© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

Pizza from Scratch presents Purple Prose, 'toon 162

23 October, 2008

Group-Think: it can sneak up on anyone.

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This one was inspired by a story on radio news about how denials backfire in politics, even for the wildest, most unlikely, even obviously untrue charges. So how does anyone fight back? What seems to work is a positive statement that contradicts.

Example of a really devious accusation: When did you stop beating your wife?

Wrong response: I've never beaten my wife!

Correct response: I love my wife too much to do that. I always want to talk things out. Sometimes I have to go for a walk, first, but we always work things out peacefully.

I know the cartoon example is ridiculous. The turtle is obviously incapable of reaching the stove top. I did this anyway, because some charges are just as ridiculous.

I'm not affiliated, officially, intellectually or emotionally, with any political party. If I were a Republican, I would consider the "Birthers" an insult to all of us. The Birthers are effectively saying that the entire Republican Party, and all its paid consultants, were unable to find "the truth about Obama's citizenship." Think about it: if the Republicans had dug up the "proof," in the year leading up to the 2008 election, they could have completely taken out the Democrats' candidate. The Dems would have had to scramble to come up with a new one. If the Republicans had used "the evidence" as an "October Surprise," the Democrats wouldn't have time to react. The presidential election would be in the bag.

So to believe that Obama is anything but a U.S. citizen, you have to believe that tens of millions of Republicans are incompetent, or just don't care, really. And there are people who "demand to know the truth." Again, denial wouldn't work. I think Obama's people mostly chose the "Don't dignify that with a response" approach.