Dr. Sanity is exceptional in this long post about denial - personal, collective and national. Read it. Save it. Think about it. And then read it again. We could all use a regular dose, and not only at the political level. Any further commentary would be superfluous.
...denial can be a strategy not only of individuals, but of groups; organizations; and entire nations...Denial can make otherwise intelligent individuals/groups/nations behave in a stupid or clueless manner, because they are too threatened by the Truth and are unable to process what is perfectly apparent to everyone. People who live in this Wonderful World go through their daily lives secure in the knowledge that their self-image is protected against any information, feelings, or awareness that might make them have to change their view of the world...Hat tip: The Anchoress, who has a bunch more good stuff here.
Nothing--and I mean NOTHING--not facts, not observable behavior; not the use of reason or logic; or their own senses will make an individual in denial reevaluate that world view. All events will simply be reinterpreted to fit into the belief system of that world--no matter how ridiculous, how distorted, or how psychotic that reinterpretation appears to others. Consistency, common sense, reality, and objective truth are unimportant and are easily discarded--as long as the world view remains intact.
Certainly denial can be used by anyone; and both sides of the political spectrum engage in it-- Democrats or Republicans; Left or Right. But the most recent example, and the one with the most serious implications is the continued denial of reality on the part of Democrats and the Left regarding Iraq.
The examples of their unwillingness to face reality are everywhere. They pretend they didn't vote for military action. They distort what was actually said and even when confronted with audiotapes and transcripts of what was said; they continue to deny that they meant any such thing. When confronted with what Bush or Cheney actually said about the reasons for going to war; they will insistently adhere to an interpretation that fits their template.
Their denial is complete on this issue. It is simply not possible for them to admit that Bush was correct and they were wrong. This is unacceptable knowledge. Bush must be wrong, and America must fail for them to maintain not only their self-esteem, but also their worldview...
The proponents of doom and gloom would maintain that it is Bush who is in denial (or people like me). How does one tell who is correct when both are claiming the other side is in denial?
Dr. Sanity uses Joe Lieberman's editorial as part of her argument. My take on it yesterday is here.