From a Metafilter thread: “Let me drop into metaphor here. In wrestling–stay with me–there are the fans, usually kids, who think it’s real, and then the fans who know it’s all scripted but enjoy it for various reasons be it the theatrics or the acrobatics or two behemoths pretending to pound away at each other. For a long time, that’s also the way politics worked here in the States. Rudy Republican would go home and bitch about the commies and Dan Democrat would go home and bitch about the nazis, and there’d be all this high-flown rhetoric analogous to the chest-beating speeches in wrestling. And then they’d go back to Washington and chuckle about the rubes back home and get some shit done.
“However, the Tea Party actually believes that the metaphorical wrestling is real. This is something I really have to fight to get through the heads of my irony-drenched liberal friends. It’s like that interview with Scalia where he literally believes in the Devil and people were chortling like “The DEVIL? Come on, man!” Like it was some ruse or gag. But I know dudes like that and I’ve lived in places where they sell self-help books for getting demons out of your home at the grocery store. And they aren’t speaking metaphorically or being ironic. They believe in a literal, evil, supernatural creature that can haunt your house and cause bad shit to happen.
“And yes, the Obummer Muslim Kenyan Communist Socialist thing is actually what some right-wingers think. There is a massive media complex designed to keep them inflamed with fear that everything they have is going to come crashing down around them and it also tells them that said media complex is the only source that can be trusted. All the people making fun of them and laughing at them and posting witty imagemacros on Facebook just reinforce how right they are in their own minds, coupled with the natural self-segregation people do, so all their friends talk about the same thing, all they hear are the same things, and the media they take in are saying the same things. I mean, the Romney campaign was well and truly convinced they were going to win and genuinely astonished when they were not, because the whole right-wing bubble is absolutely vicious when anyone speaks up against the groupthink, so everyone was telling them it was a sure thing. It goes all the way to the top. They are true believers.”