“Feckless” belongs to Charles Krauthammer. He’s been pushing that description, along with narcissist, for a long time over at FOX. To watch Charles, who is a veteran psychiatrist, deal with his colleagues while they try to figure out how come Obama is such a screw up is priceless. Charles gives them the “Why can’t you SEE what is in front of your face!” look almost every time. Why? Because to Charles, the verdict is in, and has been for a long time.
Obama is nuts. Worse, he’s a weak, indecisive nuts. Not the crazy, “woo-hoo look at me I’m a bird!” nuts, but the “I’m the greatest thing since Jesus” nuts. The thing with these nuts is when the reality of the world hits them in the nose, instead of waking up, they retreat farther into the alternate reality they inhabits, sadly taking many of us with them.
Even the good people in the government are struggling to maintain a mask over the situation. What are they going to do, tell the truth and let the world slip farther into a hole?
Here’s how psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D., explains it in his classic best-seller, “People of the Lie”:
Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal. They do what God wants them to do rather than what they would desire. “Thy will, not mine, be done,” the God-submitted person says. They believe in what is true rather than what they would like to be true.
… In summary, to a greater or lesser degree, all mentally healthy individuals submit themselves to the demands of their own conscience. Not so the evil, however. In the conflict between their guilt and their will, it is the guilt that must go and the will that must win.
The reader will be struck by the extraordinary willfulness of evil people. They are men and women of obviously strong will, determined to have their own way. There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others.
As we will now see, Obama has been preparing to “control others” for a long time.
Two things are apparent now. The United States is a world power which needs to be engaged in the world’s activities in order to keep civilization on some kind of even keel. The Left complains we can’t be the world’s policeman forever. Agreed, but we need to accept the fact when we pull away from that responsibility, we have to accept that into the vacuum will flow evil. And because we have allowed Europe to grow fat and lazy under our NATO umbrella, we cannot expect them to jump up and defend anything. Their choice was to let us spend our money on armies while they spent their defense budget on the welfare state. Obama wants to do that here, which means our armies are leaving, and the Europeans are going to have to make some hard decisions in the future.
One of those decisions the rest of the world has made is NOT to get caught in Obama’s version of reality. In his world, he’s never wrong. He is a strong leader never wavering from his commitments. And he never loses. In the REAL world, he is almost always wrong- a predicted outcome of liberal theories running into the real world reality of life, he is a “feckless” leader moving positions to match the events on the ground so he can say he was right all along- even though we SEE him move (remember…nuts). And he runs from any conflict he can’t control. You see, he may be nuts, but he’s not crazy. He lives in our world, he sees our world, he just doesn’t accept it because all of us are so stupid and can’t see how great he is.
This is why when he decides, because of bad optics to bomb ISIS, he can’t get any real help. But after admitting how the bad optics affected him, (Not how badly it affect Foley’s parents, a total disconnect that even people other than Krauthammer had to pause over.) Obama does it again. The spanking he got from the first didn’t sink in because he believes that it is OUR fault for feeling that way.
It really is that simple.
What we see is his people supporting his decisions beyond what we would consider reasonable. Why is that? Can’t they see the hole? Maybe not. There has been a great deal written about corporate narcissism. Interesting stuff. Here is one take.
Don’s now the Evan Pugh Professor, Smeal Chaired Professor of Management at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State.
A few years ago, Don decided to explore through a rigorous academic study just how damaging Narcissistic CEOs can be. It turns out they can be amazingly damaging – to the point of, in some cases, eventually killing their companies.
Don just completed a follow-up study that offers even more clarity on the problems they cause.
Why study Narcissistic CEOs?
Besides the fact that we know lots of them exist out there today in business, Don explains it this way:
[O]rganizational researchers may not believe that executive narcissism is of much theoretical or practical significance. They may see executive narcissism as incidental to organizational functioning – annoying to those who must endure it, grist for jokes about self-absorbed CEOs, but little more. However, narcissism in the executive suite can be expected to have effects on substantive organizational outcomes, potentially including strategic grandiosity and submissive top management teams. Narcissism can affect an executive’s choices in such areas as strategy, structure, and staffing.
