Monday, April 24, 2006

Psychopathic Presidency

Many of us wonder aloud at the psychopathic narcissistic nature of American policy and the people carrying it out. We are not alone - the web is buzzing about the "normalization of psychopathic narcissism under the Bush administration.

Psychopaths have no regard for the truth and according to Dr. Hare "Lying, deceiving, and manipulation are natural talents for psychopaths... When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they are seldom perplexed or embarrassed...they simply change their stories or attempt to rework the facts so that they appear to be consistent with the lie."
Bush's lies about Iraqi WMD and ties to al Qaeda have become legendary. According to Bush "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...For those who say that we have not found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." ( Score two for Bush.

One of the characteristics of a psychopath is the ability to charm and seduce followers or in this case the public. They lie convincingly and are seldom perplexed or embarrassed when caught in their deceit smoothly changing their story. Lies are the main weapon in their arsenal for manipulating others.

One example of manipulation occurred when President Bush distorted the words of former President Jimmy Carter to win support for the invasion of Iraq. President Bush claimed that the former President offered support for the invasion of Iraq when, in fact, Carter concluded that "as has been emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad." (Washington Post)


Hitler used "the BIG LIE" (Goebbels) then catapaulted the propaganda by repeating it over and over again.

Inbetween hunting and shooting people, ol Dick and George enjoy another five week vacation at the ranch.

The Great DECIDER (as he calls himself)

A shallow emotional response refers to the psychopath's limited range and depth of emotions. People in general can feel fear, sympathy, sadness because we can place ourselves in the experience of others and imagine how they would feel. A psychopath does not have this capacity although he can imitate feelings. The emotional poverty, the complete lack of real emotions such as sadness, mourning, fear, guilt, remorse and empathy is replaced by weak and infantile drives displaying themselves theatrically in the absence of ordinary inhibitions.
President Bush lacks the capacity to feel sadness for the loss of lives that are a direct result of his decisions. Author E. L. Doctorow refers to an incident in which "...You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find." Despite the fact that over 1600 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives so far and countless numbers of Americans and Iraqi have suffered horrible injuries, the president was capable of joking around about the missing weapons of mass destruction." Score two for Bush.

The psychopath has an inflated view of his self-worth, is self-assured, arrogant and a braggart.

Michael Hersh, an Online Journal contributing writer claims that "Bush's sense of unquestionable authority drives him out of control when anyone defies him..." and that "...Bush has embraced this notion of Biblical mission, and now operates with an absolute sense of supreme authority." (September 12, 2002)

In addition, an important part of the fundamentalist constituency that supports Bush, Pat Robertson, pointed out on the Paula Zahn Show Now, October 21, 2004, that Bush is "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

Walter Cronkite, retired CBS anchor and the "most trusted man in America" reported that Bush's "arrogance" with respect to our allies "has been exceptional."
(The Hanover Eagle, Anna Weisgerber, March 27, 2003)

As Bob Woodward reveals in his book, Bush at War, Bush pontificates in an interview that "I'm the commander...see, I don't need to explain." Score two for Bush.

An excessive need for novel, thrilling and exciting stimulation is a common trait of psychopaths.
In a New York Times article written by Maureen Dowd, George W. reveals through the following quotes that he has a serious attention problem and is therefore prone to boredom and in need of constant stimulation:

"I find my mind wandering from tasks that are uninteresting or difficult;"
"I make quick decisions without thinking enough about their possible bad results;"

His workday as Governor of Texas, as told by his former chief of staff, Clay Johnson, is "two hard half-days" during which "He puts in the hours from 8 to 11:30 A.M., breaking it up with a series of 15-minute meetings, sometimes 10-minute meetings, but rarely is there a 30-minute meeting...At 11:30 he's `outtahere'....[when he goes] over to the University of Texas track or run a three to five miles...return to the office at 1:30, where he'll play some video golf or computer solitaire until about three, and then it's back to the second `hard half-day' until 5:30." Score two for Bush.
Psychopaths have very week control over their emotions and in particular annoyance and anger. They are prone to outbursts of irritability, impatience, threats, aggression, anger and verbal abuse. President Bush's inability to control his feelings is legendary:
"During the interview, given on Thursday in Washington, Bush displayed annoyance and at one point lost his temper when he was contradicted by Irish journalist Carole Coleman." (EU Business);

"Bush's short-fused fiery temper under daily stress, especially from the news media." (Jerry Mazza, Online Journal);

"Bush's sense of unquestionable authority drives him out of control when anyone defies him." (Mike Hersh, Online Journal)

These popular perceptions are confirmed by his own former speechwriter, David Frum, who admitted that: "He is impatient and quick to anger, sometimes glib, often dogmatic." Score two for Bush
Psychopaths experience many superficial sexual relations, are indiscriminate about their sexual partners, and have a history to sexually coerce others into sexual relations. There is no substantiated evidence of the above behaviour. Score zero for Bush.

Psychopaths usually have a history of behaviour and academic difficulties. As a child, they exhibited aberrant behaviors such as lying, stealing, cruelty to people or animals and vandalism.
There were a number of behavioral mishaps during Bush's childhood that were indicative of a troubled person. When he was at school, he threw a football through a third-grade classroom window after being told to stay inside during the rain, sold false ID's to fellow students so that they could purchase alcohol and he was arrested for carrying out Halloween pranks. (Bush on the couch, Justin Frank, professor of psychiatry) Terry Throckmorton, a childhood friend of Bush, recalled how after a good rain thousands of frogs would come out and "Everyone would get BB guns and shoot them. Or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them up and blow them up." (Animals in Print, the On-Line Newsletter) Score two for Bush.
The psychopath cannot accept responsibility for his self-destructive behaviour or for the harm he inflicts on others. He will usually deny categorically any responsibility for his actions and will transfer the blame elsewhere.
President Bush has produced a procession of lies to justify the invasion of Iraq. As each justification was exposed as invalid, he introduced a new lie to prove the necessity of the invasion. The first justification was WMD, then it was ties to el Qaeda, purchasing nuclear material, removing Saddam and finally building a democracy in Iraq with a few more lies thrown in for good measure. When it was abundantly clear that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction he continued to lie about it until he was forced to invent a new lie. When Joseph Wilson reported that Niger was not selling uranium to Iraq, he still mentioned it in his State of the Union address. He never accepted responsibility for using any of those justifications but instead, he lied more. Score two for Bush.

And the beat goes on, while congress sits mute - the paid off pawns of corrupt corporations, unable to enforce the law.


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