Posted on | October 13, 2012 | 56 Comments
While they have a senior-subordinate relationship, at that altitude, Obama and Clinton are more like peers, especially in the broader scope of the Democrat Party, where Barack is hoping Bill will loan enough luster to Obama to somehow win re-election. Thus, Benghazi-quiddick (we should limit the -gate suffix on scandals lacking a death toll) resembles the classic game theory example The Prisoner’s Dilemma:
Two men are arrested, but the police do not have enough information for a conviction. The police separate the two men, and offer both the same deal: if one testifies against his partner (defects/betrays), and the other remains silent (cooperates with/assists his partner), the betrayer goes free and the one that remains silent gets a one-year sentence. If both remain silent, both are sentenced to only one month in jail on a minor charge. If each ‘rats out’ the other, each receives a three-month sentence. Each prisoner must choose either to betray or remain silent; the decision of each is kept secret from his partner. What should they do? If it is assumed that each player is only concerned with lessening his own time in jail, the game becomes a non-zero sum game where the two players may either assist or betray the other. The sole concern of the prisoners seems to be increasing his own reward. The interesting symmetry of this problem is that the optimal decision for each is to betray the other, even though they would be better off if they both cooperated.
Here, we have two public figures who both look negligent over a tragedy. And they hold grudges against each other going back. They can both get hammered together, or can try to minimize their damage by pinning blame on the other.
|Clinton absorbs||Obama accuses|
|Clinton accuses||In this variant, Clinton steps up and takes responsibility for failures as Secretary of State, scuttling her 2016 hopes, with the idea of saving Obama’s re-election.
I’ll point you to Kevin DuJan at HillBuzz for that analysis.
|If they both escalates the accusatory posturing, then the bleeding may not stop until both are completely ruined.
Yet, accusations are their stock in trade. They just have to do it subtly.
|Obama absorbs||They both stand there and take the hit. Re-election now, and possible election in 2016 for Hillary only happens if the electorate enjoys some truly raging outburst of amnesia.
Unlikely in Internet Age, thank you, Al Gore.
Taking responsibility is something you make your opposition do. Never apologize, never explain. Which outs both of them as lousy leaders.
|Obama steps up and admits how badly he tubed Benghazi-quiddick, in order to save Hillary’s 2016 presidential hopes.|
The bad news about this ‘game’ is that the price of admission is four human sacrifices. Those deaths were tragic for the four, and their families. The shame for the United States, and the increased boldness of our enemies, is far worse. Then there is the damage done to the validity, the basic confidence the people have in our government, brought on by the shameless deceits of the Obama Administration.
No good can come of the Obama-Clinton game. Beyond the entertainment value, the best we can hope for is minimal collateral damage.
Update II: linked at God’s Own Crunk. Also, for those who dislike the labeling in the table, please feel free to offer an improved version somewhere on this vast internet. Otherwise, my guess is you’re firing for effect. In the wrong direction.
Update III: more at Daily Pundit:
Some people think Barack Obama is cold and calculating. I don’t. I think he’s a tangled ball of twisted emotions, primary among which are fear and hatred. Some part of him might understand that he’ll damage himself by trying to damage the Clintons, but I just don’t think he’ll be able to help himself.
Getting inside that noggin isn’t the least bit interesting to me. I just want to see BHO distanced from levers of power.