The Right’s Fact-Immune Narrative

We all have narratives in our heads — beliefs, conclusions, assumptions and frameworks that define how we think the world works. And we all filter evidence through the lens of those narratives, trying to fit evidence within the framework we’ve developed. The more committed we are to rational thinking, however, the more open we are to changing those beliefs based upon the evidence. But the right wing’s Obama narrative is utterly immune to evidence, requiring them to ignore, dismiss and distort reality in order to maintain the story in their head. Here’s a textbook example from Jerome Corsi:

In the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama spoke at a campaign event in Las Vegas one day after the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack, proclaiming, “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeida is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”

On Nov. 1, 2012, reported that Obama had described al-Qaida as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat,” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. It was a theme Obama repeated last week in his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C…

Yet, despite Obama’s attempt to establish a narrative in which Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security, evidence abounds that the radical Islamic rebels responsible for opposing Gadhafi in Libya and Assad in Syria have extensive ties to al-Qaida.

But Obama has never said, or even implied, that “Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security.” Quite the opposite, in fact. But that is the narrative in Corsi’s head — Obama is “soft on terrorism” and probably on the side of the terrorists. Never mind all of the evidence he has to ignore, dismiss or lie about in order to maintain that — that Obama has continued nearly ever Bush anti-terror policy, including the blatantly unconstitutional ones; that he has vastly ramped up the drone strike campaign against terrorists overseas; that he increased the number of troops in Afghanistan; that under his administration, not only Bin Laden but most of the Al Qaeda leadership has been captured or killed; and much more. The narrative always trumps the evidence for ideologues like Corsi. He continues:

Obama also has advanced a narrative expressing U.S. acceptance of Islam.

In his foreign policy speech delivered at Cairo University June 4, 2009, Obama explained he had known Islam “on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.”

In a joint press availability with Turkey’s President Gul at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on April 6, 2009, Obama repudiated U.S. history since George Washington, declaring the U.S. is not a Christian country: “And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is – although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

You’d have to be pretty much deranged to object to Obama’s statement above. And that is exactly what Corsi is.

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  • reasonbe

    I’m finding The Onion increasingly relevant these days.

  • slc1

    Leave us not forget that ratfucker Corsi was the author of the totally bogus Swift Boat campaign against Kerry in 2004.

  • maudell

    Isn’t that the guy who said Obama was secretly ‘gay married’ and killed his secret husband to become president? Nuff said.

  • Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    “Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security.”

    Well, this is an absolutely true statement; it’s not. There is zero chance that Islamic terrorists could significantly threaten the ongoing survival of the U.S. as a state. Lunatic overrreactions to the actions of Islamic terrorists comprise a quite significant threat to national security, but the terrorists themselves don’t and can’t.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I’m finding The Onion increasingly relevant these days.

    Isn’t there a corollary to Poe’s Law that applies to the Onion? We’re in times where the Onion can’t do parody any more because reality is so much less believable than anything they’d dare print.

  • Michael Heath

    I found Obama’s speech in Egypt in perfect sync with what George Washington had to say about religions other than Christianity. This is why conservative Christians are so attracted to David Barton’s false narrative of American history.

  • d.c.wilson

    I guess Corsi never read the Treaty of Tripoli.

  • theschwa reported that Obama had described al-Qaida as having been “decimated,”

    Typical Obama: he did not provide a shred of evidence that al-Qaeda lost 10% of its troops!!

  • magistramarla

    I was eating breakfast at a hotel this morning, and faux news was on in the lobby.

    Obviously, their latest breathless conspiracy theory is that Obama and Hillary struck a deal back in the 2008 campaign season that he would be president first (giving her a plum job in his administration) and that she would then take over in 2016.

    I sat there chewing, laughing and thinking – “But what about their theory that he would simply cancel the 2016 election and remain president?” Their scary conspiracy theories always seem to conflict with each other.

    The rubes in the hotel lobby were glued to the screen. This was a Texas hotel very close to the Haliburton and GE Oil & Gas headquarters in Houston.

  • iangould

    magistramarla: Not to mention their theory that both Clintons were trying to sabotage the Obama Presidency in revenge or his defeat of Hilary.

  • dan4

    But Obama has never said, or even implied, that “Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security…”

    I guessing that Corsi feels that Obama’s comments on al-Qaida in the preceding paragraph fit into the “implied” camp. This is really dumb for two reasons a. the aforementioned comments would have “matched” something more along the lines of “…Obama’s attempt to establish a narrative in which Islamic terrorism is NO LONGER a threat to U.S. national security,…” and b. To make an “al-Qaida has been decimated”=”Islamic terrorism is not a threat to U.S. national security” equation, you’d have to (idiotically and incorrectly) believe that you can’t be an Islamic terrorist without being affiliated with al-Qaida.

  • birgerjohansson

    A no ther case of rewriting history, this time a cancer study.

    Erin Brockovich’s Biggest Debunker, Debunked