A Post-Truth Party

I once defined Palinism as Bushism stripped of all its redeeming features. I think that’s still true, but now it’s the entire Republican Party that is Bushism stripped of its redeeming features. It’s interesting to look back at how this unfolded. As I wrote back in 2010, President Bush weaponized the stupid, but it took McCain to deploy it.

What happened, I believe, is that something broke on the right when they were forced to spend September and October of 2008 pretending that it would be okay if Sarah Palin were elected vice-president. The only way to maintain that stance was to jettison all the normal standards we have for holding such a high office. But it also entailed simply insisting that the truth doesn’t matter.

And so, now, seven years down the road, it’s gotten to the point that Republicans have realized that they can say anything they want and just blame media bias if anyone calls them on their lies.

Palin basically invented this is a survival strategy after she fell on her face in her first big interview with Katie Couric. It’s now more than a survival strategy. It’s the Republican Party’s modus operandi.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.