Although we throw around the term narcissism easily, there’s been extensive study of the topic by psychologists over the years. Hambrick, going from the psychological literature, defines a narcissist as someone showing the following four personality characteristics:
(1) Exploitativeness/Entitlement –> I insist upon getting the respect that is due to me;
(2) Leadership/Authority –> I like to be the center of attention;
(3) Superiority/Arrogance –> I am better than others; and
(4) Self-absorption/Self-admiration –> I am preoccupied with how extraordinary and special I am.
One of the key challenges Don faced in studying this topic is that it’s hard to approach a corporate CEO who you believe to be a narcissist and ask him to fill out a personality questionnaire to see how narcissistic he is. You don’t get past his assistant with that request. So, anyone studying the topic has to find unobtrusive ways at assessing how narcissistic someone actually is.
Luckily, Don’s a smart and creative guy.
Here’s a summary of what Don found in both studies with his co-author Arijit Chatterjee:
– In the first study, the authors studied 111 CEOs in the computer and software industries between 1992 and 2004. Coincidentally, I can think of a number of Narcissistic CEOs from the world of tech in recent years including Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Eric Schmidt, and John Chambers. (I’ll say more later about why I don’t think Steve Jobs was a Narcissistic CEO in the way that was defined in this study.)
– They created a 4 measure index of CEO narcissism which were:
The prominence (size) of the CEO’s photo in the annual report
CEO prominence (number of mentions) in company press releases
CEO’s use of first person singular pronouns in transcripts of public comments to shareholders
The gap between the CEO pay (salary, bonus, deferred income, stock grants, and stock options) and the pay of the 2nd highest paid executive
What did he find? They kill companies. Worse, they have loyal followers who enable the murder. Here is another take.
How does narcissism occur in the workplace?
What links patrimonial bureaucracy and totalitarian organizations? The answer is narcissism. Narcissism includes the narcissists and their codependents (or enablers/followers). Patrimonial bureaucracy occurs when employees become personally loyal to their superiors in such a way as to always feel the need to seek their approval before acting.
Corporate narcissism is spreading with epidemic proportions throughout the business world.1
Narcissists foster this type of behaviour in their subordinates, and peers if possible, who become codependents. It works well for the narcissist’s self-esteem, but not so well for the business. Narcissism in the workplace results in poor judgements that turn into costly decisions,2 ultimately resulting in negative long-term outcomes.3 As patrimonial bureaucracy spreads throughout the business, it becomes a totalitarian organization.
Corporate narcissism occurs when a narcissist becomes the leader (CEO) or a member of the senior management team and gathers an adequate mix of codependents around him (or her) to support his narcissistic behavior. This leads almost inevitably to a deterioration in the organization’s performance. Narcissists profess company loyalty but are only really committed to their own agendas, thus organization decisions are founded on the narcissists’ own interests rather than the interests of the organization as a whole, the various stakeholders, or the environment in which the organization operates.4
And as we wind down our experience with the grand experiment of letting a far Left narcissist be President, I might want to remind you that Hillary is just another side of the same coin.
We need a break. Find an adult with some humility and put him in charge. (Or her if we can find one qualified BEYOND being a female!) Over at the NYTimes one writer talks about “The Great Unraveling.” It is pretty bleak and ends up with this passage:
It was a time of disorientation. Nobody connected the dots or read Kipling on life’s few certainties: “The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire / And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.”
Until it was too late and people could see the Great Unraveling for what it was and what it had wrought.
Heady stuff. What he doesn’t talk about is HOW IT BECAME UNRAVELED! Who did it?
A hundred years of progressive agenda in Europe and the United States has left our nation, the one that leads the world, rudderless and amoral. Until we face why it happened, we cannot fix it. And the next column that author writes will be far darker.