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Morgan Warners

Morgan Warners

Posted: October 5, 2009 03:03 PM

Kudos to Joe Klein at Time's Swampland blog for calling out the editor of The New Republic for pegging the president as a "clinical narcissist."He hits back hard, as well he should. Says Klein:

There are solid philosophical arguments that can be made against what Obama is doing. There are strong arguments that can be made either way on Afghanistan.  I still think the various health care proposals place too much of a burden on an already strapped private sector. But Peretz--allegedly the impresario of one of our most distinguished journals of liberal thought--is making none of those. He is indulging in standard Likudnik name calling--Israel good, Iran eeeee-vil--and indulging in the neoconservative efforts to create a Straw Messiah.

This may sound like a strong rebuke, but keep in mind what TNR editor Marty Peretz had to say about the failed Chicago bid to host the 2016 Olympics:

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?

Chicago will survive its disappointments and Obama will, as well. It is the other stage sets on which the president struts--like he strutted in Cairo and at the United Nations--that concern me.

I know that the president believes himself a good man. My nervy query to him is: "Does he believe America to be a good country?"

I'm going to piggy-back on Klein now with a piece of evidence from my inbox.

A famously hawkish supporter of Israel, Peretz's accusations about the president mimic the message of a fringe ring-wing email that I got my hands on.  You know the kind of email I'm talking about, one of those "Obama is a Muslim" emails. So I don't know for sure if Klein put his finger on the real reason for Peretz's anxiety when he claims "the bitterness tracks perfectly with the President's insistence that Israel freeze its settlements" (he might have, read on). But I do know that Peretz's claim evokes a fringe email smear circulating about the president, a link he appears to be less than self-conscious about. 

He's not just mimicking the relatively mainstream critique of Obama's celebrity, but going further, putting himself (unwittingly?) in the same realm as a slanderous and incendiary email chain letter of obviously dubious credibility, the birthers, the camp that believes Obama to be a socialist/Nazi, all of which, you guessed it, is portrayed as having some amorphous connection to Israel.

In its main narcissism thrust the email purports to be based on analysis by an "Israeli psychologist," one Sam Vaknin, PhD, who diagnoses Obama with exactly the same thing as Peretz, clinical narcissism, and whose website constitutes a shrine to his own expertise on narcissim (read: his own narcissism) and yet proclaims "I am NOT a mental health professional - read the DISCLAIMER - click HERE!!!"

The other messages conveyed by the email? The now well-worn "Obama is a racist"  and "Obama is Hitler" smears. Visit Vaknin's site to see his "work" for yourself.  The email was circulating as early as July 1 of this year, when I received it, and was based on the work of, but evidently not written by, "Dr." Vaknin.

I want to offer up the full text of the email just to shed light on the whole narcissism smear, to show what kind of schlock underpins it. Samples from the email below, followed by its full text:

Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).  Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves.  Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist.  David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time.  All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers.  They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life.  They gave them hope!

It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the
Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and
virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect
of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of
destruction.  There is no insanity greater than electing a
pathological narcissist as president.

Full text, omitting only what might reveal the sender, is below:

I received this and found this was what I had been thinking also. This
is so true!! [name witheld]

Dr. Vaknin sums up the situation really well.  He also explains why
Obama’s followers will never believe that their idol is leading them
down the path to ruin.

Some of you will understand it and some of you will be upset with me
for sending this politically charged message.  If you disagree with
the message for any reason,  fine. Stop reading.  If you read it and
understand Dr. Vaknin’s point, maybe we can limit Obama’s tenure to 4
years.

Dr. Sam Vaknin is an Israeli psychologist.  Interesting view on our
new president.

Dr.. Vaknin has written extensively about narcissism.

Dr. Vaknin States "I must confess I was impressed by Sen. Barack Obama
from the first time I saw him.  At first I was excited to see a black
candidate.  He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident -
a wholesome presidential package.  I was put off soon, not just
because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of
haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling.  His posture and his
body language were louder than his empty words. Obama's speeches are
unlike any political speech we have heard in American history.  Never
a politician in this land had such quasi "religious" impact on so many
people.  The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero
accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is
not an ordinary man.  He is not a genius.  In fact he is quite
ignorant on most important subjects."

