1
   

Analyzing the Shrub

 
 
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 07:31 am
I think this shrink is right on the money

A Psychiatrist's Analysis of George W. Bush

George Bush's "irrational"consideration of a "surge" in the wake of the Iraq Study Group report -- which apparently defies all credible counsel -- has begun to generate speculation regarding his sanity. References to Bush's "delusions" have appeared in the mainstream media and throughout the blogosphere.

As a psychiatrist, I understandably get concerned when I see clinical terminology bandied about in political discourse, and thought it might be of interest to share a professional perspective on this question. I have a distinct clinical impression that I think explains much of Mr. Bush's visible pathology. First and foremost, George W. Bush has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What this means is that he has rather desperate insecurities about himself and compensates by constructing a grandiose self-image. Most of his relationships are either mirroring relationships -- people who flatter him and reinforce his grandiosity; or idealized self-objects -- people that he himself thinks a lot of, and hence feels flattered by his association with them. Some likely perform both functions. Hence his weakness for sycophants like Harriet Miers, and powerful personalities like Dick Cheney.

Even as a narcissist, Bush knows he isn't a great intellect, and compensates by dismissing the value of intellect altogether. Hence his disses of Gore's bookishness, and any other intellectual who isn't flattering him. Bush knows that his greatest personal strength is projecting personal affability, and tries to utilize it even in the most inappropriate settings.

That's why he gives impromptu backrubs to the German Chancellor in a diplomatic meeting -- he's insecure intellectually, and tries to make everyone into a "buddy" so he can feel more secure. The most disturbing aspect about narcissists, however, is their pathological inability to empathize with others, with the exception of those who either mirror them, or whom they idealize. Hence Bush's horrifying insensitivity to the Katrina victims, his callous jokes when visiting grievously injured soldiers, and numerous other instances. He simply has no capacity to feel for others in that way. When LBJ was losing Vietnam, he developed a haunted expression that anybody could recognize as indicative of underlying anguish. For all his faults, you just knew he was losing sleep over it.

By the same token, we know just as well that Bush isn't losing any sleep over dead American soldiers, to say nothing of dead Iraqis. He didn't exhibit any sign of significant concern until his own political popularity was sliding -- because THAT'S something he CAN feel. Which brings us to his recent "delusion." To be blunt, I don't see any indication that Bush has any sort of psychotic disorder whatsoever. The lapses in reality-testing that he exhibits are the sort that can be readily explained by his characterological insensitivity to the feelings and perceptions of others, due to his persistently self-centered frame of reference.

Mr. Bush knows that things aren't going his way in Iraq, and he knows that this is damaging him politically. He also sees that it is likely to get worse no matter what he does, and in fact it may be a lost cause. However, he recognizes that if he follows the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, Iraq will almost certainly evolve into a puppet state of Iran, and given his treatment of Iran he will completely lose control of the situation -- and he will be politically discredited for this outcome.

The ONLY chance that he has to avoid this political disaster, and save his political skin, is to hope against hope for "victory" in Iraq. Advancing the "surge" idea offers Bush two political advantages over following the ISG recommendations. One is that if it is implemented, maybe, just maybe, he can pull out some sort of nominal "victory" out of the situation. The chances are exceedingly slim, granted, but slim is better to him than the alternative -- none.

Alternately, if the "surge" is politically rejected, he gains some political cover, so when things inevitably go bad, he can say "I told you so" and blame the "surrender monkeys" for the outcome. Most people probably won't buy it, but some (his core base) will. Now, I know what many of you are thinking -- is George Bush willing to risk the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands more American soldiers, on an outside chance to save his political skin, in a half-baked plan that even he knows probably won't work at all? Yes, he is. Because George Bush is that narcissistic, that desperate, and yes, that sociopathic as well.

Especially interesting about Mr. Bush, but quite common, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is frequently associated with alcoholism. The insufferable "holier than thou" attitude associated with "Dry Drunk" Syndrome" is indicative of underlying narcissism. Also, the way that Bush embraces Christianity is characteristically narcissistic. Rather than incorporating the lessons of humility and empathy modeled by Jesus, Bush uses his Christian faith to reinforce his grandiosity. Jesus is his powerful ally, his idealized "buddy" who gives a rubber stamp to anything he thinks. Finally -- and this will sound VERY familiar to many readers -- those persons with NPD are notoriously unable to say they're sorry. Admitting error is fundamentally incompatible with their precarious efforts to maintain their sense of order. Anyone having this particular character flaw almost certainly has NPD.

