Monday, November 28, 2011

The President's Analyst

At The New Republic, Justin Frank stares at Obama's navel and comes up with this...
On a psychoanalytic level, Obama is someone who tries to disconnect himself from fury through intellectual exertion and by strenuously trying to keep matters in clear focus. He doesn’t simply contain his rage or hold it inside his mind; he dissociates–a psychoanalytic term for disconnecting thought from feeling. This allows him to operate in a purely intellectual state, protected from the disruptive influences of excessive passions.
Fascinating. But it sounds a little like Justin is generously describing a sociopath. Traits include:
Glibness/Superficial Charm

Language can be used without effort by them to confuse and convince their audience. Captivating storytellers that exude self-confidence, they can spin a web that intrigues others. Since they are persuasive, they have the capacity to destroy their critics verbally or emotionally.

Manipulative and Conning

They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self

Feels entitled to certain things as "their right." Craves adulation and attendance. Must be the center of attention with their own fantasies as the "spokesman for God," "enlightened," "leader of humankind," etc. Creates an us-versus-them mentality

Pathological Lying

Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and able to pass lie detector tests.
Etc.

These traits, to one degree or another, can be found in most politicians, especially successful ones. Which makes them good at campaigning (conning voters) but lousy at governing (building coalitions and making tough choices for the good of the country.)

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