The GOP has dedicated itself to what I call the “Pinocchio Principle” — “if you believe in something strongly enough, it will happen”. This delusion emerges from certain schools of religious thought (not all), and is the result of construing “faith” as something that opposes reason and observation.
We see the Pinocchio Principle at work in the steadfast and relentless GOP insistence that anthropogenic climate change is a “liberal” conspiracy (or worse). GOP stalwarts like Senator Inhofe apparently really BELIEVE that a vast conspiracy is fraudulently synthesizing the many aspects of climate change that surround us. I will resist the temptation to compare this to the strikingly similar Creationist belief system that asserts that the similarly compelling array of facts in support of evolution are the work of Satan.
The Pinocchio Principle is the best explanation I can think of for the continued GOP insistence on “austerity”, in the face of growing and compelling evidence that their dogma doesn’t work and in fact pessimizes an already difficult economic situation. Case in point is their continuing faith in “Supply Side economics”, the “Laffer Curve”, and the rest of the utterly failed and discredited GOP economic narrative. This “voodoo economics” (to quote one of the few times that George H. Bush was correct) is laughably fallacious — future historians will roll their eyes in disbelief that ANYBODY actually took it seriously.
The fundamental paradigm of the “Pinocchio Principle” is that when actions based upon a bizarre delusion fail to produce the desired results, the reason is that the practitioners didn’t “believe” fervently enough — and so efforts to make the delusion reality must be redoubled, over and over.
This belief system is, in my view, the common thread that joins the political terrorism of the “fiscal cliff” and debt ceiling attacks with the GOP passion for unrestricted assault weapon production and sales and the resulting episodes of domestic terrorism.
Today’s GOP has replaced reason and rationality with self-serving demagoguery, expressed as superstition and empty dogma that they mistakenly understand as “faith”.