Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Very Narcissistic Mr. Obama

Never has an American president been so smitten with himself.

Or if one has, he was smart enough to conceal it.

The truth is, Obama is pretty much an empty suit. Yes, he has the standard liberal/left views of community activists and academics. He can seem like a good orator if his teleprompter doesn’t break down.

But mostly the mania for Obama has been the result of people projecting on him their own hopes. For liberals, he was going to be the “transformative” president who bought European-style socialism to America. For blacks, it was going to be a huge historical breakthrough. (They were right about that, but when it becomes obvious that being black does not by itself make a president very capable, the achievement looks less lustrous.)

For a lot muddle-headed youth he represented “hope” and “change,” and they weren’t inclined to look beyond naïve hopes.

But increasingly, the illusions drop away, and the callow narcissist becomes more transparent.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would be writing about how elitist it is if someone wrote that the people who voted for Bush were muddle-headed and confused. You seem to forget that a lot of people voted for Obama, and to say they were just confused is like a liberal saying the people who voted for Bush don't understand what's in their best interests. It is simply elitist. And what's hilarious, is that you're saying it from your position in the ivory tower. What a bunch of elitists you academics are!

That Jacoby article is pathetic as an argument. There is actually only one thing out of all he mentions that seems to suggest narcissism on Obama's part. (The fact that he uses the first person to describe what he thinks and what he has been doing is supposed to be evidence of narcissism? There is a difference between things like rebuilding the infrastructure and putting together a summit. This is so obvious I can't believe I need to point it out.)

Finally, you were fond of using the concept of Bush Derangement Syndrome as a way of dismissing criticism of a guy who basically was about as bad as it gets as a president. Can we start talking about Obama Derangment Syndrome, since the hatred and paranoia seem to be at least as out of control as anything directed at Bush.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Meh. Who cares? There's a lot more not to like about Obama than how many times he refers to himself in his speeches.

There's no conclusions to be drawn from the "I" count in a speech, even when evaluated against other US Presidents. The variation is due to little more than the change in speechwriters' style.

"The first President Bush, taught from childhood to shun what his mother called 'The Great I Am,' regularly instructed his speechwriters not to include too many 'I's' in his prepared remarks."

I'm not convinced that humility makes for good leadership. None of them are *that* humble, anyways. Isn't humility the same thing this President is being hassled for (with respect to his visit to Japan)?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blacks should be capitalized.

7:44 PM  

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