If you perceive reality as the enemy, you’re doing it wrong


Rachel noted on the show last night that there are a series of people saying things about the 2012 election “that aren’t true, but it makes them feel better to say it anyway.” Most notably, she highlighted a guy named Dean Chambers, best known for creating a website, Unskewed Polls, that weighted election surveys in a way Republicans liked, in order to make it look like Mitt Romney was poised to win with relative ease.

When making a list of people who looked awfully foolish when President Obama won a second term, we can start with folks like Karl Rove and Dick Morris, but Dean Chambers is certainly right up there on the list.

Given this ignominious notoriety, Chambers might be expected to lay low for a while, staying out of the public eye so as to avoid reminding people of his failures. But that’s not what’s happening – Chambers has now created BarackOFraudo.com, allowing the conservative to apply his razor-sharp analytic skills to arguing the president was elected by virtue of voter fraud.

Dave Weigel talked to Chambers yesterday about his evidence, and not surprisingly, the activist had very little to offer to substantiate his strange theories. Those who see the imaginary scourge of voter fraud always seem to stumble when asked for legitimate proof.

The larger takeaway, however, is that the right is still struggling badly to learn from its recent mistakes.

I don’t mean electoral mistakes, or even policy missteps; I’m thinking more about conservatives’ discomfort with reality. Going into the elections, the right descended into a strange alternate universe – one of their own making – in which objective truths could be manipulated, distorted, or easily explained away.

Unpleasant poll results were unskewed; economic improvements were dismissed through conspiracy theories; public policies were twisted beyond recognition; and the laws of arithmetic were ignored.

If 2012 taught the right anything, there should have been one overarching lesson: if you perceive reality as the enemy, you’re doing it wrong.

Conservatives are going to do what they’re going to do, but for everyone’s benefit, here’s hoping they put their feet back on the ground, stop believing in unhinged nonsense, and start evaluating objective reality in a sane way.

BarackOFraudo.com suggests they’re off to a poor start.

If you perceive reality as the enemy, you're doing it wrong