Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
17 May 2011

But elites find it hard to believe the worst of our own – just as families do members of their kin. Some of this is due to the nature of sociopaths – they con even the most skeptical (I always think of the hard-nosed skeptic, Hanna Rosin, who defended the fabulist, Stephen Glass, out of loyalty and friendship and disbelief at the extent of his ethical vandalism). But some is due surely to our refusal to believe we can have long associated with people capable of such acts. Rather than question our own judgment, we rush to defend or ignore the indefensible. – Andrew Sullivan on why friends are defending IMF chief Strauss-Kahn (casting new light on why so many people kept on supporting Jacob Zuma during his corruption case)

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