"A man with conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point."
Leon Festinger, When Prophecy Fails
From the Wikipedia entry on cognitive dissonance:
"some people who feel dissonance seek information that will reduce dissonance and avoid information that will increase dissonance. People who are involuntarily exposed to information that increases dissonance are likely to discount that information, either by ignoring it, misinterpreting it, or denying it."
Thanks to the Drudge Report for reminding me that excitable Republicans at the Wall Street Journal and National Review expected some sort of huge Iranian military attack today... possibly even one worth preempting.
I read the Festinger quote in a pretty good article (only in print edition) about folks who expect the world to end because of oil problems, but it really reminded me of the fuckwits who run our foriegn policy, whose instinct at the occasion of every failure is to double down. (Like the Millerites, who, when rapture didn't occur as foretold in 1843, became even more evangelical about an 1844 end-of-the-world, later known as the Great Dissapointment.)
Passed along without comment: George Bush says "We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here" and "we’re not leaving so long as I’m the president."