In his own mind, things probably haven’t changed *UPDATED*

Karl Rove has written a tidy little summary of Obama’s dizzying changes on Iraq:*

Throughout 2006 and early 2007, Mr. Obama pledged to remove all U.S. troops, even voting to immediately cut off funds for the troops while they were in combat. Then, in July 2007, he started talking about leaving a residual U.S. force, in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region, able to go back into Iraq if needed.

By October, he shifted again, pledging to station the residual U.S. troops inside Iraq with two “limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.”

Last week, writing in the New York Times, Mr. Obama changed again. He increased the missions his residual force would perform to three: “going after any remnants of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces.” That’s not all that different from what U.S. troops are doing now.

And just how many U.S. troops would Mr. Obama leave in Iraq? Colin Kahl, an Obama adviser on Iraq, has said the senator wants to have “perhaps 60,000-80,000 forces” in Iraq by December 2010. So much for withdrawing all combat troops.

It’s dizzying. Yet, Mr. Obama acts as if he is a paradigm of consistency. He told a Georgia rally this month that “the people who say [I’ve been changing] apparently haven’t been listening to me.” In a PBS interview last week he said, “this notion that somehow we’ve had wild shifts in my positions is simply inaccurate.”

Compounding all this is Mr. Obama’s stubborn refusal to admit the surge was right and that he was wrong to oppose it. On MSNBC in January 2007, he said more U.S. troops would not “solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” Later that month he said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the new strategy would “not prove to be one that changes the dynamics significantly.” In fact, the surge has done far more than its advocates hoped in a much shorter period.

Yet Mr. Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran this week that even in retrospect, he would oppose the surge. He also told CBS’s Katie Couric that he had “no idea what would have happened” without the new strategy. And he still declares, in the New York Times last week, “The same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true.” Given all that has happened, it’s hard to understand how Mr. Obama can say, as he did Tuesday in a story on NBC Nightly News, that “I don’t have doubts about my ability to apply sound judgment to the major national security problems that we face.”

As you see, Rove points to the fact that Obama denies that his position ever changes — and implies that Obama knows as well as we do that this is a lie.  Given that Obama shows every sign of malignant narcissism, I’m beginning to think that, for once, Obama is speaking the truth.  You see, the malignant narcissist has only one truth:  his immediate needs.  Everything else subordinates itself to those needs.  The narcissist, therefore, at any given moment, will convince himself that the facts surrounding him, and the history backing him, are completely congruent with his need right now.  He is his own moral compass, he is the truth, the way and the light.

So when Obama told AIPAC that Jerusalem would never be divided, that was his truth at the moment, since his need was for AIPAC approval.  When he later told Palestinians that he just meant it would never be divided by ugly barbed wire, he was also speaking the truth — because he needed for the Palestinians to hear that so that they too would approve of him.  And in true narcissist fashion, he erased the past entirely.  It never happened, and no amount of video footage would prove it.  The past was inconsistent with his current sense of self and, therefore, no longer existed as an objective reality.

It’s a pretty pathetic coping mechanism when you think about it, because it reflects someone so insecure that he is incapable of dealing with his own past.  Beyond pathetic, though, it’s quite dangerous.  If a person like this is a friend or family member, he can leave you doubting yourself, and destroy completely and irrevocably your friendships and work relationships.  (Because remember, just as he is lying to you about them, he’s lying to them about you.)  The scope of damage he can commit becomes unimaginably worse when you give him leadership of the world’s most powerful nation.

Incidentally, for anyone interested in learning more about severe personality disorders, I highly recommend Barbara Oakley’s Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend.


* IBD also has a good summary and editorial about Barack’s pathological refusal to admit that he was wrong on the Surge.

UPDATELarry Elder poses some hypothetical questions aimed at forcing Obama to confront his continuously updated realities.

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  • 1Lulu

    How gratifying to be a narcissist and have the world falling at your feet.

    But, what happens to a narcissist when they are under fire, criticism, loss of adulation? Obviously this will ultimately happen if (God forbid) Obama should be elected president. Once president he will have to deliver. It can’t just be platitudinous “change” and “hope” with no substance anymore. There will be criticisms of him, perhaps even from his current proselytes, then what? Rage rage and more rage.
    Narcissists are shallow. They can charm and win people over. Hollywood is filled with them. When they have gotten what they need from someone and that person is no longer useful, the narcissist throws them out, often cruelly. Should that person be needed again, on comes the instant charm with no recollection of past mistreatment. This because they do not, or cannot, self-reflect.
    so yes, if Obama wins, we should prepare ourselves for this and a lot more of it, and for awhile he might be able to charm himself out of it. But not forever.

  • Zhombre

    I feel pretty
    Oh so pretty
    I feel pretty and witty and gay
    And I pity
    Any candidate who isn’t me today
    I feel charming
    Oh so charming
    It’s alarming how charming I feel
    And so pretty

    See the President-elect in that mirror there?
    Who can that dynamic man girl be?

    I feel pretty
    Oh so pretty
    That the city should give me its key
    A committee
    Should be organized to honour me
    I feel dizzy
    I feel sunny
    I feel fizzy and funny and fine
    And so pretty
    That W and Mac can just resign

  • Bookworm

    Bingo, Z-man — and very funny, too.

  • Ellie2

    As long as we are doing Obama on Broadway, here’s my pick:

    This is the moment!
    This is the day,
    When I send all my doubts and demons
    On their way!

    Every endeavor,
    I have made – ever –
    Is coming into play,
    Is here and now – today!

    This is the moment,
    This is the time,
    When the momentum and the moment
    Are in rhyme!

    Give me this moment –
    This precious chance –
    I’ll gather up my past
    And make some sense at last!

    This is the moment,
    When all I’ve done –
    All the dreaming,
    Scheming and screaming,
    Become one!

    This is the day –
    See it sparkle and shine,
    When all I’ve lived for
    Becomes mine!

    For all these years,
    I’ve faced the world alone,
    And now the time has come
    To prove to them
    I’ve made it on my own!

    This is the moment –
    My final test –
    Destiny beckoned,
    I never reckoned,
    Second Best!

    I won’t look down,
    I must not fall!
    This is the moment,
    The sweetest moment of them all!

    This is the moment!
    Damn all the odds!
    This day, or never,
    I’ll sit forever
    With the gods!

    When I look back,
    I will always recall,
    Moment for moment,
    This was the moment,
    The greatest moment
    Of them all!

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