From Merriam-Webster Online:
projection: 6 a : the act of perceiving a mental object as spatially and sensibly objective; also : something so perceived b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety.
The word "projection" has become a part of the pop psychology lexicon. Most of us know what it means and most of us are aware of it when we see it. It's high on the list of techniques to deploy when engaged in Rovian political combat. "Attack your opponent for your own moral and ethical failings. Blather, rinse, repeat."
Lately, though, with so much naked hypocrisy in the news, what with Reich Wing Congressmen getting busted for stalking teenage boys, Curt Weldon (who isn't half so paranoid as he is crooked) screaming that he's being unfairly railroaded by a bunch of corrupt political operatives (HA!), and men like Tom DeLay declaring themselves to be suffering at the hands of a vicious partisan hatchet job (double HA!) when in fact, he's just being called to account for his own partisan hackery and political manuevering, well, I thought we might revisit this topic tonight and discuss how it relates to some matters that are near and dear to our own hearts.
Thank freaking god for Ted Haggard, by the way, and his inability to resist drugs and dick. I thought we'd NEVER hear the end of John Kerry's political gaffe last week, his "botched joke" that ultimately meant nothing, pertained to nothing and ultimately should have gone nowhere (rather like his 2004 campaign, hey!). The Great Reich Wing Stink Machine just grabbed on to that and shook it 'til the stuffing flew out, didn't they? Of course, the real reason they did that was to deny the Great Steps Backward the situation in Iraq took over the course of those days and to fill the news cycle with a bunch of bullshit noise in these crucial pre-election broadcast hours. But Katie, bar the door, we've got another Big Gay Scandal, and as we all know, that trumps everything in corporate news. Gay sex and hard drugs or substantive debate on the War in Iraq? Dude. You have to ask?
And, oh, lordy, this time it's even better than a Republican politician. It's a Talibangelical preacher, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals! Mmmmmmm-mm! Hypocri-licious!! The brightest, hottest rising Talibangelical star, now reduced to a plummeting cinder. Gotta love it.
Of course, Haggard is denying it. Sorta. Well, maybe kinda not really. He says he bought the drugs and threw them away. (Right, threw them away up his nose!) He says he was only seeing that gay hooker for "massages". (Cos of course, everybody knows that the best place to go to find a massage therapist is rentboy.com. But you know, not all insurance companies will pay for massage, so sometimes you have to make do!)
Of course, the very thing that makes this particular scandal so delicious is that Haggard himself has authored some particularly viciously homophobic legislation that's coming up on the ballot this Election Day, another anti-gay marriage amendment. He has a history of attacks on gays, and that my friends, is another textbook case of projection.
"But TRex," you may ask, "What in the world does all of this have to do with Joe Lieberman?"
Lieberman, who regularly decries negative campaigning, has complained that Lamont has intentionally distorted his record and, during a recent debate, directly accused Lamont of lying.
That has from time to time visibly angered Lieberman, who has had to spend nights flying to fundraisers in California, Florida, and Illinois while Lamont and his checkbook have been on the hustings in Connecticut.
The senator says Lamont is trying to buy the election, and he's charged that since Lamont has refused to make public more than a year's worth of his federal tax returns, he's "hiding" the primary source of his war chest.
Um, Joe, you're "hiding" where that $387,000 dollars went that you spent paying thugs and buying votes, but this has been your tactic all along, hasn't it? You're running a vicious, bitchy, lying campaign, and then wah-wah-waaaaaah-ing all the way home about how "Negative Ned" and all those bad old bloggers are lying about you and ganging up on you and it's all so unfair and why can't we all just get along?
Projection, bitchez. It ain't pretty.