Paul Rahe explores the remarkable similarities, and notes the differences between, Trump and Obama.
Shortly before the Indiana primary, The Wall Street Journalâ€™s â€œNotable and Quotableâ€ published a brief squib lifted from the Mayo Clinicâ€™s online entry regarding narcissistic personality disorder:
If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlementâ€”and when you donâ€™t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having â€œthe bestâ€ of everythingâ€”for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.
At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection. . . .
[The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5] . . . criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate . . .
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
If there was no commentary, it was because there was, in fact, no need â€“ for it was self-evident whom the editors of that daily had in mind. It is nonetheless worth noting that, had they published the same squib at any time between April, 2009 and January, 2015, everyone would have recognized that the target was Barack Obama. Never in the history of the American Republic has there been a President as devoted to self-referential pronouncements and to self-praise. Nor have we ever had a President before who supposed that his knowledge and ability was superior in every particular to that of the experts whom he had hired to advise him. The self-confidence of Barack Obama knows no bounds.
There is, to be sure, this difference between our current President and the aspirant targeted by The Wall Street Journal. The latter is deficient in self-discipline. Incontinence ought to be his middle name. He is incapable of marital fidelity, and he has long advertised the fact. He is a model of indiscretion, and he responds to criticism with uncontrollable rage. …
Like Barack Obama, he is an accomplished actor, and he has one remarkable gift. He can spin a tale of his own greatness, and he can make the credulous believe it. Furthermore, like Barack Obama, he has devoted his life to aggrandizement. He is not a promise-keeper; he is a promise-breaker. He seduces others, uses them, and dumps them. Look at the women in his life; look also at his record as a businessman. In business, when he fails, his partners are always left holding the bag. When he speaks of â€œthe art of the deal,â€ he has in mind â€œthe art of the steal.â€ It is not clear that he has ever cared â€“ really cared â€” for another human being: apart, perhaps, for his children whom he considers extensions of himself. It is all about winning, all about humiliating opponents, all about showing off, all about commanding the stage.
I can see why those who recoil in horror at the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming President (as I do) are inclined to suppose that The Donald would be better. He might be. He just might be. But if he is elected, it will be The Donald Show, just as we have lived through The Barack Show. The chief difference will be that Trump will be erratic â€“ driven this way and that by his anger at perceived slights. The man has no principles whatsoever, and he has no self-control. Barack Obama has systematically exploited us in support of the narrative he is intent on constructing. There will be no system to what Donald Trump does. Under his direction, our government will be as chaotic as his romantic life, and we will once again be extras in a drama staged by and on behalf of someone else.
Number Russ Vaughn among the many Americans steamed over Obozo treating Marines as personal servants holding umbrellas over him and his guest.
The military community, that is all those except the politically-correct, perfumed princes in the Pentagon, are genuinely ticked over this public display of ignorance and contempt for military tradition. It is a particularly egregious offense because, as many veterans are pointing out, male military personnel aren’t even supposed to carry umbrellas when in uniform. A partial concession has been made for females, most likely due to the need to protect hair and makeup and thus, their general appearance.
If you want to get a taste of the reaction in the military community, go over to my favorite military blog, This Ain’t Hell (but you can see it from here) and read the comments. Warning: strong language. One of the commenters there included a link to the photo page of the 173rd Airborne Brigade which shows how a bunch of battle-hardened paratroopers deals with hard rain during a public ceremony. Notice how soaked those uniforms are. Of course the VIP’s and visiting dignitaries are under a roofed pavilion, something the White House staff might have given consideration to in setting up this botched press conference.
Our metrosexual commander-in-chief should understand that those Marines are not his butlers.
Mike Piccione explains that Obama actually caused those Marines to breach uniform regulations. Umbrellas are sissy and civilian, and male Marines in uniform do not carry umbrellas, period.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
The narcissistic egotism of Barack Obama has provoked attention and comment since he emerged from the obscurity of Illinois politics to run for the presidency with essentially no record of any personal accomplishment beyond writing his own autobiography directly after graduating from Law School.
It is never easy to imagine Barack Obama topping some of his part exercises in superbia, like his “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” nomination speech, but it seems that he recently, through the agency of his administration minions, had a jolly good try.
The Heritage Foundationâ€™s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reaganâ€™s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reaganâ€™s tax reform advocacy with his â€œBuffett Ruleâ€ gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasnâ€™tâ€”it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford). Here are a few examples:
On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). [Emphasis added]President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
William McGurn, in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, notes just how much Barack Obama relies on being able to blame George W. Bush.
Nine months after Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, his most adamant critics must concede he’s delivered on “change.” And we see it in our first post-gracious presidency.
The most visible manifestations of the new ungraciousness are the repeated digs the president and his senior staffers continue to make against George W. Bush. Recently, the administration has given us two fresh examples. The first is about Afghanistan, the other about the economy.
On Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff went on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month to discuss the presidential decision on Afghanistan that everyone is waiting for. “It’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift,” said Rahm Emanuel. “That we’re beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years.” Translation: If we screw up Afghanistan, blame Mr. Bush.
The other came from Mr. Obama himself, speaking at various Democratic fund-raisers last week. “I don’t mind cleaning up the mess that some other folks made,” the president said. “That’s what I signed up to do. But while I’m there mopping the floor, I don’t want somebody standing there saying, ‘You’re not mopping fast enough.'”
This is a frequent Obama complaint. The logic is clear if curious: While it’s OK to blame Mr. Bush for spending too much, it’s not OK to point out that Mr. Obama is already well on track to spend much more.
Far from one-off asides, Mr. Obama’s jabs at his predecessor have been a common feature of his speeches, fund-raisers and the like. They seem especially to pop up whenever Mr. Obama discovers some decision he must make is not as easy as he’d thought. And they date back to the first moments of his presidency.
Meanhile, at American Thinker, James Lewis identifies what’s behind Barack Obama’s bad manners and anger, and expresses justifiable apprehension about the future.
While most people are pretty hard to predict, extreme narcissists are comparatively simple. They constantly hunger for ego gratification, they are immature, constantly need to demonstrate their own superiority, often need endless sexual conquests (like Bill Clinton), are manipulative, constant liars, are completely cold about the human beings they harm (like John Edwards), and they deal with frustration by uncontrollable fits of rage.
I think that’s what we saw last week with the White House lashing out at Fox News. …
I fear two things with Obama. One is if the GOP fails to elect a House majority in 2010 to keep Obama within the bounds of sanity. A GOP majority is essential for the safety of the country and the world. But even if Obama is defeated in 2012, he will just turn into an angrier version of Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. He will haunt the political future of this country as long as he is alive, because that famished ego never gets enough. Malignant narcissism often gets worse over time. And on the Left and among blacks, Obama will still have love and adoration enough to keep him supplied. He is an easy target for flattery by the Saudis, even the Iranians — in fact, by all the real enemies we have.
So even if the voters throw out this very dangerous cult-like administration, you can expect Obama to be popping up in our politics for years to come. He will haunt the Democrats, which might be a good thing. But he will haunt the United States as well, even if he is defeated in 2012.