the aforementioned Mr. Trump, are now "treat[ing] the completion of the Arizona review as a vindication."
Trump is saying it proves his case—and vast numbers of people are going to believe him!
In such ways, The Other Tribe is engaging in a type of "epistemic secession." It's very, very hard to see how the American experiment, such as it is, will find a way to survive this ongoing mess.
The Other Tribe is deeply involved in an "epistemic secession." This bizarre behavior is largely enabled by the rise of modern technologies and modes of interaction—talk radio; cable news; the Internet; social media—but its ongoing success reflects the deepest realms of pre-rational, highly tribal human mental impulse.
That tribal imperative is now in the saddle among The Other Tribe. That said, Our Own Tribe is bowing to those same human impulses. This was evident as we watched Rachel Maddow mug and clown and reassure / entertain our own failing tribe last night
Maddow is Our Own Rhodes Scholar and Our Eternal Child. For her, the release of the Arizona report was mainly a cause for hilarity last night.
The Times reporters quickly stressed the disturbing underside of this event. By way of contrast, Maddow opened her program with a very large dose of her standard clowning and tribal reassurance.
Fourteen minutes into this performance, she summed it up as shown:
MADDOW (9/24/21): But we're back to where this started. Which is that it is hilarious.
[PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER]
And you can't take that away from me.
Maddow's performance continued from there. But no one will rob Our Eternal Child of her sense that matters like this are mainly hilarious.
No one is going to take that away from her! Jon Stewart told her to stop doing this long ago—that her job was more important than this. She told him that she wouldn't.
We expect to focus on last night's performance in our reports next week. We'll also mention the parts of Maddow's performance in which she mentioned the troubling side of the Cyber Ninjas report.
With that in mind, we'll leave it here for now. But even as The Other Tribe bows to Trump's reign of crazy misstatement, Our Own Tribe has never been able to quit this Eternal Child.
Meanwhile, we have our own sprawling performance of epistemic secession, a performance which largely concerns deeply important matters of gender and race. Again and again, our devotion to this regime leaves us saying the darnedest things.
This helps harden the epistemic secession underway in The Other Tribe. The Others think our statements are nutty or even dishonest. All too often, it's hard to say that The Others are wrong.
More on these tribal secessions next week. These dueling secessions are very dangerous.
"Hilarious," Our Own Scholar said!