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Roger L. Simon

Several weeks ago I wrote I thought Barack Obama didn’t really want to be president. The post generated a fair amount of discussion, pro and con.

Michelle’s $375,000 Spanish vacation — with the Daily Mail dubbing her a “modern-day Marie Antoinette” — is further proof of my thesis. What man who wanted to be re-elected (or see his party do well in November) would let his wife go off on such an “excellent adventure” in these economic times? Of course no one denies the right of people to have vacations – I’m coming to the end of one myself on my beloved Bainbridge Island — but closing Mediterranean beaches while booking 60-plus rooms in a five star Marbella hotel for her entourage? It is beyond tone deaf, perhaps to the level of subconscious (or even deliberate) self-sabotage.

At the very least, something most peculiar is going on. The first lady goes off on a jaunt worthy of 18th Century aristocracy at the very moment of her husband’s birthday. Is somebody trying to tell us something? Is somebody trying to tell her spouse something? Or vice-versa? Who knows? You won’t find out in the mainstream media — that’s for sure. They don’t even bother to check Obama’s college records. Perhaps the National Enquirer is on the case. They may be the only hope.

If I were still a member of the Democratic Party, I would be most concerned. What is going on in the White House seems to be so disconnected from the reality of our country — with some indicating real unemployment at a staggering 22% — as to be teetering on the brink of a pyschological disorder. And in this case that disorder would be a folie a deux of some sort because Barack and Michelle appear to be colluding in it in some way, whatever the state of their relationship. And that disconnect — between them and the American people — is growing.

Why is this happening?

Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love, a book on narcissism, writes the following in response to a question of the narcissist’s inappropriate affect:

Question:

Why is there no connection between the behaviour of the narcissist and his emotions?

Answer:

A better way of putting it would be that there is a weak correlation between the narcissist’s behaviour and his professed or proclaimed emotions. The reason is that his emotions are merely professed or proclaimed – but not felt. The narcissist fakes feelings and their outer expression in order to impress others, to gain their sympathy or to motivate them to act in a manner benefiting the narcissist and promoting his interests.

In this — as in many other simulated behaviour patterns — the narcissist seeks to manipulate his human environment. Inside, he is barren, devoid of any inkling of true feeling, and disdainful of emotions and emotional people. He looks down upon those who succumb to the weakness of sentiment and holds them in contempt. He berates and debases them.

This is the heartless mechanism of “simulated affect”. It lies at the core of the narcissist’s inability to empathise with his fellow human beings.

To what extent does this explain this increasingly disconnected behavior of Michelle and Barack Obama? At first glance, quite a bit. But maybe it’s simpler. Maybe Michelle and Barack just assume the president is not going to be re-elected, so why bother to keep up pretenses?

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