In a comment at Making Light (where the comments section is, stunningly, often even better than the blog itself), nerdycellist has a striking bit of lore.
In dog training there is a thing called the Extinction Burst. Let's say you're training the dog to not bark when someone comes to the door. You'll be chugging along, working your operant conditioning like a boss, and you'll notice your dog is finally starting to catch on. “Oh, you mean if the doorbell rings and I woof my servant monkey turns her back to me and ignores me, but if I don't make a noise I get a treat? Awesome!” But just when you think the dog has it all down and it possibly the smartest dog in the universe, your friend will ring the doorbell and the dog will go bugshit crazy, barking, woofing, yelping, whatever, and you'll just want to sit down with a pitcher of margaritas and give up. Don't do that. Keep going, because what you've just experienced is the Extinction Burst. A few more tries and your dog will be so silent it's like she's bored whenever the doorbell rings — like she never even reacted in the first place.
Why does it work that way? I have no idea — I'm not an animal behaviorist. But it's what I like to believe is happening with the GOP and greater society right now; they're in their back yard (Fox News) spinning frantically and barking loudly about B*ches and N**rs and F**ts because they know that very soon they're going to have to settle down and behave like reasonable mammals. It won't help if I sit down with a pint of cider and give up, but when they finally realize that their behavior has real consequences (like the Komen debacle, and the backlash that — god willing — will lead to embarrassing losses this election year) they'll behave. This helps keep me from despair. If operant conditioning works on dolphins and dogs, surely it will work on humans.
I believe I will be referencing this in times to come.