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The Narcissist’s Trap

Just got this email notification from WaPo:

Yes, yes, let’s ruin the reputation of the guy who was dismembered – while he was still alive. Because, you know, he was not a US citizen and he was Muslim and once he said nice things about the Saudi Royal family while living in Saudi Arabia. When he stopped saying nice things about Saudi Arabia, he had to leave. Besides, he was a journalist. Blasphemer! He had to be cut up into little pieces on the event horizon of his wedding.

So, you know, it’s ok that we don’t have to be concerned with his death. Let’s not trouble our beautiful minds.

These people really have no shame.

Anyway, back to today’s topic.

Narcissists have a very nasty reputation for ruining reputations. They’ll turn tiny peccadilloes into major glaring character flaws. Their audience may initially be skeptical. But the narcissist will insist it’s true.

Like maybe Ms. Dem is part of an angry mob.

(She’s really not)

With lots of repetition, the angry mob idea gets stuck in the audience’s head.

Then the narcissist with prod, provoke and push buttons in the most outrageous way until Ms. Dem reacts.

“Aha!”, screams Trump, the narcissist, “I told you they were dangerous. We need to crack down on this behavior.” And the audience will agree enthusiastically.

This is about where we are.

So, you know, be careful out there.

78 Responses

  1. Rule Number 1 when dealing with a Narcissist – Do Not Engage with them, ever.

  2. This is also the classic authoritarian tactic. All the anger and resentment against him is turned into a reason to stifle dissent. Nixon had operatives, as well as Hoover’s FBI, trying to turn protests violent, so that they could profit off it politically, as well as shoot innocent protesters at Kent State. It would have gotten far worse had it not been for the Watergate hearings. Wallace used it..Mayor Daley used it to his ends at the Chicago convention. Of course the Nazis then, and the Nazi acolytes now, use it. And Trump, who is a Nazi at heart, whose father was, understands that playbook. He is inciting violence, craves violence, would love to declare martial law, where anyone who acts or looks like a protester is shot on sight. We’ve still go the vote, and we had well better use it. The question is whether there are enough voters out there who will focus on their healthcare and social services, not to be duped by the fascists desperate to create their narrative.

  3. Richard Engel, who certainly is a well respected foreign correspondent, was discussing the new Saudi lie. He said that an explanation “has been what Trump has been demanding.” I do not understand why reporters, and many other people, actually attribute motives of wanting to find the truth, or listening to the facts and then making a measured decision, to Trump. The absolute reality is that every single thing Trump says is for his own benefit. His mind, as strangely constructed as it is, immediately tries to figure out how to turn a thing to his advantage; political, monetary, egoistic.

    There is no use in listening to anything he says, other than that he says it. I have never had any personal familiarity with an absolute pathological liar, but I have encountered some people who lie pretty readily for their own ends. When you realize it, it becomes almost embarrassingly easy to ignore all of it, and to actually know in advance what they are going to say. In this extreme mental case, Trump seems psychologically incapable of responding to any reality but the one he continually invents for his own ends. Trump did not actually demand anything of the Saudis; he knows they tortured and murdered Khashoggi, and his only concerns are turning it in to a plus for him, by acting tough but to no effect, just in time for the midterms; as well as making sure that Saudi Arabia keeps pouring in money to his and his family’s coffers. I suggested earlier that one can understand Trump by referring to David Mamet characters, whose every utterance, in what literary critics have called “Mametspeak” is simply some kind of psychological device to try to get the listener to do something for them, and has no inherent meaning in itself.

  4. New Saudi flag: 😈

    • Seriously, how long before a majority of the world’s Muslims decide that this filthy, barbaric regime does not deserve to possess the holy cities of Mecca and Medina?

  5. He is saying things to placate (like the most recent episode, he was saying things about Dr. Ford and then once past the crisis, he unleashed on her). I hope the media does not report it as him being serious. He is not serious. He never is. He and his minions are waiting for this to blow over.

  6. Putting this out here, since we were talking about this. Reines braving the haters.

  7. Stunning!

    • But not US Vogue. She is stunning and the way they draped that metallic hood just accentuates her beauty.

  8. Democrats message is working and Rs on the defense. Remember, they are lying through their fake teeth. They are all liars, trump biggest of them saying Rs like pre-existing conditions and if they don’t they will after he talks to them. LOL. Yeah, if you believe him, you are the fool. Not him. He is getting richer and you are dying broke.

  9. trump is satisfied with Saudi explanation that he died of a fist fight
    with 18 thugs and barbarians, and yeah, after they cut his fingers off…

    vote this motherfucker and his minions out!

  10. The world and his family should insist on Saudi’s returning the body to the family. Yes. trump, congress, American/International media/press, everyone should insist on that. Exposing this barbaric act for what it is needs to happen.

    • Ah, I had not read that part. Of course, they have to account for no one being able to see the body. No foreign leader in the world believes this, not even Trump, but he will be the one to support it.

  11. Every media person is saying trump’s line about the 100 billion arms sale is a lie and his line about how many hundreds of thousands of jobs it creates is a lie too and he changes that number in every chat. Why not make it front page and a big headline? There was a time NYT and others did that. WaPO, put that headline in the front page.

    • Why is this not a big headline?! Brian Williams said this was a lie yesterday when he started his segment on it but it was just one sentence. Why not help us viewers/readers with more of what is going on here?

