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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Stalingrad Effect

Werther compares the continued support of Bush's base with the support Hitler continued to receive even after the most monumental military failure in history:
Certainly, after 9/11, Iraq, and now Katrina, die-hard supporters of the incumbent administration have an enormous sunk cost of emotional investment. Their minds, if we are to describe the dead matter in their crania in such terms, plainly operate along the lines of a Winnebago shaman or Congolese witch doctor rather than as a child of Renaissance and Enlightenment.

We herewith christen this pathology the Stalingrad Effect: the tendency of disastrous events and failed policies to bind faithful followers to their leaders.

This syndrome exacerbates whatever toxic effects result from the calamitous policies in the first place. As cogitation slides ineluctably from the empirical to the magical (read, "faith based"), so the policies become ever more irrational in a downward spiral.

All else is mere detail, or should we say, public relations. Just as Goebbels was summoned to rationalize Stalingrad, so is Karen Hughes recalled to carry the crushing hod of explaining to the heathen why the occupation of Iraq at more than $5 billion per month is a Good Thing.