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Bleepingpoliticians.con


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#1 Guest_fuzzywuzzy6_*

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:27 PM

When viewing the television reports on Gov Blagojevich's corruption charges on television, I was very much reminded of that excellent television show, "Wise Guy", starring Ken Wahl. The show featured numerous story arcs, often about insane or bizarre criminals. Gov. Blagojevich is much less intelligent than the average villain on that show, but his recent displays of narcissism have inspired fellow politicians and reporters alike to say, "This guy must be incredibly stupid--he must have a screw loose--he has such a big blind spot when it comes to his failings or the legality of his behavior." During the press conference detailing the indictments, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald quoted Gov. B directly from wiretap statements; frequent use of the words "bleep" and "bleeping" were employed by Fitzgerald to spare the public's ears. The actual words used were more colorful than some used in rap music.

When it comes to narcissists in politics, they seem, not only to lack a moral compass, but to have a compass pointing solely to their own benefits and desires. Former Sen. John Edwards was mocked for his narcissism when it was revealed he had been getting $400 haircuts; later, the full extent of his narcissism was revealed when his relationship with a would-be documentary film maker was revealed in all its tawdry details.

How do you think narcissism has adversely affected our democratic and parliamentary political systems? (Let's leave out the tyrannies and dictatorships.) I will not be referring to any more politicians by name, just wanted to post two examples to start a conversation.

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#2 groovicus

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:37 PM

Excellent topic! I have nothing to add at this moment, other than to remind anyone that cares to participate to refrain from stereotypes, since that is not at all what this is about.

#3 Guest_fuzzywuzzy6_*

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:46 PM

A related thought: ambition can be rooted in narcissism, but sometimes it is rooted in civic mindedness or ideals. The difference is ambition for oneself (not always a bad thing) vs. ambition to achieve something.

#4 Pandy

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:44 AM

I think anyone with ambition to achieve something worthwhile, to help and to progress, soon have their ideals crushed. They get a wake up call of what they are really up against. I think special interest could be based on the narcissistic people who feel they deserve or are owed special interest/treatment. They find ways to make money to serve their egos, and line their pockets.

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#5 mikerox

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 04:57 PM

With all the bleeps in his supposed quote, I could't help but wonder to myself if he's a member here? lol


...

I know, lame joke. But on a more serious note, this whole narcissism bit in politics is rather funny...yet also frightening and agitating at the same time. A somewhat obvious example of this is the past election. First, we have President and Senator Clinton and their narcissistic "You pricks owe me!" attitude towards Obama and his supporters, then Senator McCain's behavior the second the democratic race ended which spanned to the day of the election (not including his graceful conceit). Now we have Governor Blagojevich offering money for a senate seat. Is anyone in the political spectrum going to realize that we, the American People, tired of people who only look out for themselves and their greedy little futures? This is part of the reason we're in this economic mess right now, because of greedy, self-indulgent individuals like him.

Edited by mikerox, 11 December 2008 - 05:02 PM.

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#6 groovicus

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:20 PM

I think narcissism is merely a symptom of an attitude of entitlement. Looking at it from their point of view of a completely fictitious politician, I find myself constantly under attack from the public, constantly battling with other government officials to advance my own initiatives, and working within a system that only has use for me if I have something to offer. Even if I were not inclined to accept favors, I would find myself surrounded by a culture that expects favors, and looks upon those who do not accept favors with suspicion. One can hardly blame the politician when the fault lies equally with our system of politics. Now I am in no way condoning unethical behavior, but I can understand getting to the point where I felt like I was owed something more than just my salary and title.

#7 Guest_fuzzywuzzy6_*

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:34 PM

Groovicus, I was just posting my comment when I got yours in my e-mail. An excellent comment that you made, which is very deep and will require much consideration. Yours and Pandy's comments would suggest that, under our current political system, it would take someone with superhuman powers to withstand the constant battering and wearing down by others who are less concerned for the public good. So even the politicians who are not narcissistic could simply be too exhausted to make much effort. There are problems with the U.S. model and the parliamentary models available to us; I'm not sure what's left, but like our current economic models, none of them are serving us very well and we need to develop new language, concepts and models to discuss our current and near-future situation before we can hope to address it in any meaningful way.

