Groupthink - a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. (Wikipedia)
In my evaluation of the Clinton Camp's recent activities I am struck by the similarities between their inner circle and the inner circle of the Bush Administration during the run up to the invasion of Iraq.
The term "groupthink"was coined in 1952 by William H. Whyte and researched extensively by Irving Janis. Mr. Janis recognized two prevalent causes of this condition:
- Structural faults in the organization: insulation of the group, lack of tradition of impartial leadership, lack of norms requiring methodological procedures, homogeneity of members' social background and ideology.
- Provocative situational context: high stress from external threats, recent failures, excessive difficulties on the decision-making task, moral dilemmas.
Fast forward to the Clinton campaign. The Clinton camp continues to project success despite Obama's overwhelming lead in both the pledged delegate count and popular vote with few States left, several of which are likely victories for Senator Obama. They appear blind to the long term damage caused by their brutal reckless tactics. Worse yet, they have attacked and offended the groups they would undoubtedly need if they were able to secure the nomination. Their current illogical rationale seems to be that they can lose the popular vote and the pledged delegate count, promote the Republican nominee, infuriate the Black community, then convince the Superdelegates to override the wishes of the voters.
It appears that they believe the path to the nomination will be a "cakewalk" and the Obama supporters will "welcome them as liberators". Isn't it always amazing how groups of people get together and create a paradigm contrary to reality. Then live comfortably in that paradigm as it crumbles around them.