Friday, September 26, 2008

cognitive dissonance

From the glory hole of open-source knowledge, Wikipedia, comes this definition of Cognitive Dissonance: an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

I read a few articles today. Am shaking my head. I use news-aggregator sites. I usually read titles, scan the first paragraph, and then check the source. I can often guess the source and, more apt to this post, what source it did not come from. But today I have been wrong on four articles. Four! Go figure.

First, the Aged Prostitute (nee NYT) bitch-slaps Obama for running misleading ads: In all, Mr. Obama has released at least five commercials that have been criticized as misleading or untruthful against Mr. McCain’s positions in the past two weeks. Mr. Obama drew complaints from many of the independent fact-checking groups and editorial writers who just two weeks ago were criticizing Mr. McCain for producing a large share of this year’s untruthful spots (“Pants on Fire,” the fact-checking Web site wrote of Mr. Obama’s advertisement invoking Mr. Limbaugh; “False!” said of his commercial on Social Security.)

Next up, Bill Clinton’s old network, CNN launches a screed in Bambi’s face for not showing leadership, and citing McCain as showing himself to be a true leader: Some in the Obama-friendly media were quick to dismiss McCain's move as a political stunt. I don't know. It's not like launching one's candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, in the hopes of conjuring up comparisons to Abraham Lincoln, or moving one's convention speech to a football stadium to accommodate a larger crowd.

I think McCain deserves applause for having his priorities straight. For the past several days, the media and members of both parties have been scaring the daylights out of the American people by calling this the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression.

It gets better: Despite having decried the economic crisis in near-apocalyptic terms in an attempt to lay blame on President Bush and, by association, McCain, the junior senator from Illinois didn't feel the urgency to show up for work and try to do what he could to address it. Obama certainly has standing and more than his share of influence. This is, after all, the de-facto leader of the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, he also looks like someone who is so focused on what he hopes will be his next job that he has lost interest in his current one.

McCain showed real leadership this week. And frankly, if we were more accustomed to seeing that sort of thing from our elected officials, we might be less cynical and better able to recognize it on the rare occasions when it surfaces.

Then perhaps in an effort to out-do itself, CNN launches another missile. This time, it shoots at both Bambi and Thumper! Although Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden routinely mocks his Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for her onetime support of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," Biden and his running mate voted to keep the project alive twice.

Both Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama voted to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Senate records show.

And both voted for the final transportation bill that included the $223 million earmark for the Alaska project.

Ouch! Not just supporting the B2N, but withholding money from Katrina folks! Man … incoming! Fire in the hole!

Not to be left out of the party, Warren Buffet’s rag, WaPo joins in the fun! Democrat Barack Obama continues to argue that only the systematic withdrawal of U.S. combat units will force Iraqi leaders to compromise. Yet the empirical evidence of the past year suggests the opposite: that only the greater security produced and guaranteed by American troops allows a political environment in which legislative deals and free elections are feasible.

I’m not convinced – or even tantalized – by the articles representing some sea change. I’ve seen all the papers above do this 99 articles biased – 1 honest – 99 biased routine before. But it is nice to see all these words on the same day.

I guess even random orbits overlap sometimes.

No comments:

Post a Comment