Flip-Flopping Pols Are Just Channeling Inner Hypocrite

They know it's wrong, but benefits too great
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 1:51 PM CDT
Obama, like McCain, has demonstrated a very human moral relativity.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Think all politicians are self-justifying hypocrites? You're probably right, John Tierney writes in the New York Times. As a recent psychological study demonstrates, all of us, given enough time and mental wiggle room, will succumb to the "self-halo effect," justifying in ourselves and our allies moral lapses we readily condemn in anyone of an opposing group.

Whether the issue is John McCain's reversal on taxes, Barack Obama's about-face on campaign finance, or a guy with the same wristband as you selecting for himself an easier job in a psychological experiment, "anyone who is on 'our team' is excused for moral transgressions," one researcher says.