Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lying, like smoking, is a hard habit to break.

A liar is tripped up by inconsistency. I have come to believe that this inconsistency is of two different kinds, internal and external. When the liar's version of the tale conflicts with itself, we have an internal conflict; when it is inconsistent with known, objective reality it is in external conflict or is externally inconsistent.

Politicians lie a lot. Barack Obama, for instance, seems personally incapable of telling the truth.

For instance, when asked whether he had any conversation with Governor Blagojevich about his replacement in the Senate, Obama said, "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."

And yet, there are photographs of the two men together, with mutually acknowledged plans to discuss the Senate vacancy.

What he could have said was "My conversations with the Governor stopped because I, uh, didn't like the direction they were taking."

But the fact is, he didn't say that, and it's too late to say it now. Perhaps there is an alternative explanation, something involving national security. Barring that, either Barack Obama was willing to suborn unethical conduct from the Governor, or is an habitual liar incapable of telling the truth even when it will benefit him.

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