I pray for President Obama weekly, in keeping with theJewish practice to “seek the peace of the city.” But I do not believe he will stand up to the waves of opprobrium that will beat down relentlessly upon him for the next three years.
“It is conceivable,”I wrote in February 2008 “that Barack Obama, if elected, will destroy himself before he destroys the country.” Some of his strongest supporters in the press now fret that they have a sick puppy on their hands.
The epithet “narcissistic” now sticks to Obama the way “swift-footed” did to Achilles in the Iliad.
Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman wrote Sept. 26, “Enough TV, Mr. President” – and that was before the Norwegian Academy offered Obama yet another primetime spot.
Even an former enthusiast like Marty Peretz,
the publisher of the New Republic, has taken up the “narcissist” label, and with a vengeance. A committed Zionist, Peretz put his reputation on the block for Obama during the summer of 2008 when conservative critics alleged anti-Israel bias in the Obama camp, and the revision of his views must have been painful.
What I suspect is that the president is probably a clinical narcissist.
This is not necessarily a bad condition if one maintains for oneself what the psychiatrists call an "optimal margin of illusion," that is, the margin of hope that allows you to work. But what if his narcissism blinds him to the issues and problems in the world and the inveterate foes of the nation that are not susceptible to his charms?
He blasted the president in an Oct. 4 blog post [http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-spine/ri...l-mcchrystal]:
Peretz is on the right track,
but he has not gotten to the heart of the matter yet. Narcissism is the occupational disability of politicians, as paranoia is of spies; Churchill is supposed to have admitted his immodesty by averring that if he were modest, he would have been perfect. If Obama has a personality disorder—and I believe he does—it doesn’t quite fit the clinical description of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
Narcissists do not empathize easily,
but all the evidence suggests that Obama exudes empathy. That is why so many clever people—Peretz for example—convinced themselves he was on their side.
A narcissist would have written his own autobiography;
Obama turned tapes and documents over to the former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, now a professor of education in Chicago, and let Ayers write Dreams of My Father for him. Long rumored, this is confirmed by celebrity journalist Christopher Anderson in his new book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage. Jack Cashill at the American Thinker has been on this trail for a year, comparing Ayers’ attributed writing to Dreams, and in my view made a strong case even before Anderson’s book appeared.
Spengler is channeled by David P. Goldman, Associate Editor of First Things (www.firstthings.com)