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The Stockholm Syndrome and American Voters

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I just figured it out why voters put the GOP back in power: they are suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome," You know, that business where the kidnapped bond with their captors. Where the abused take back their abusers because they at least have "that" in common -- and preferring the devil they know to those trying to rescue them.

In some ways the two years of Democratic Party rule -- (oh, well, okay, not rule, but majority) -- served only as a way for the abusers to dig their claws more firmly into a majority of the electorate. It was classic abuser projection -- blaming the rescuers for the miserable conditions of the captives. Then they declared that, if voters made a run into their arms they ad no idea what the rescuers had in store for them. There was talk of "death panels," and "socialist re-education camps."

While some captives argued for a break, it was not enough. Many more warned that their abusers, while certified pricks last time around, had promised they would change, if only we'd "give them one more chance." They even agreed to attend meetings of a new support group formed by a handful of captives. And so they showed up for tea and listened and nodded and laughed with them. Then they started bringing gifts, the best kind of gifts; money for refreshments and field trips. They even applauded those in the captives "pep squad" who dressed up in revolutionary era costumes and threatened armed insurrection -- not against the abusers but those "socialist" rescuers.

That's not sort of how it might have happened. That's HOW it happened.

So they're back. The Trickle Downers who can't point to a single trickle in three decades. The"Government-is-the--problem,-not-the-solution," folk who employed a scorched-earth battle just to return to government. The folks who claim -- with a straight face -- that the only way to help the poor, is to further enrich the rich. The imbeciles who, even as the ice caps melt away before their very eyes, deny climate change with a shrug and a cocky grin that says, "It's a hoax, You can bet your life on it."
Now, I'm not about to stand here and try to claim that our would-be rescuers, the Democrats, were exactly a dream come true for captives. No one likes to see the calvary arguing amongst themselves over whether the captors might have a point, for example. I mean it's one thing to disagree on the best way to free captives, and quite another to be heard daily arguing over whether it might not be better for the captives if the calvary give the captors a hand.

So, we can't entirely blame those who put these serial-abusers back into office this month. While it means more abuse, at least they know that, while Republicans are unrelenting pricks, they at least know what they want, and how to get it.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)
 

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