If you look at the current discussions of the big 3 auto bailout versus the investment banking, commercial banking, mortgage company and insurance company bailouts, you will see one big thing missing from the analysis: what's in it for the politicians debating the relative "merits" of the bailouts. The pundits and news anchors speak of main street versus wall street and opposition and disdain for the working class. What it really comes down to is this: the financial firms give much, much more in political donations to both parties than the unions ever could. Conglomerates are much more attractive donors than us unfortunate sweaty masses (and I have worked primarily in white collar jobs). Big business can also offer lucrative, high profile jobs to politicians and their staffs who leave the public employ. [An update: on Rachel Maddow tonight, it was revealed that European and Japanese automakers are planning on opening 17-19 non-union plants in the South. The Southern politicians continue to bash the UAW, claiming that they earn $75 per hour--they don't, even with all benefits counted in. Also, many of the Big 3 plants are in the northern U.S., where living expenses are much higher, for various reasons. Tonight (Thursday, Dec. 11) and tomorrow, Keith Olbermann is doing a list at the end of his show of the top 25 most corrupt U.S. politicians. With descriptions of the miscreants and the misdeeds. Very pertinent to this discussion.)

Politicians talk a lot about helping the little guy. It doesn't take a communist or socialist government and economy to do that.

There are good guys on both sides of the aisle. But they need to work together and to convince some of the more self-interested in Congress that it's in the politicians' long-term best interests to do so. Most narcissists are extremely short-sighted. They're looking for near-future gratification and rewards. Also, patriotism should be redefined in terms that require American businesses to engage in civic responsibility. To quote the song (and I don't know which one) "We're all in this together."

Edited by fuzzywuzzy6, 11 December 2008 - 09:29 PM.


#8 Guest_fuzzywuzzy6_*

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:02 PM

I have been considering Groovicus' and Pandy's postings the last couple days. It seems to me that a lot of people have set themselves up for disappointment because they do tend to view Obama as having superhuman powers. Fortunately, he does not take this seriously himself; I think he probably is pretty sound psychologically and emotionally and has a good idea of where his strengths and weaknesses lie.

After listening to the news about the proposed auto bailout and what happened to the bailout funds that went to the insurance and financial sectors, I have become increasingly disgusted with the current administration, and hope that there is some basis for indictment or civil lawsuit against Paulson and his lieutenants at Treasury who are overseeing the bailouts. It seems that the White House and the Treasury inserted one line into the bailout law passed by Congress which limited employee compensation, bonuses and spending of bailout funds to those financial firms which received funds by auction purchase rather than by straight handout. No bad assets have been purchased by auction, so seemingly the U.S. government has no recourse against those misusing the funds so blatantly.

I have come to feel that the both the Treasury Department and the conservative senators opposing the auto bailout are not doing so only to break the backs of the unions, but also to ensure that their buddies in the financial industries have well-padded wallets (both individually and as firms) with the coming hard times ahead, and with the coming spate of financial reform and regulations that will no doubt be in effect for many years to come, which will somewhat limit their income. There is a total disregard for the vast majority of the U.S. population and their welfare on many levels.

The ratings industry and the so-called independent auditors, as well as the regulatory agencies all fell down on the job. We have to ask what benefits these people were getting from not performing their jobs. If you will remember, during the Enron collapse, several major accounting firms got into trouble for turning a blind eye to and even abetting dishonest accounting practices within that and other companies. This has turned up again with the Madoff investment firm scandal. What amazes me is that major banks and hedge funds, even from abroad, did not catch on so much sooner, and that Madoff's investment firm was investigated once or twice in the last 18 years.

Any reformers trying to clean up this mess will have a very difficult time. I think the federal government is like a brontosaurus with partially paralyzed hindquarters. How do you get this stupid thing with two brains to get up and turn around?




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