Janeane Garofalo & Cognitive Dissonance

by John Hawkins | February 4, 2005 10:17 pm

It seems that the Medieval Times waitress from the “Cable Guy”/Air America radio hostess, Janeane Garofalo, is confusing supporting Democracy with Nazism. Let’s go to the transcript of her “appearance on ‘After Hours’ on MSNBC”[1]

“The inked fingers and the position of them, which is gonna be a ‘Daily Show’ photo already, of them signaling in this manner [does the Nazi salute], as if they have solidarity with the Iraqis who braved physical threats against their lives to vote as if somehow these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do with that.”

Poor Janeane Garofalo. How bitter a pill Democracy in Iraq seems to be for her and her ilk.

But folks, before you condemn Janeane — or after, it really doesn’t make any difference to me — you should figuratively walk a mile in her shoes. Imagine what it’s like to be Janeane or another of her fellow travelers on the anti-war left.

For three full years now, they have been incessantly railing against the war in Iraq. They’ve griped, they’ve groused, they’ve grumbled, they’ve whimpered, they’ve wailed and they’ve moaned. They’ve portrayed the war as the most blatant act of aggression since Hitler took Poland, claimed Bush was a monster who was invading Iraq for oil, and were certain the war would be another Vietnam.

And so, we invaded, we quickly defeated Saddam’s military, and then we started putting Iraq back together, which as Rummy might say, has been a “long, hard, slog”. While this was happening, people like Garofalo claimed the Iraqis hated us, that what we were doing could never work, that our efforts were futile, that we should pull out of Iraq — and for taking these positions, they declared themselves to be morally superior. Of course, that’s nothing new because most liberals do truly believe themselves to be the “good guys” who are battling the “eeevvvvilll” Republicans.

But then, a funny thing happened one fine morning in Iraq: the Iraqi people had an election and it was a hell of an event. Although the final numbers aren’t available yet, turnout was strong. The Iraqis streamed out to vote, were thrilled to have the opportunity, and took pride in waving their purple fingers as a sign that they had participated in Iraq’s first Democratic election.

Suddenly, people like Garofalo were forced to deal with the horrors of cognitive dissonance[2], “The discomfort that results from inconsistencies between attitudes and behavior.”

On the one hand, libs like Garofalo view themselves as champions of human rights, who care about freedom and Democracy, unlike those “vile” conservatives. Yet, it was the right who argued that we should free Iraq from Saddam Hussein and worked to bring about the elections, while lefties like Garofalo fought conservatives tooth and nail every step of the way. These elections in Iraq happened not because of people like Garofalo or in spite of their indifference, but because they didn’t get their way.

So imagine the stinging rebuke that hug at the State of the Union must have delivered to Garofalo, her view of herself, and her world. When those conservatives waved those purple fingers in the air to show their solidarity with the Iraqi people, what a painful reminder to Garofalo it must have been that she would still prefer, to this day, that we had left Saddam Hussein in power rather than walk that “less traveled path” towards helping the Iraqis become a free people.

The creeping realization that Garofalo & her fellow anti-war libs have staked out a clear position on the wrong side of freedom, democracy, and history itself must be a terrible burden to bear even if they’re not willing or perhaps even able to discuss it yet. The fact Garofalo won’t even admit that “these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do” with the election tells you that much.

As things continue to improve in Iraq, look for the anti-war movement to claim Iraq is a disaster as long as possible and then 1) Falsely claim that they supported a free and democratic Iraq all along 2) Say that things might have turned out Ok, but Bush and conservatives had nothing to do with it or 3) Change their irrational, pacifistic, socialistic, & archaic view of the world to reflect reality. Knowing liberals as I do, I’d encourage you not to bet on option #3…

  1. “appearance on ‘After Hours’ on MSNBC”: http://www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/kmc/?adate=02/04/2005#1311109
  2. cognitive dissonance: http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/intro/cafe/lahey7/student/olc/chap16glossary.mhtml

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