November 14, 2012: An angry, posturing President Obama tells Republicans UN Ambassador Susan Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” and dares them to “go after me” instead. Many media sources swoon at his manly chivalry as he defends Ms. Rice. Amazingly, some conservative pundits are equally impressed.
November 15, 2012: Liberal Kirsten Powers pens an op-ed holding precisely the opposite view. A few excerpts:
Obviously caught up in his own silly yarn about meanie Senators and helpless U.N. Ambassadors, the President complained, ‘When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.”‘
Imagine George Bush saying that people criticized John Bolton because he was an ‘easy target.’ He wouldn’t.
It’s absurd and chauvinistic for Obama to talk about the woman he thinks should be Secretary of State of the United States as if she needs the big strong man to come to her defense because a couple of Senators are criticizing her.
November 17, 2012: Neo-Neocon takes to task a number of silly people, including Mr. Obama. She brings up an important point: Mr. Obama is not an ordinary politician doing the things politicians normally do.
I know quite a few people who don’t think all that highly of President Obama but don’t think he’s all that unusual. They see him instead as a typical politician doing typical political things.
Now and then I’ve tried to convey to these people — and even to some Obama supporters I know — just what I find so very different, and so very reprehensible, about him. For the most part, I’ve gotten uncomprehending stares when I try to explain, or shrugs and statements that ‘all politicians are like that,’ or remarks that the person just doesn’t see what the fuss is about.
To me there are so many character ‘tells’ that they leap out nearly every time I hear Obama speak or read a transcript of his words. These are things that I cannot remember any other president doing before in my lifetime, whether he be Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. They used to be Just Not Done by presidents, acts and/or statements that smacked of weakness or blaming or inappropriateness or lack of understanding of the office and its responsibilities.
By all means, read Neo’s post. It’s sharp and provides the kinds of insights available only from a former, reformed liberal. Neo even recalled another telling, related point from the second debate:
And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.
Neo is closer than anyone I’ve seen to the core of the problem. Yes, Barack Obama is not a conventional politician doing the kinds of things a conventional liberal—very, very liberal—politician would be expected to do. Indeed, he is possessed of a bewildering variety of serious character flaws and bad intentions. And certainly, his arrogance and imperiously angry responses toward anyone that dares question or criticize his administration is outlandish, unprecedented and unseemly. But we’re still not quite on target.
Barack Obama was not defending Susan Rice. He was defending himself. He is obviously suffering from debilitating narcissism—with exquisitely little justification—and in very obvious ways. I’ve no doubt that when anyone says “America” Mr. Obama hears “ME!” His reelection can only have served to reinforce that dangerous tendency in Mr. Obama.
It would seem that for much of his life, Mr. Obama has been the object of praise and worship, an unfortunate, ego-bending tendency that has only accelerated to insane proportions since 2008. Oprah Winfrey coined the term “the one” for Mr. Obama. The thought of him caused a thrill to run up Chris Matthews’ leg, and imagine Mr. Obama’s satisfaction to learn from Matthews that Mr. Obama has never done anything wrong and is actually perfect. And imagine how Mr. Obama’s ego swelled when he actually swatted a fly during an interview and the press drooled all over itself lauding his martial arts prowess. They even took to calling him a ninja. Newsweek’s editor Evan Thomas breathlessly called Mr. Obama “sort of a god,” and countless media outlets have run images of Mr. Obama with halos of various types. There are hundreds in amazing and blasphemous profusion.
In calling out Congressional Republicans, Mr. Obama was not engaging in chivalry. He was not defending a subordinate, standing up for a woman unable to stand up for herself—one would hope our ambassador to the UN would, of necessity, be made of sterner stuff—or displaying righteous manly virtues. He was responding, in the finest narcissistic tradition to a threat against his authority. Of course, he was also engaging in the political tactic of distracting people from the Libya debacle, but that is only a tactic, not his inner-most motivation.
While Mr. Obama virtually never takes responsibility for anything he does wrong—a real narcissist cannot imagine or allow that—and often takes responsibility for the work of others—they wouldn’t have come up with the idea or accomplishment without his shining example and inspiration—he takes immediate offense at the slightest insult or challenge, real or imagined. The Obama Administration is Barack Obama, and everyone working in it merely an extension of his will and being.
Conservatives often make the mistake of projecting their beliefs and actions on others. They would be tempted to stick up for women, to behave chivalrously, so when others do something that looks like chivalry, that looks honorable, they tend to analyze that action based on the model that seems right to them. Where Barack Obama is concerned, they could not be more mistaken.
Anyone trying to “go after” Mr. Obama will not find a man standing and ready to fight, but a wisp of smoke, dodging, weaving, refusing to accept responsibility, stonewalling, obfuscating, lying, blaming others and ultimately, claiming executive privilege, just as he did with Fast And Furious, despite claiming to know nothing whatever about that scandal. This too is part and parcel of clinical narcissism.
One might choose to analyze Barack Obama in a variety of ways, but applying the lens of clinical narcissism is the best and most accurate way to predict and to understand his actions.