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Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. requires excessive admiration

5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Um. Yeah.


Well said, baby. Well said.


no empathy? Sounds like a serial killer..


But if I'm not mistaken (which I could be), wasn't he demonstrating some empathy after 9/11? Or was that just 'cause he was excited to have an excuse to go invading and warmongering?

He was right there at ground zero with his sleeves rolled up. I expected that again.


Wow, Catherine completely stole my thunder. . . W is just frightening in his inability to feel other's pain.

Charlie, your writing, as always, is first rate


yep, to all of it -- I hadn't heard about Santorum's suggestion, and... gah. your last line made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

but I disagree with you that it's not Bush's fault. "disempathic disorder" (or whatever you'd call it) or no, he should have at least spent a few moments with the playbook....


Cyl -

You're correct that Bush was on the scene shortly after 9-11, tho he looked a bit shaky at first. You'll recal he was mumbling something into the megaphone he'd been handed, when one of the rescue or relief workers shouted, "We can't hear you!" Bush, in his best save of his career, recovered and barked into the megaphone, "But I can hear you!" He actually looked presidential at that moment...but it was a shoestring catch.

I don't think that it was as essential he be on scene in this case. Unlike 9-11, an event that claimed its victims within 2 hours, the situation in Louisiana and Mississippi is ongoing, and a visit by any VIP usually brings rescue efforts to a halt. I do think that aid--in the form of water, food, medicine, and baby formula--should have been rushed to the people at the Convention Center in New Orleans.

There's been alot of finger pointing about this. Some blame the mayor or the governor. Ultimately, however, this was a disaster that affected several states, and the response (ultimately) is a federal responsibility.


I hate to be confrontational, but where are you getting this? I'm no fan of Il Presidente, but I haven't really seen this lack of empathy that you speak of. Certainly what you said about Bush not ever really saying anything is completely true. He basically has about five different phrases that he just reuses over and over again. But, and maybe we are watching different news, but I haven't noticed a decided lack of empathy in the president. Can you site some examples where the president has shown a visible or glaring lack of empathy for those who were affected by the hurricane?


Greta -

He kept his morning tee time at golf before leaving for the disaster zone. Time he could have spent being briefed, or at least keeping FEMA director Mike Brown informed.

At an airport photo op, he made some snickering aside about how years earlier he may have over-indulged in New Orleans. That's nice, but people are dying.

When he does address the situation, he rarely (if ever) speaks in terms of (or to) the people who are suffering. It would have been nice to hear: "The cavalry's on the way..." Even Ronald Reagan would have done that much.


Hear, hear, Charlie.
The personality disorder is catching, though. To wit: Steven E. Landsburg's "Why we shouldn't help the victims of Katrina too much." Read it and gag. http://www.slate.com/id/2125822/?nav=navoa
Or perhaps we should just commiserate with his faulty logic and empty heart.
Bastards, all of them.
And Barbara Bush's "they were poor anyway so they're better off" comments...where do I even start with that?
And Condi at Spamalot...


Fantastically well put Charlie. That last line? Ouch, harsh!!! And thank you Menita for that link. I cannot even begin to put into words what that made me feel.


Spot on as usual, Charlie. Bush & Santorum seem to only have emphathy for campaign contibutors and the unborn. If you're not in either of those categories, you're on your own.


Too right. Thank you!


Great post- loved the last line- fantastic.

As for Santorum, ugh, he's such a jackass. I will definitely be on the "Anybody But Santorum" campaign in 2006.

Re: Bush at 9-11. Do you remember how he kept reading to the school children for a good 20-30 minutes after being told 2 planes hit the towers? He looked like a deer in the headlights and it seemed as though he thought it would just go away if ignored it. That was basically the same strategy he had for NOLA.

The man is just incapable of being horrified or in pain about real human suffering. That link Cecily gave to "This is Not Over" so completely captured my thoughts and I've been thinking about it for days. At least Blanco & Nagin were in pain about it- they didn't have their hired guns argue about the niceties of "well, we didn't come because we weren't properly asked" and other such crap. They understood that people were dying and that government needed to act NOW.


Based on your examples I have to agree with you.


I agree with much of what you've said; however, I think that we're expecting the Federal Government to do what it cannot -- simply by its design. There is too much beaurocracy and red tape for the Feds to properly deploy resources to any event which requires an immediate response. Such maneuvers are best left to organizations designed to respond -- like charitable relief organizations. I, for one, would gladly give a portion of my tax dollars to the charities in order to keep the Feds out of the whole deal!

As for W... I'm sorry I voted for him the first time and glad I didn't the second. I'm equally proud to say I didn't vote for Kerry either... but I DID vote!

Keep keepin' it real!

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