American Narcissus

photoshop via Free Canuckistan, by R. Martin and Richard Terrelly

Your must read of the day, if you haven’t read it yet, is Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard’s: American Narcissus The vanity of Barack Obama:

Yet you don’t have to delve deep into armchair psychology to see how Obama’s vanity has shaped his presidency. In January 2009 he met with congressional leaders to discuss the stimulus package. The meeting was supposed to foster bipartisanship. Senator Jon Kyl questioned the plan’s mixture of spending and tax cuts. Obama’s response to him was, “I won.” A year later Obama held another meeting to foster bipartisanship for his health care reform plan. There was some technical back-and-forth about Republicans not having the chance to properly respond within the constraints of the format because President Obama had done some pontificating, as is his wont. Obama explained, “There was an imbalance on the opening statements because”—here he paused, self-satisfiedly—“I’m the president. And so I made, uh, I don’t count my time in terms of dividing it evenly.”

There are lots of times when you get the sense that Obama views the powers of the presidency as little more than a shadow of his own person. When he journeyed to Copenhagen in October 2009 to pitch Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, his speech to the IOC was about—you guessed it: “Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night,” he told the committee, “people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of .  .  . ” and away he went. A short while later he was back in Copenhagen for the climate change summit. When things looked darkest, he personally commandeered the meeting to broker a “deal.” Which turned out to be worthless. In January 2010, Obama met with nervous Democratic congressmen to assure them that he wasn’t driving the party off a cliff. Confronted with worries that 2010 could be a worse off-year election than 1994, Obama explained to the professional politicians, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.”

In the midst of the BP oil spill last summer, Obama explained, “My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.” Read that again: The president thinks that the job of the president is to make certain the citizens correctly understand what’s on the president’s mind.

Read all 3 pages, beginning to end.

Jennifer Rubin adds her thoughts at Commentary Contentions:

…the vanity surplus would be less of a hindrance if he were an innovative policy wonk or a savvy analyst of the American electorate. This was the Bill Clinton model — an outsized ego and an utter lack of self-discipline, but an inventive mind able to zig-zag his way through choppy political waters. His intuitive understanding of his fellow citizens allowed him to maintain a bond with the American people. If Obama were as intellectually nimble as Clinton or as simpatico with the American people as Ronald Reagan or as steeped in common sense as Harry Truman, he wouldn’t be in such dire straits. It’s not merely the vanity that’s the problem. His undoing has been vanity that is divorced from his abilities and unaccompanied by executive skills or a well-developed knowledge of economics and international relations.

If Obama is ungracious (toward his predecessor), oblivious (to the desires of the voters), and frustrated (by the Palestinians’ and Israelis’ refusal to make a deal under his auspices), it is because he is unable to grasp that it’s not all about him. But the good news is that, as he reportedly did in the Senate, he may conclude that being president is really ”so boring.” (He certainly doesn’t seem to be having fun, does he?) In that case, he might not really care all that much about trying to ingratiate himself with the voters. It very well might not be “worth it” in his mind to temper his views in order to get a second term. Freed from the burdens of the presidency he then might do what he loves best — write books and give speeches about himself. Or maybe he can give speeches about writing books about himself.

And Mike Hendrix notes:

… what this piece reveals, first and foremost, is how the Progressivist/Left establishment bent over backwards to make sure this near-talentless cipher’s progress to the very top of our system, corrupted and distorted as it has been by liberals’ desperate need to see latter-day affirmative action validated, was unimpeded by any honest assessment of his capabilities.

Why is the left so easily fooled? Or, perhaps I should ask…why do they not recognize unbecoming displays of narcissism when they see it? Jonathan Last’s piece presents a lengthy and damning compilation of Obama’s ego-maniacal exploits throughout the years. In example after example after example we see Obama displaying a stunning array of narcissistic behaviors, which  many of us picked up on, (and noted), early in 2008. His lefty followers don’t seem to see it, though….

Witness also, the support and admiration many MSNBC viewers continue have for another  narcissistic character, the deplorable, hypocritical, and misogynistic Keith Olbermann, a man who requires his staff to leave notes at his door, rather than speak to him.

Obama and Olbermann clearly think they are the smartest person in any room. Their fans apparently agree.

I don’t get it.

2 thoughts on “American Narcissus

  1. Newsweek carries a story titled “Is the Presidency too big for one man?”.

    Most of the commenters get it: it certainly is, for this guy.

    “Obama’s response to him was, “I won.””
    That was the quote I was looking for. I remember when he said it. Now he’s all mild-mannered about “working together” and “compromise”.

    Hey, Mr Know-it-All: This time we won. Get over it.

    “Why is the left so easily fooled?”
    Because they hear only what they want to hear.


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