(Dr. Paul Minot, psychiatrist, Waterville, Maine)
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,897 • Replies: 20
No top replies

 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 07:42 am
What the man says certainly makes sense. The problem is, I don't think that any reputable psychiatrist would make a diagnosis without having actually met the person. After all, there is such a thing, which is rife amongst both entertainers and politicians (which, after all, are very similar callings) as a private and a public persona.

The shrink may very well be right. I question though whether his motives for this analysis is political, rather than scientific.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 07:45 am
I'll buy it.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 08:12 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
What the man says certainly makes sense. The problem is, I don't think that any reputable psychiatrist would make a diagnosis without having actually met the person. After all, there is such a thing, which is rife amongst both entertainers and politicians (which, after all, are very similar callings) as a private and a public persona.

The shrink may very well be right. I question though whether his motives for this analysis is political, rather than scientific.


But a similar observation to yours could be made about any analysis about a public figure by a subject matter expert that had wide release in the media. "We don't know for certain that the motives aren't political", surely, but we react to this analysis of Bush according to our preexisting mindset. I'd say, "Sure makes sense to me."
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 08:58 am
I do believe this, M.A.

"....What this means is that he has rather desperate insecurities about himself and compensates by constructing a grandiose self-image. Most of his relationships are either mirroring relationships -- people who flatter him and reinforce his grandiosity; or idealized self-objects -- people that he himself thinks a lot of, and hence feels flattered by his association with them. Some likely perform both functions. Hence his weakness for sycophants like Harriet Miers, and powerful personalities like Dick Cheney."
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 09:13 am
article source
I tried to find the source for the above article and found this. ---BBB

Analyzing Bush....

http://www.suite101.com/discussion.c...126787/1198813

Quote:
1. February 26, 2007 6:42 AM
ยป Migisi - Psychiatric perspective on Bush

Received via personal email to me:
.
.
An interesting perspective from Dr. Paul Minot, a psychiatrist in Waterville, Maine George Bush's "irrational" consideration of a "surge" in the wake of the Iraq Study Group report -- which apparently defies all credible counsel - has begun to generate speculation regarding his sanity. References to Bush's "delusions" have appeared in the mainstream media and throughout the blogosphere..

As a psychiatrist, I understandably get concerned when I see clinical terminology bandied about in political discourse, and thought it might be of interest to share a professional perspective on this question. I have a distinct clinical impression that I think explains much of Mr. Bush's visible pathology..

