Revising History

I like to traipse through the right side of the blog-world every once in a while just to see how they're currently looking at the world. It's like dropping acid--the world gets really weird for a while, afterward you're really worn out from the experience, and you don't want to do it all the time because it might cause lasting damage.

But it's interesting to do once in a while, because you get to see an entirely different version of the same events you experienced. Take, for instance, this gem from Babalu, courtesy of Claudia4Libertad.

It still amazes me that so many people on the right have stated that they will respect our new president and wish him well. I recall nothing of the sort when President Bush took office. In fact, I recall an outcry in the exact opposite direction.
It's not like there weren't reasons for people, especially in south Florida, to feel less than cheery toward George W. Bush's ascent to the Presidency. After all, there was the whole uncertainty whether he'd actually won Florida, the revelations shortly after the election that Jeb! along with his BFF Katherine Harris had rigged the game in advance by illegally throwing thousands of voters off the rolls, and the fake protests ginned up by the national Republican party to stop the recount in Dade County. Then there was the whole Bush v Gore decision, a decision so partisan and wrong-headed that the court itself refused to allow it to be cited as precedent for any other case, as well as the fact that Bush lost the popular vote. Nah, none of that could have had anything to do with the reception Bush received. And yet, he entered office with approval ratings over 60% despite all that. Indeed, most Americans were willing to give him a chance, and after the 9/11 attacks, Bush's ratings jumped to 90%, the highest ever measured for a President.

Now, were there people who decried Bush as an illegitimate president? Sure. I was one of them, and I don't regret a word of it. But to say you "recall nothing of the sort" is simply inaccurate. For crying out loud, Al Gore came out and said that George W. Bush was the President and called for partisan rancor to be set aside.

Now I don't think Claudia4Libertad is lying--I think that's just the way she remembers the situation. But that's the problem with memory, especially when we use it to revise history--it's unreliable. We remember what we want to remember, and filter out the inconvenient stuff--in this case, Claudia and her commenters have filtered out anything that questions the narrative they've constructed about the people they consider their ideological enemies, and at Babalu, they reinforce the narrative by banning anyone who posts comments that question it.

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