Sunday, June 05, 2016

HIllary groupthink?

Jonathan Turley is someone whose commentaries need to be taken with special caution. He often takes liberal positions, but he also takes positions on some issues that fall in line with those of partisan conservative Republicans. (How much power can the president wield by sidestepping Congress? PBS Newshour 06/18/2016)

With that caution, I'll say that he thinks an important point in Nixonian palace guard now protects Hillary USA Today 06/03/2016. I've been amazed at how dogmatically many Clinton partisans have shown themselves to be in her defense against any and all criticisms. And I've been genuinely surprised at the venom that Clinton and her supporters have directed against Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

The most disturbing of the latter was the McCarthyist anathema that Debbie Wasserman Schultz - DNC Chair, avid Hillary supporter and the BFF of the payday loan industry - issued against Bernie Sanders and his voters in a blanket accusation of promoting "the type of behavior on display over the weekend in Las Vegas. Our democracy is undermined any time threats, intimidation, physical violence or damage to property."

And, Hillary-bots, you can spare me any mealy-mouthing about how how her statement didn't use the word "promoting." Sleazy innuendo was always an essential part of McCarthyism. And I know the Hillary True Believer catechism: Trump scary, Bernie evil, Hillary wonderful. So you don't have to share that one with me again, either.

Despite the lack of evidence of the claims by Hillary supporters that Sanders supporters had punched and throw chairs at Hillary supporters, and still so far as I'm aware no evidence that any actual Sanders supporters much less anyone that was active in his campaign made death threats to the Nevada party chairperson, Wasserman Schultz hasn't withdrawn her anathema that was based on those claims.

The Clinton campaign, in other words, has been showing disturbing signs of the self-justifying decision-making loops that diminishes realism in decision-making. Also known as groupthink.

Turley uses these illustrative example:

Of course, politicians are not known for their allegiance to the truth, and Clinton may be a standout in that group, but she is hardly unique among her peers. However, that tendency is often checked by a staff that forces politicians to recognize reality and even the truth of controversy.

The problem is that Clinton has surrounded herself with aides who have demonstrated an unflagging loyalty and veneration. Take Huma Abedin, perhaps her most influential aide. Abedin described her first meeting on the “Call Your Girlfriend” podcast: “She walked by and she shook my hand and our eyes connected, and I just remember having this moment where I thought; 'Wow, this is amazing. And ... it just inspired me. You know, I still remember the look on her face. And it’s funny, and she would probably be so annoyed that I say this, but I remember thinking; 'Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!'"

Adebin’s breathless account is similar to communications of other aides who fawn in emails to Clinton over her speeches, dress and demeanor. In the released emails, former National Security Council adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall asked that an aide pass along her praise of Clinton’s performance at a hearing:

If you get a chance — please tell HRC that she was a ROCK STAR yesterday. Everything about her 'performance' was what makes her unique, beloved, and destined for even more greatness. She sets a standard that lesser mortals can only dream of emulating.”

(In 2014, Sherwood-Randall was made the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy.) Emails from other close aides like Lanny Davis and Sidney Blumenthal show the same level of constant stroking and exaltation.

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