First and foremost, George W. Bush has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What this means, is that he has rather desperate insecurities about himself, and compensates by constructing a grandiose self-image. Most of his relationships are either mirroring relationships -- people who flatter him and reinforce his grandiosity -- or idealized self-objects --people that he himself thinks a lot of, and hence feels flattered by his association with them. Some likely perform both functions. Hence his weakness for sycophants like Harriet Miers, and powerful personalities like Dick Cheney.
.
Even as a narcissist, Bush knows he isn't a great intellect, and compensates by dismissing the value of intellect altogether. Hence his disses of Gore's bookishness, and any other intellectual that isn't flattering him. Bush knows that his greatest personal strength is projecting personal affability, and tries to utilize it even in the most inappropriate settings. That's why he gives impromptu backrubs to the German Chancellor in a diplomatic meeting -- he's insecure intellectually, and tries to make everyone into a "buddy" so he can feel more secure.
.
The most disturbing aspect about narcissists, however, is their pathological inability to empathize with others, with the exception of those who either mirror them, or whom they idealize. Hence Bush's horrifying insensitivity to the Katrina victims, his callous jokes when visiting grievously injured soldiers, and numerous other instances. He simply has no capacity to feel for others in that way. When LBJ was losing Vietnam, he developed a haunted expression that anybody could recognize as indicative of underlying anguish. For all his faults, you just knew he was losing sleep over it. By the same token, we know just as well that Bush isn't losing any sleep over dead American soldiers, to say nothing of dead Iraqis. He didn't exhibit any sign of significant concern until his own political popularity was sliding -- because THAT'S something he CAN feel.
.
Which brings us to his recent "delusion." To be blunt, I don't see any indication that Bush has any sort of psychotic disorder whatsoever. The lapses in reality-testing that he exhibits are the sort that can be readily explained by his characterological insensitivity to the feelings and perceptions of others, due to his persistently self-centered frame of reference.
.
Mr. Bush knows that things aren't going his way in Iraq, and he knows that it is damaging him politically. He also sees that it is likely to get worse no matter what he does, and in fact it may be a lost cause. However, he recognizes that if he follows the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, that Iraq will almost certainly evolve into a puppet state of Iran, and given his treatment of Iran he will completely lose control
of the situation -- and he will be politically discredited for this outcome.
.
The ONLY chance that he has to avoid this political disaster, and save his political skin, is to hope against hope for "victory" in Iraq. Advancing the "surge" idea offers Bush two political advantages over following the ISG recommendations. One is that if it is implemented, maybe, just maybe, he can pull out some sort of nominal "victory" out of the situation. The chances are exceedingly slim, granted, but slim is better to him than the alternative (none). Alternately, if the "surge" is politically rejected, he gains some political cover, so when things inevitably go bad, he can say "I told you so" and blame the "surrender monkeys" for the outcome. Most people probably won't buy it, but some (his core base) will.
.
Now, I know what many of you are thinking -- is George Bush willing to risk the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands more American soldiers, on an outside chance to save his political skin, in a half-baked plan that even he knows probably won't work at all? Yes, he is. Because George Bush is that narcissistic, that desperate, and yes, that sociopathic as well.
.
Especially interesting about Mr. Bush, but quite common, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is frequently associated with alcoholism. The insufferable "holier than thou" attitude associated with "Dry Drunk Syndrome" is indicative of underlying narcissism.
.
Also, the way that Bush embraces Christianity is characteristically narcissistic. Rather than incorporating the lessons of humility and empathy modeled by Jesus, Bush uses his Christian faith to reinforce his grandiosity. Jesus is his powerful ally, his idealized "buddy" who gives a rubber stamp to anything he thinks.
.
Finally -- and this will sound VERY familiar to many readers -- those persons with NPD are notoriously unable to say they're sorry. Admitting error is fundamentally incompatible with their precarious efforts to maintain their sense of order. Anyone having this particular character flaw almost certainly has NPD.
.
ALLAN SCHNAIBERG
Professor of Sociology &
Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University
1812 Chicago Avenue, room 108
Evanston, IL 60208
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 09:18 am
snood- Being one of the foremost "armchair analysts" on A2K, I HAVE come to a similar conclusion as the man who wrote the article. The difference is that I am not a psychiatrist, but have been in the mental health field. Therefore, I base my conclusions on an educated opinion based on my training and experience.

I just question when a professional psychiatrist offers an opinion, when he has not personally examined the individual, he is using his credentials as a means of eliciting agreement from those who read his work.

Hey, what are we arguing about? I agree with you! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 05:26 pm
Hmmmmm...what we should, in my view, be arguing about is the the idea of supporting in any way this kind of charlatanish nonsense simply because it is aimed at someone whose policies and actions we despise.


Crap is still crap, no matter at whom it is aimed.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 07:40 pm
I can see why you think it is charlatanish, and I at least agree with you that it is un-pro. Or as a supervising lab tech once told me about some maneuver of mine (as I remember, it was avoiding taking vdrl blood tests from a major rock star and his proposed bride, though I'd done my share of famous testing at different points before that. In that case I thought I might faint or something, and let her do it. Thus, the "that's not LAB, osso!" reprimand). So, I see it as un-PRO, and will leave it to professional code to go to 'charlatanish'.

And yet, as a licensed land arch/planner, I do feel free to write comments about sites I haven't been to but have only seen photos of or read articles about, or even books about - no matter how intense, not the same as being there. I would always qualify that I hadn't not been to, say, Versailles, but I don't feel I need to shut up entirely re its design history and ramifications, and how that may have had a bearing on, say (well, they usually say, Washington, DC). Or how some place I have seen, Rome, with it's goosefoot from the Piazza del Popolo may relate to these. That is common enough stuff and may affect my opinion of something being devised for, say, some new section of Topeka, Kansas, godforbid.

