How ‘Epistemic Closure’ Led to Romney’s Gaffe

A while back there was a debate in the bloggysphere about whether movement conservatism suffered from ‘epistemic closure.’ Epistemic closure is poly-sci speak for ‘when lunatics only talk to each other, thereby reinforcing their mass collective psychoses.’ It’s pretty clear epistemic closure is one reason, though not the only one, why Romney made his awful statement about the Benghazi embassy attacks.

You have to be in a seriously impermeable bubble for no one on your staff to say (or feel comfortable saying), “Wait a minute. Does anyone here really believe that any president would apologize to those who conducted a military raid* on a U.S. consulate?” Of course, if your political culture in which you are immersed claims that Romneycare (now Obamacare) is socialism, that Obama routinely denigrates the dignity of the office of the presidency, and a whole bunch of other warmed-over John Bircher bullshit, then I guess you really could think that Obama would apologize to those who assaulted the U.S. consulate.

What’s more terrifying that Romney’s sick grin during his entire press conference is that his staffers are so isolated, so off the grid, that this was allowed to rise to the surface as a good idea (unless, of course, there was also a cynical motive too). An administration isn’t just the president, it’s the people he surrounds himself with, and Romney’s people are no damn good.

*It was a four hour gun battle involving rocket propelled grenades. This was not a protest gone out of control.

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4 Responses to How ‘Epistemic Closure’ Led to Romney’s Gaffe

  1. I’m still don’t understand why anyone thinks this will hurt Romney in any significant way as a candidate. The GOP has been doing this sort of thing for over twenty years. The crew that screeches about any sort of criticism “in time of war” of a Republican President by anyone that can be defined as a “LIberal” is the same crew that routinely spouts the most appalling and stupid nonsense, both overseas and at home, attacking or undercutting a sitting Democratic President. There have never been any negative consequences that I can recall, and I don’t really expect this to be any different. Romney may well lose this election, but that will be more a reflection of his almost incomprehensible insincerity than any sort of policy or political statement. There are no rules that Republicans must abide by. It’s just that simple. I still confidently expect the recent “fact-checking” by some among the various press outlets to rebound and begin attacking Obama in the name of “fairness”. If that doesn’t happen, I will assume for a start that Romney is just so incredibly unlikeable that even the media will find themselves unable to do their usual job of excusing, for anything, anyone with an (R) next to the name. This particular so-called “gaffe” will be forgotten within a week in favor of the familiar “Democrats weak, Republicans strong” narrative.

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