Political pathology 101

SAM SMITH – Given that so many politicians lie, equivocate, exaggerate or change their positions, it is difficult sometimes to diagnose a truly sick pol. But as with other psychopaths, there are a few clues. One is the way they explain themselves when they’re caught. Normal politicians may apologize and ask that we move on or they may say that new factors had entered the equation and so forth. But a truly psychopathic politician will give an explanation devoid of intellectual of moral justification because it is enough for them that their new position helps them do what they want to do. It doesn’t occur to them that morality has anything to do with it.

In other words, ask a psychopath why he murdered a woman and he might say, “Because she wouldn’t give me her purse.” The justification is entirely self centered.

Bearing this in mind, read this by Helene Cooper of the NY Times:

|||| Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd voted against it. Senator Barack Obama said he would have voted against it if he had voted. Former Senator John Edwards implied he would have voted against it if he could vote.

And Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton? She voted in favor of the measure in question, which asked the Bush administration to declare Iran’s 125,000-member Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization. Such a move – more hawkish than even most of the Bush administration has been willing to venture so far – would intensify America’s continuing confrontation with Iran, many foreign policy experts say.

Part of the reason for Mrs. Clinton’s vote, some of her backers say privately, is that she has already shifted from primary mode, when she needs to guard against critics from the left, to general election mode, when she must guard against critics from the right. That means she is trying to shore up her national security credentials versus Republican candidates like Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, and is trying to reassure voters that she would be a tough-minded commander in chief. By supporting the bill – sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Jon Kyl of Arizona – Mrs. Clinton is also solidifying crucial support from the pro-Israel lobby. ||||

In other words, we might end up in World War III because President HR Clinton was trying to shore up her rightwing support as she moved from primary to general election mode. It doesn’t get much more psychopathic than that.

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