So, I'm not all so sure this fellow doesn't get to riff, as long as it would be described as a riff.

But... it seemed not to be so described, thus my agreement.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2007 07:48 pm
ossobuco wrote:
I can see why you think it is charlatanish, and I at least agree with you that it is un-pro. Or as a supervising lab tech once told me about some maneuver of mine (as I remember, it was avoiding taking vdrl blood tests from a major rock star and his proposed bride, though I'd done my share of famous testing at different points before that. In that case I thought I might faint or something, and let her do it. Thus, the "that's not LAB, osso! reprimand).

And yet, as a licensed land arch/planner, I do feel free to write comments about sites i haven't been to but have only seen photos of or read articles about, or even books about. I would always qualify that I hadn't not been to, say, Versailles, but I don't feel I need to shut up entirely re its design history and ramifications, and how that may have had a bearing on, say (well, they usually say, Washington, DC). Or how some place I have seen, Rome, with it's goosefoot from the Piazza del Popolo may relate to these. That is common enough stuff and may affect my opinion of something being devised for, say, some new section of Topeka, Kansas, godforbid.

So, I'm not all so sure this fellow doesn't get to riff, as long as it would be described as a riff.

But... it seemed not to be so described, thus my agreement.



Yes, I think we CAN, indeed, all riff, and comment from our areas of knowledge.


This fella has gone beyond that (though I am not at all clear he has meant it to be widely distributed...the link given went nowhere, for me).


He has purported to give an actual diagnosis.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 05:15 am
What we should be arguing about...
noted.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 08:39 am
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Any medical doctor who purports to diagnose someone's illness at long distance is acting unprofessionally, and his opinions are seldom worthy of credence.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 09:15 am
joefromchicago wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Any medical doctor who purports to diagnose someone's illness at long distance is acting unprofessionally, and his opinions are seldom worthy of credence.


I meant the same thing, but you expressed it better!
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 09:29 am
Well, unless the shrubster undergoes professional analysis and we are made privy to the results, long-distance educated guesses are about all we'll get. Some would probably guess that he's a solid, well-adjusted and perfectly competent guy. Some. Probably.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 03:35 pm
That the doctor's opinion is, in large measure, political rather than medical is not subject to dispute. In fact, it is hardly a "diagnosis" in the true medical sense of the word. It is merely an informed personal opinion by a professional in the field of mental health. It was not submitted to a professional journal for peer review but to a website or blog for purposes of general discussion. Thus, any criticism of the doctor's opinion as somehow unprofessional is inappropriate. He is voicing an opinion, not a diagnosis.

Likewise, my intent in posting it on A2K was not to score a journalistic coup by revealing the latest medical findings, but, rather, to stimulate duscussion of one professional's opinion on the state of Mr. Bush's mental health.

Do carry on.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 04:01 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
That the doctor's opinion is, in large measure, political rather than medical is not subject to dispute. In fact, it is hardly a "diagnosis" in the true medical sense of the word. It is merely an informed personal opinion by a professional in the field of mental health. It was not submitted to a professional journal for peer review but to a website or blog for purposes of general discussion. Thus, any criticism of the doctor's opinion as somehow unprofessional is inappropriate. He is voicing an opinion, not a diagnosis.

I would never accept that kind of ridiculous distinction from the doctor, so I don't know why anyone should accept it from you. There's no difference between what Dr. Minot of Waterville, Maine attempts to do here and what any psychiatrist would do in a clinical setting, except that Dr. Minot has no familiarity whatsoever with the patient and is, therefore, unqualified to render an actual diagnosis of George W. Bush. If his "opinion/diagnosis" ("opinionosis?") was designed to generate discussion, then I see no reason why part of the discussion can't be devoted to the complete worthlessness of that opinion/diagnosis.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 04:03 pm
The enemy (naysayer) of my enemy is my friend.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 06:43 pm
I would have thought there was plenty to discuss in the wretched man's awful actions, without needing to resort to specious quackery, but there you go.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 10:56 pm
I would have thought that we don't need anyone trying to delineate the boundaries of the discussion, but there ya go.
0 Replies
 
piperbrass
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 10:29 am
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
TEA PARTY TO AMERICA: NOW WHAT?! - Discussion by farmerman
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Analyzing the Shrub
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/18/2024 at 08:37:37