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The GOP is Suffering from Cognitive Dissonance

September 18, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance

Psychologists define the term as an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas. The Republican Party, and John McCain in particular, seem to be suffering with this neurosis.

During this time of financial crisis we have seen John McCain caught between two opinions, of himself, his new populist message is at best patronizing, and at worst a new level of cynicism. McCain’s new ease at offering political speeches filled with rhetoric that he himself historically and currently does not believe, are a recipe for psychotherapy.  I mean, McCain was already a deplorable public speaker, but now that he is engaged in this tap-dance on policy and philosophy, he is downright confused.

His new stance on Wall street, “We’re going to put an end to the abuses on Wall Street — enough is enough!”, is wholly unbelievable.  Especially after listening to him confess to being “fundamentally a de-regulator” (A stance which remains dear to the hearts of most true Republicans). This change of heart by  “the Maverick” is fascinating, mainly because you just don’t see such visible proof of a persons cognitive dissonance outside of comic books.  Characters like “Two-Face”, or the “The Joker” come to mind when I observe John McCain on the stump.  Flip the coin and whatever side ends up is what you get.

I mean, on Monday, he’s assuring us that the economy is “Fundamentally strong” and by Wednesday, “We’re going to put an end to the abuses on Wall Street!”, with the new “truth” being the fundamentals he talked about were the American workers. Give me a break.  But what is more disconcerting is the way the Republicans are now distancing themselves from themselves.  They now rage against the machines of Wall street and Washington (as if they had not been in charge or setting the agenda).

I have never seen a political party so thoroughly try to erase the memory of it’s incumbent administration from the annals of public discourse, than I have during this election.  This was never more evident than on yesterday’s version of Hardball.  Chris Matthews undresses Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) for denying his Republican bona fides.

[WATCH]

Amazing.  It would appear to me that the Republicans are playing a high stakes “Shell Game” with their  party identity. It remains to be seen if this mis-direction game will play out. However, we can see that honor, and honesty is no longer a functioning principle for the GOP.

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