Yesterday, Rand Paul conceded to a group of reporters that "We probably can’t defeat or get rid of Obamacare."
Late yesterday, he issued what we might call an okie-dokie statement: "I will continue to lead the fight until we win."
Reality had caught up to Sen. Paul--the right's reality of perpetual surrealism. He began the day meddling with the GOP's primary forces of entrenched political illiteracy, but he finished it by making his peace with willing fantasy. Such is professional life in his party's alternative republic.
And who can blame him? As Paul was dabbling yesterday with inclinations of the real world, Sarah Palin was blasting on Breitbart.com this "little reminder to Republican senators up for re-election in 2014," as well as those eyeing the White House in 2016: "[W]e’ll be watching your votes very carefully this week."
Now it goes without saying that Ms. Palin lacks the powerful political (goof)juice she once possessed. But possess some she still does. And in a crowded primary field of competing obscurantists, who's going to mess with even a marginal force, when it's margins that spell success?
You should read Palin's propagandistic screed, against whose themes Paul initially and so thoughtlessly pushed yesterday. It's brilliant. In part it warns the base that evil lurks outside their enclosed epistemological universe--"the leftwing media has falsely and irrationally accused me of everything from faking a pregnancy to abetting murder. They lie. Deal with it"--so the base is wise to stick with the hedgehoggish Breitbarts and the foxy Sean Hannitys; in part it unmasks the "gutless[ness] and rudderless[ness]" of all pols but the bombthrowers; in part it reminds of the confiscatory, dystopic "nightmare of Obamacare"; and in part it hustles a rather odd, Nietzschean collectivity--"The grassroots is bigger than any one person. We the People will rise up, and we will make our voices heard." In sum, it's bonkers.
But it sells! And pseudoconservative demand for it exerts a withering, downward pressure on any rational heresy, such as realities including throwaway modifiers: "We probably can't defeat or get rid of Obamacare."