April 23rd, 2008 by Rightsideup

Lately it’s seemed to me that every candidate (and in one case their spouse) is in denial a lot of the time. I already wrote about McCain’s denial in the case of his lobbyists a few weeks back. But there are examples from every candidate, it appears. Hillary’s fictitious sniper fire, Obama’s conviction about his own commitment to combatting anti-Semitism and so on.

Bill Clinton appears to be drinking the Kool-Aid too. There have been many examples of him doing this, but the latest was the “race card” incident this week. There was the combative tone he took with the reporter who asked him about his remark that the Obama campaign had played the race card, which was bad enough because it totally dodged a legitimate question based on real facts. But things got even worse if you followed the links back to the interview in question, where he did indeed say exactly what the reporter had quoted him as saying. The most telling part is actually right at the end of the interview, when he thinks his mic has been turned off. He apparently turns to an aide and says, “I don’t think I should take any **** from anybody on that, do you?” He is clearly completely convinced himself that he has nothing to answer for here, even though everyone else clearly believes he does. And he has no compunction about denying what he said point blank the next day.

All of this reminds me, once again, of the quote I read last year about Tony Blair, which seems to some extent to apply to each of these three candidates and the former President:

Many have surmised that there was an essential flaw in Mr. Blair’s makeup that turned him gradually from the most popular to the most unpopular prime minister of recent history. The problem is to name that essential flaw. As a psychiatrist, I found this problem peculiarly irritating (bearing in mind that it is always highly speculative to make a diagnosis at a distance). But finally, a possible solution arrived in a flash of illumination. Mr. Blair suffered from a condition previously unknown to me: delusions of honesty.

It’s a worrying trend. None of these people are able to accurately gauge their own honesty and fess up when they are caught in a lie. They just dig deeper and deeper and apparently seem to believe strongly in their own innocence the whole time. It doesn’t bode well for any presidency coming out of this campaign.