Barack Obama is a narcissist.

Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes
"Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist."  Vaknin is a world
authority on narcissism.  He understands narcissism and describes the
inner mind of a narcissist like no other person.  When he talks about
narcissism everyone listens.  Vaknin says that Obama's language,
posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and
nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have
narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).  Narcissists project a
grandiose but false image of themselves.  Jim Jones, the charismatic
leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers
to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children
was also a narcissist.  David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni,
Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are
a few examples of narcissists of our time.  All these men had a
tremendous influence over their fanciers.  They created a personality
cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their
admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their
minds a new zest for life.  They gave them hope!  They promised them
the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom.  When
you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it
is too late.  One determining factor in the development of NPD is
childhood abuse.

"Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic
and mentally bruising dislocations," says Vaknin.  "Mixed-race
marriages were even less common then.  His parents went through a
divorce when he was an infant (two years old).  Obama saw his father
only once again, before he died in a car accident.  Then his mother
re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia, a foreign land with
a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father.  At the
age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal
(white)grandparents.  He saw his mother only intermittently in the
following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979.  She
died of cancer in 1995".

One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological
narcissists.  They project such an imposing  personality that it
overwhelms those around them.  Charmed by the charisma of the
narcissist, people become like clay in his hands.  They cheerfully do
his bidding and delight to be at his service.  The narcissist shapes
the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image.
He creates a cult of personality.  His admirers become his
co-dependents  Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help
them to reach their personal objective.  They are focused on one
thing alone and that is power.  All other issues are meaningless to
them and they do not want to waste their precious time on
trivialities.  Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do
not deserve their attention.

If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or
another, he has no interest in it.  The "present" vote is a safe
vote..  No one can criticize him if things go wrong.  Those issues are
unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.  Obama's
election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to
a contract and advance to write a book about race relations.

The University of Chicago Law School provided him a lot longer than
expected and at the end it evolved into, guess what?  His own
autobiography!  Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race
relations, for which he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing
about his most sublime self.  He entitled the book Dreams from My
Father.

Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when
he was still nobody.  So did Stalin.  For a narcissist no subject is
as important as his own self.  Why would he waste his precious time
and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about
such an august being as himself?  Narcissists are often callous and
even ruthless.  As the norm, they lack conscience.  This is evident
from Obama's lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one
dollar per month.

A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in
Hawaii, and who has raised nearly half a billion dollars for his
campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the
plight of his own brother.  Why?  Because, his brother cannot be used
for his ascent to power.

A narcissist cares for no one but himself.  This election is like no
other in the history of America. The issues are insignificant compared
to what is at stake.  What can be more dangerous than having a man
bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish
his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world?  I hate to
sound alarmist, but one is a fool if one is not alarmed. Many
politicians are narcissists.  They pose no threat to others...They are
simply self serving and selfish.

Obama evidences symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is
different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a
Bill Clinton for example.  To him reality and fantasy are intertwined.
This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw.
Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and
even intelligent.  It is this disguise that makes them treacherous.

Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama.  But this
man could put an end to their party.  The great majority of blacks
have also decided to vote for Obama.  Only a fool does not know that
their support for him is racially driven.  This is racism, pure and
simple.  The downside of this is that if Obama turns out to be the
disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the
whites.

The blacks are unlikely to give up their support  of their man.
Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting.  They will dig their
heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama's detractors of racism. This
will cause a backlash among the whites.

The white supremacists will take advantage of  the discontent and
they will receive widespread support.  I predict that in less than
four years, racial tensions will increase to levels never seen since
the turbulent 1960's.

Obama will set the clock back decades... America is the bastion of
freedom.  The peace of the world depends on the strength of America,
and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory
of rogue nations.

It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the
Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and
virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect
of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of
destruction.  There is no insanity greater than electing a
pathological narcissist as president.

*END*

 

Follow Morgan Warners on Twitter: www.twitter.com/morgan_warners