Duplicity, Delusion, and Cognitive Dissonance
Right now, among all the primary states, believe it or not, Hillary's only 16 votes behind in pledged delegates, and she's gonna wind up with the lead in the popular vote in the primary states. She's gonna wind up with the lead in the delegates [from the primary states. It's the caucuses that have been killing us.
I thought, well, sure, if the caucus states aren't working out for you, by all means, let's just ignore them! Why should you have to account for inconvenient contrary facts when you're trying to paint a sunny picture of success?
Turning to CNN, I learned "Baghdad on Lockdown as Rockets, Bombs Fly."
Baghdad was on virtual lockdown Friday as a tough new curfew ordered everyone off the streets of the Iraqi capital and five other cities until 5 p.m. Sunday.
That restriction didn't stop someone from firing rockets and mortar rounds into the capital's heavily fortified International Zone, commonly known as the Green Zone. One slammed into the office of one of Iraq's vice presidents, Tareq al-Hashemi, killing two guards.
And then I read President Bush's speech from Dayton, Ohio, in which he did an avoidance and distortion dance that would have made the Clintons proud, explaining why not just in spite, but because of renewed violence, "normalcy is returning back to Iraq."
Finally, I read Peggy Noonan's take on what at this point is going on in Hillary Clinton's mind:
What, really, is Mrs. Clinton doing? She is having the worst case of cognitive dissonance in the history of modern politics. She cannot come up with a credible, realistic path to the nomination. She can't trace the line from "this moment's difficulties" to "my triumphant end." But she cannot admit to herself that she can lose. Because Clintons don't lose. She can't figure out how to win, and she can't accept the idea of not winning. She cannot accept that this nobody from nowhere could have beaten her, quietly and silently, every day. (She cannot accept that she still doesn't know how he did it!)
Substitute "President Bush" for "Mrs. Clinton" in the paragraph above and "victory in Iraq" for "nomination" and you'll see that Noonan's only mistake was to call Hillary's cognitive dissonance the worst case in the history of modern politics. In fact, I would argue that despite her game attempts, she's been outdone on the cognitive dissonance front by the president.
The difference is that very soon, reality will end the Clintons' cognitive dissonance, and at little cost to the nation. President Bush, on the other hand, has successfully maneuvered Iraq into the lap of his successor, and will now be able to indulge his own cognitive dissonance permanently, at great cost to the nation indeed.
But because Bush's successor will inherit the president's disasters, the psychologies of Bush the president and Clinton the candidate must be considered together. After all, do you trust someone whose campaign narrative is as duplicitous and delusional as Hillary Clinton's to morph suddenly into a clear-eyed realist when it comes to ending the war in Iraq, a war which she herself voted to authorize? Maybe this is what Hillary means when she argues you'd be better off with McCain.