Monday, June 06, 2011

Crazy? You Betcha!

They say you’ve got to be a little crazy to run for president. Well, if Sarah Palin is any indication, that saying may well be true.
Just when we thought that Ms. Palin had ridden off into the sunset, she surprises everyone with a mystery bus tour to New Hampshire. Even her fellow Republicans are starting to wonder if she’s a few cubs short of a wolf pack.
The more I watch Sarah Palin in action, the more she seems to fit a pattern. A pattern that would qualify her as genuinely, certifiably cuckoo.
Now before you call me a biased liberal loony who’s just out to trash the finest potential presidential candidate from north of the 49th parallel since Ted Stevens, hear me out. All you have to do is check the official definition of something called "narcissistic personality disorder" to see that maybe what we’re dealing with is someone who, although she may well be playing with a full deck, just happens to have a couple of extra jokers.
Follow along with me as we assess each of the symptoms for this thing called narcissistic personality disorder:

Has excessive feelings of self-importance
If there’s one thing Sarah Palin has it’s an excessive feeling of self-importance. Notwithstanding a political resume as light as air, she still pretends that she’s in the same league as the big boys and girls of American politics.

Exaggerates achievements and talents
Less than a full term as Alaska’s governor seems to mean more to Ms. Palin than it does to the rest of us. It’s not clear that she did much during her brief tenure although she claims all manner of accomplishment.

Needs constant attention and admiration
Sarah Palin seems incapable of taking a break from the media spotlight. After the failed 2008 campaign, she spent a great deal of time capitalizing on her newfound fame and blaming John McCain for any perceived failures. Rather than take a break from the main stage, she elected to write her autobiography, become a television personality and then start her own bus tour.

Disregards the feelings of others and has little ability to feel empathy
Ms. Palin doesn’t hesitate to discard colleagues and supporters if it serves to advance her cause. Just ask her former Alaskan allies and John McCain about her empathic abilities.

Has obsessive self-interest
Whatever Sarah Palin does, it’s all about her. When it comes to self-absorption, she makes most teenagers look like selfless saints.

A preoccupation with power or success
Whether it was the mayoralty of Wasilla, the governorship of Alaska or the number two spot on the 2008 national Republican ticket, Sarah Palin is looking out only for herself. What looked to some as a bizarre resignation from her position as governor was merely a realization that there was nothing more to be gained for her personally.

Reacts to criticism with rage
We’ve all seen the surprising anger that Sarah Palin can visit on everyone from the "lamestream media" to her former running mate John McCain. She appears incapable of admitting fault and angrily deflects criticism by accusing others of wrongdoing.

Is preoccupied with fantasies of success and power
Sarah Palin would love to be president but she’s probably not that keen on all the work and responsibility the position entails. Her ultimate goal is to be a famous celebrity in her own right, someone who can get a daily fix of praise and adulation just by being herself.

So now that we’ve made a diagnosis, what’s the prognosis? Apparently the most effective treatment for a person with this condition is intensive psychotherapy. Perhaps the best thing for Sarah Palin (and us, for that matter) is for her to take over from Oprah Winfrey and have her own daytime talk show. She would gain all the attention she needs, might even benefit from some talk therapy and would definitely save the rest of us from a scary political future.

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