An unexplained attraction
Posted by aogTuesday, 10 April 2012 at 16:13 TrackBack Ping URL

As I think about the distinct possibility that President Obama will be re-elected, I consider Ann Althouse to be exhibit A on why that’s feasible. First we have this post where Althouse basically says “Hey, Obama, if you lie about being a moderate we’ll believe and vote for you”. What describes this except “doublethink”? She is simultaneously giving cynical yet practical political advice (“this is the most effective lie”) and at the same time indicating that it will work on her. As Justice Kagan says “Wow, wow”. Then we have this post where Althouse plaintively asks

Who would have thought that in the last year of Obama’s presidential term, the public mind would obsess over race at this level?

As many of her commenters point out, any one who was paying attention. Yet Althouse, even at this point, continues to believe that Obama can do, will do, or cares something about this.

If it’s not Obama’s fault, can he at least do something to yank us up out of this awful place?

After he’s worked so hard to get us here? And if so, what could he do?

In 2009 or even 2011, he would have given a speech.

Written apparently without irony or even knowledge of how well those speeches made progress that we’re in “this awful place”.

Althouse is a successful person, with a career teaching law. Yet this is what passes for her awareness of reality.

What continues to mystify me is why do people like Althouse want so desperately to believe in Obama? It’s not what he’s done (epic fails with massive collateral damage) and now not even what he says (he’s not giving a speech either). What exactly remains that attracts so strongly? I can only conclude it’s some sort of internal psychological need, which is why I think so much of MAL politics is really an internal psycho-drama with little connection to reality, a disease I sometimes call “reality dysfunction”.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
erp Tuesday, 10 April 2012 at 17:10

… which is why I stopped reading her blog when she announced for Obama last election. She’s a lib because only they have the stunning acrobatic mental ability to believe two opposite and opposing things at the same time. She wants to believe so badly, she’s suspended belief like we do when we go to the movies to see superheroes do amazing feats of derring-do. They’re not real, but we don’t care, it amuses us for the moment. Unfortunately, Obama will be re-elected and it pains me to think this time, unlike Wilson, FDR, Carter, Clinton … it won’t be reversible in the near enough term to make any difference to me or even, I’m afraid, to my young grandchildren and it won’t surprise if somewhere out there in the ether, I learn that our wonderful country never came back and there were centuries of dark ages ahead before some other brave souls revolt and start a society where everyone is free.

I’ve been re-reading some Cicero (I really didn’t think we’d go the way of Rome first time I read him) and he really nails it from 2,000+ plus years ago.

Bret Tuesday, 10 April 2012 at 22:34

Althouse is in love. Obama’s a good looking guy with that hypnotic voice and he’s apparently swept Althouse off her feet. When you’re in love, you really can’t see the real flaws and inconsistencies in the object of your love. In some cases, it’s so extreme that they think their spouse is perfect in all ways. :-)

Anyway, I really think that’s the most plausible explanation for the gibberish that Althouse wrote in the posts of hers that you linked to. She’s head-over-heels in love with Obama.

David Tuesday, 17 April 2012 at 19:02

This will come across as unfair to Althouse, who’s blog I like, but the thing about a dancing bear is not how well it dances but that it dances at all. Althouse is a center-left law professor at the University of Wisconsin law school. That’s astonishing. She clearly has moved even further rightward (though not over the center line) in the years she’s been blogging, but there’s simply no way she wouldn’t vote for the first black nominee for president from a major party.

Given all that, my prediction is that she won’t vote for Obama.

Bret Tuesday, 17 April 2012 at 21:29

Sure, that’s a good explanation of why she voted for Althouse in the first place. So if you’re saying that her so-called (by aog) “reality dysfunction” is a justification or rationalization of the fact that she voted for him, I can buy that as well.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at 21:31


I understand the first vote, but not why she wants to be persuaded for another one. My prediction is that if Althouse doesn’t vote for Obama it will indicate a landslide against him, because she will vote for him unless his campaign utterly crumbles.

erp Thursday, 19 April 2012 at 12:19

Althouse may not be persuaded to vote for Obama again, but she and others like her, may simply not vote at all and Obama will win anyway.

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