For a perfect example of the gut-over-facts, anti-intellectual mentality that has infected the GOP, look no further than David Limbaugh's latest article, which begins thusly:
"God bless Sarah Palin, and shame on elitists from both sides of the aisle who have denigrated, demonized and dissed her. I don't care how many 'smartest people in the room' types offer pseudo-sophisticated analyses to prove she was a drag on the GOP presidential ticket. They are all manifestly and embarrassingly wrong -- and woefully out of touch -- which is par for the course for elitists."
There you have it folks, ironclad sophistry. Ignore the data, label your opponents "elitists", denigrate the value of sophisticated analysis, and simply assert that which you wish to be true. Polls (read "the facts") consistently showed that Palin was perceived by a majority of Americans to not have the qualifications and personal qualities a president should have. McCain's polling numbers, buoyed by the Palin announcement, started crashing the minute her gut-wrenching interviews hit the airwaves. She became the joke that kept on giving to late night talk shows everywhere. Yet Limbaugh, and many others such as Pat Buchanan, still refuse to accept the data, and go instead with their gut. That gut will get the GOP killed again in 2010 and 2012 if they Palinize another campaign.
Not satisfied with being completely immune to data on one issue, Limbaugh shoots for another:
"Speaking of elitists, it's time to address their contempt for rural and southern America, particularly their ongoing smear of the South (and, truth be told, rank-and-file conservative Republicans) as racist."
Gee David, where in the world would people get the idea that the rank-and-file southern Republicans were racist? Maybe because so many of them tell us they are. Maybe it's the 99% white crowds we see at Republican rallies and conventions.
The Republican party is at a crossroads. It can stay stuck in the ignorant racist past, follow Sarah Palin, or someone like her, remain a minority party and rob America of the strong conservative voice it needs. Or it can dispense with this willful ignorance, get with the modern world, deal with information rather than propaganda, reason rather than half-arguments and innuendo, respect the value of intellect and education, and help us solve the very complicated and real problems facing this country.
At this point, it does not look hopeful.