Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Friday, August 08, 2003
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Projection


Fair and balanced Faux News had this to say today:

Adolf Hitler once observed that it was easier to convince people of a "big lie" repeated often enough than it was to deceive them with a lot of small ones.

Yup, Mr. Frank Gaffney, Jr. is discussing the Niger uranium debacle. But guess what? It's not BushCo that lied. Oh nonono, it's the Democrats!

In their frenzied bid to displace President Bush in 2004, leading Democrats have evidently taken to heart this tip from one of the world's most successful propagandists.

It is ironic that the big lie now being disseminated with increasing frequency from Democratic political podiums across the country is that George W. Bush is a liar. Specifically, the charge is that he dissembled, misled, prevaricated and even lied about the justification for going to war with Iraq earlier this year.
...
The partisan motives of those who must discredit his wartime leadership if they are to have any chance of removing him from office are clear. But it is they who are guilty of serial distortion and misrepresentation -- yes, a big lie -- about Iraq, not this President.

I'm not sure if it's really ironic (isn't it, Alanis?), but my goodness it appears we have an irony within an irony (within an irony?) here. Hitler says the following in Chapter X of Mein Kampf:

It required the whole bottomless falsehood of the Jews and their Marxist fighting organization to lay the blame for the collapse on that very man who alone, with superhuman energy and will power, tried to prevent the catastrophe he foresaw and save the nation from its time of deepest humiliation and disgrace...In this they proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one...even when enlightened on the subject, they will long doubt and waver, and continue to accept at least one of these causes as true. Therefore, something of even the most insolent lie will always remain and stick-a fact which all the great lie-virtuosi and lying-clubs in this world know only too well and also make the most treacherous use of.

Spotting the two (or three) embedded ironies is left as an exercise to the reader. If it's not irony but something else, the astute grammarian can educate us all.

I will make two brief observations. One, much like Gaffney in his article, Hitler was condeming alleged use of the "big lie" technique by his enemies. Two, projection is a "defense mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits."

ntodd

[Instant update: minor edits on the post to correct some typos and hone a couple sentences to better express what I meant.]

[Update, 6:04PM: I went to the Center for Security Policy, of which our friend Mr. Gaffney is president. Their mission? "Promoting Peace through Strength." Oy vey.] 
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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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