08.21.12

Candidate for the Psychopath Vote

Posted in Extremism, Psychopath & Sociopath at 12:14 pm by George Smith

Todd Akin may be a famous horrid man but that’s the manner of person a constituency of Americans admire. They cleave together, they have their media (the Internet, instead of making stone ignorance harder to defend has created self-isolating immune to outsider dilution social Balkanization, virtual barbwire next to barbwire) and they admire the detestable. When the detestables do or say something horrendous in public they draw strength from any subsequent condemnation. It is their validation.

It’s why Ted Nugent does all right.

Nugent’s audience appreciates that he’s terrible Ted. And it matters very little what others say and write about him, this blog included. I can make lists of the quotations from the psychopath and readers can laugh or cringe but the pyschopaths are affected not one whit. It has no more impact than American celebrities and social media getting publicly angry with the Russian government for jailing the women of Pussy Riot.

We live in a country that is permanently divided. And the cracks go deep into US history; this is not new.

I’ve often thought the current Republican Party has been trying to refight and win the Civil War for decades. I’m not alone in this.

At Esquire, Charles Pierce puts it this way, in two different posts, here and here:

[Akin’s] more than halfway to becoming a symbol that the opposition can use to raise money and anger. However, as far as his withdrawal is concerned, we’re at a point in which Missouri Republicans — the folks who never have had a problem putting this guy in Congress and obviously had no problem with him as a senator — have to choose between common decency and political tribalism. I’m not betting anything I value in either direction on that one.


I think we are looking at an 1850’s of the political mind. I think we are two countries, each with its own history, and laws, and language, and religion, and their own mass media to amplify all those things. But only one of these two countries of the mind is tightly organized and capable of moving as a single unit. I think things like the sovereign-citizens movement are merely a particularly vivid example of this …

In the 1850’s, two countries of the mind existed long before the United States actually was divided into two separate nations. They had no common history, not even a common language with which to discuss the differences between them. Resolution was impossible in a country in which even the word “freedom” didn’t mean the same thing. Each had their own history, and laws, and language, and religion, and even a rudimentary mass media through which to amplify all of these. Those circumstances exist again today, far deeper divisions than simple “polarization” or even “tribalism.” There are two countries of the mind. One of them, the conservative one, is the far better organized whole. It is round. It is complete. It has a wild frontier, which is also more round and whole and organized.

The second excerpt from Pierce’s blog is a brief discussion of the shooting of Louisiana police officers who wandered into a sovereign citizen trailer encampment last week.

The point he makes is that today our domestic terror groups aren’t from the extreme end of the Democratic Party, they share a border with the far right, one that stretches back into American history. And that demographic, one I call the Psychopath Vote, owns an entire party, finding itself fought by an often feckless and uninspired opposition.

So it can always win.

“It strikes me that this is a tempest in a teapot,” said one Missouri voter, a Republican to CNN for a story today. “I think he used a word that in reflection he wouldn’t use again, like the word ‘legitimate.’ Forcible. But this is just a matter of semantics … I think people are looking for something to accuse Todd or drag him down when he, I don’t think he said anything that’s really worth all the coverage that it’s getting.”

It is not like the Senate has never had much of a shortage of people like Akin — science deniers, home schoolers, American theocrats.

There’s James Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint … the guy Claire McCaskill defeated years ago, Jim Talent, often ridiculed here.

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