The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
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    Sarah Palin and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie

    I like fiction as much as the next person, but I'm not going to read Going Rogue. I don't need to. You see, I know a little something about pathological liars. My bio-dad* is one.

    Growing up not being able to trust one of the people who you are supposed to rely on intrinsically is no picnic. But from a psychological perspective, it can be fascinating. I used to get so mad at my dad when he got caught in a lie because he would never, ever own up. One time, when I was in high school and living with him (long story), I found out that he quit his job (or lost his job). But for a month afterward, he got into his uniform and went to "work" every day. I was so pissed when I found out that I came right home and marched into his room at one in the morning to wake him up and present the (air tight) evidence. That was the night I learned that you never want to back a sociopath who has any amount of control over you into a corner. Suffice to say he vehemently denied what I knew to be the truth and I got into big, big trouble.

    I used to wonder how my dad could keep all his lies straight. Because when I told a lie, which of course I did as a teenager, I was always stressed out about my parents finding out about it and always worried about remembering what the lie was so I wouldn't slip up. Now I know that he doesn't care about keeping his lies straight. After the lie is told, I'm certain he doesn't even recognize it as untrue.

    As an adult, lying makes me a little crazy. Hence my occasional wild rants about certain Republicans and their talking points. But at least they are lying for a reason--a Machiavellian reason, but a reason nonetheless. Pathological liars usually have an agenda, but they also lie for the sake of lying itself.

    That Sarah Palin is a pathological liar was clear to me pretty early on. It's not the lies themselves, but the sheer audacity of them that makes it so. It doesn't matter how many emails exist to prove she's spinning a fantasy tale. It doesn't matter how many lies can be directly contradicted by public record. When called to task to answer for these lies, Palin will spin a web of excuses. She will use charm with the people who have not caught on to her. She will react viciously, and more than occasionally maliciously, to those who have. She will believe the words that come out of her mouth, reinventing her version reality over and over. In her world, the truth is what she says it is. And anyone who challenges her otherwise is out to get her.

    The best pathological liars are dangerous, because it takes a long time for a normal person to catch on. They can be so charming that they draw you in, as we have seen with Palin and her cute little wink. But they take their time with each new mark, isolating them from people who know better, spinning the web, creating the alternate reality. Whatever they are after, and there's always something they are after, even if it's only someone new to believe in them, they often get it before the mark realizes he or she has been had.

    Palin's current mark is obviously the American public. And she's got a fair number of us in her web. Luckily, she's not so bright. And luckily we have many journalists and bloggers who are busy fact-checking and making those facts known to the public. I'm hopeful that never will the American voters fall prey to Sarah Palin and her fantastical lies.

    But boy do I feel for her kids.


    *When I have written before of my "dad" in the context of my mom's story, I'm referring to my step-dad. They met when I was 4  and married when I was 6. He's my dad in all the ways that matter.



    Okay, name one pathological lie she has told?


    The reason the term is "pathological" doesn't have to do with a specific lie, but rather a pathology, or disease, of lying. Here's an interesting layman's analysis of pathological liars:

    Symptoms of a Pathological Liar:

    • A pathological liar would always tend to exaggerate about things. He/she would always talk about many things in a much broader perspective. Their daily life often includes such far-fetched sentences about many things. It could be a simple issue that may not even hold too much importance for you.
    • These kinds of liars would be noticed easily because they tend to change their stories frequently. It may so happen that a pathological liar may not really be able to keep a record of stories that are fabricated as per his/her imagination and this may be noticed very easily in any normal situation.
    • These liars often lie in situations whenever they find it easy to do so. A simple situation is often used to their advantage by such liars. They often go on the defensive whenever anyone cross-examines the person. This happens even if you ask an innocent question in relation to the given situation.
    • A pathological liar would tend to feel threatened when questioned. This could explain their reaction to any questions asked.

    Although it is not the lies themselves that are considered pathological, I did include a link that listed all of her lies that can be proven false as a matter of public record. In case you missed the link in the original piece, click here. The list is far too long to type out again. But please notice that they are all demonstrably false. There's no question that she has lied. That she has done so again and again, and then denied it and gotten defensive about it, is the evidence for her pathological pattern of lying.

    Dude, follow the links laid out in the post you just skimmed. There are numerous, and Orlando has just highlighted a few.

    Don't be one of the marks.

    Palin is your classic small town girl who's ego was not damaged, due to lack of competition. I know, because I was the same. The national spotlight will eventually destroy her ego, but it will take time because she is insane. Insane, because she actually believes god is speaking directly to her. These are the most dangerous people on the planet! It is also obvious that her motives are financial, for she has become nothing more than cash grubbing media whore. Ya ya ya, Levi Johnson is also, but at least he doesn't lie about it, he just lays it out there without hiding his intentions. I happen to like Levi! :)

    How about "thanks but no thanks"?  How about Troopergate?

    Good post, Orlando. And agreed, very much.

    I think the core of Palin's appeal lies exactly in her pathological lying. Her followers are interested in refusing and revising reality just as she does, and are attracted to a powerful and talented liar who can shape their perceptions of the world and defend them against cognitive dissonance.

    She doesn't make sense as a political figure if you assume that everybody basically wants to deal with the real world. But not everyone wants that, and many people actually fear it on some level.

    Excellent point, doctor. Each of us creates our own "reality." If we're sane, we'll usually create one that lines up, or at least is compatible, with those shared by the bulk of society.

    A problem arises when there is a shock to the system, however -- as when 9/11 shattered the myth of national invincibility. The Bush-Cheney solution was to recast the new reality as a newer, bolder extension of the old, even though it required a lot of lies and wilful credulity by both opinion leaders and the public to make it work. But the bulk of American society bought in. That house of cards stood (shakily) until the economic crisis destroyed what faith remained in society's rock-solid shared values. Then, suddenly, a black guy was running things -- whoa!

    For me, the difference between liberals and conservatives is not our ideological starting points so much as our willingness to consider and adapt to changing realities. A lot of people on the right are simply unable to come to grips with the shocks to their value systems over the past eight years. As a result, they are eager to embrace purveyors of an alternate reality that doesn't require changes to their own. So Obama, because of his Kenyan birth, isn't really president. The economic collapse can be traced to too much government regulation, not too little. And don't forget Acorn! Strategic failure in Iraq and Afghanistan? Reluctance to deploy our full military might.

    People who talk about extremists on both the left and right are deluded. "The crazy" dominates the right, and the percentage of Americans who qualify for that designation is scary. When a sufficient coterie of "leaders" opt to exploit it, insanity can come to dominate a sciety's values. See the French Revolution, the rise of Naziism, China's Cultural Revolution, the Rwandan genocide, Jonestown. And, I'm sorry to say, the current Republican Party. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are just natural manifestations of the process.

    DUH!!!!! u people are SOOOOOOOO RETARDED!!!!!!! Tongue outTongue out get over yourselves already! if u just think that she's a liar then just say SHUT UP YOU LIAR!!!! and then go talk about the environment or the little animals or whatever you losers talk about. BUT U R OBVIOUSLY OBSESSED because u talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about sarah sarah sarah sarah sarah sarah sarah sarah sarah!! coz she's REAL and u r FAKE and u wish u were REAL but u never will be and so U WANT TO DESTROY all the stuff that is REAL!!! but U CAN'T DESTROY SARAH!!!!!!! coz she is tougher then u and she never gives up EVERRRRRR!!!!!! and that makes u CRAAAAAAAAAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! and that's why u make up LIES about sarah and then u call her the liar!!!!!!! but everyone can totally see thru u and ur lies and that's why sarah will WIN and be the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SARAHHHHHH!!!!

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