  12. Too much thinking on the why’s or will he, Trump is 100% predictable. He is a walking toxic personality disorder, a big loser, an incompetent President who has built an idealized view of his self-image as a winner into a political strategy. It’s really simple, if he perceives his view of reality is being challenged, or he fears his fans may wonder off, or he is being ignored, or his fill of adulation is not being met he deploys the same remedy every time. He exploits, lies, and manipulates people, things, entities, or groups to gin up a mandatory role of The Loser in the escalating fill in the blank drama, and when ready or bored with his game claims a win over the manufactured contest. Yeah, it’s sick but it’s basic abnormal behavior in a codependent goat rodeo. A perfect storm when you have political parties and cable entertainment outlet that thrive of conflict be manufactured or real.

    • And what does that say about us as a nation, peep? I do not understand why anyone would want to be within arm’s reach of this man, do business with him, watch him on TV, or have him make life or death decisions for themselves and their families. I.Just.Don’t. Get. It. Anyone who voted for him or supports him still has to be out of their f-ing minds.

      • And Pootie is gloating how he brought down the mighty USA using its own people and its president.

      • It says most of us are very Fine People who don’t need a sicko to validate our worth or have him tear others down so they feel great, again. Then we need to participate and vote hopefully based on reality not lies, get the FBI out of our elections and dispose of the needy despots TRump needs to fund his win.

        • I hear you Peep but we are in “it’s not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes” territory. I believe the majority of Americans are still fundamentally good-hearted, but our electoral system is seriously compromised and unjust. The mid terms will tell the tale, i hope the Republic is still standing on Nov 7th.

          • Agree. The cheating, the voter suppression perpetrated by one political party is the abuse of power that we need to focus on. It is a catch 22 situation that we need to be in power to make changes but we may never get it. What the heck Obama did after Voting rights law was gutted? I keep coming back to it.

    • ‘You’re the puppet’, ‘no, no, you’re the puppet’… the dumb puppet is working and Pootie is happy.

  13. How can trump’s supporters not see this?! Can’t but think they are promoting Pootie’s mission to weaken America everyday trump is president. Everyday he has a rally. Pootie is happy that no one can hold him and his little evil empire back now. Must be very satisfying to him. He knows he is a tiny little country and China will devour him but that is OK by him, because he brought down America from the inside. Shame on trump’s supporters which includes Republicans (and the media as an enabler) for not seeing this when it is so clear.

  14. trump has no shame and no conscience. But the media could have made his rally goers, some of whom may still have conscience and feel shame from attending his rallies. There was a window in the 2016 campaign where in NC there was not much of a crowd for his rally (I forget if it was before the primary or after). Anyway, there was a window of opportunity for the media to highlight what has now become routine, normal as abnormal. People in the media who made Al Gore’s sigh a problem or twist his words about the Internet into a liability, were instead willing enablers of trump we see today. Media is COMPLICIT in the weakening of America.

    • Media = TV, print, FB, youtube, google, twitter. Social network companies have to get their act together before burning down the world. They are NOT a force for good, right now. Do you know about the part FB played in the genocide in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims? If these platforms can cause this much havoc by installing a corrupt, incompetent, blackmailable president in the richest and most powerful country on earth, can you think about the nightmare they can cause in third world impoverished countries where state actors are complicit in eliminating their own?

  15. Or Hillary’s administration. You fought to undermine her!

  16. Ha, I have a long first name and somewhat difficult to pronounce (and I hate it because it is so classical and traditional, that it does not fit my personality) but I go by an easier shorter still Indian name. My last name is not that difficult as last names go even in the western spectrum. America is so diverse that it is nice to see this kind of thing debated but Dear Abby should be more circumspect and not whitewash it. There are many easy to pronounce Sanskrit words that a child could be named with. If I were married to that man, I would perhaps start worrying that he thinks this way.

    • Well, I had heard of dare devil foreign affairs NYT correspondent, Rukmini Callimachi and imagine my surprise when I saw her on Maddow’s show one time. Because she looked nothing like her Indian name, Rukmini.

      From her wiki, She got her name “Rukmini” through her family’s closeness to the Indian theosophist Rukmini Devi Arundale, founder of Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai, India.[3]

    • Notice however, a lot of Chinese or other immigrants, second generation Americans have adopted the route of naming their kids with western first names. That may be difficult for a lot of Indians to do here because they are Hindu (mostly) and would not want a John/Jane to replace their Indian heritage.

    • My mom’s brother and his wife emigrated to Canada in the early 70s. His wife was an Indian Christian from Goa and my grandad was so open, he gave his son blessing saying follow your heart (yes!) — this was like in the early 60s. His wife’s first name was Cicilia but they made it sound like Susheela (for a long time I thought that was her name because many Indian Christians have Indian names). They named their daughter who was born in Canada, Cumilla but that became Kamala (Indian) when she visited India. They all turned out to be anti-brown, anti-Indian (going after white people’s acceptance) when I saw them decades later in 2004 in Canada. Sad.

    • You guys see I am having a lot of fun with this thread this morning. This handle and her tweets are a hoot!

    • As some point out, the question is that discrimination is real and why would you subject your child to it. On the face of it, seems like a good question. On the other, it is also caving in to a majority sentiment that may be engaging in discrimination. Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody did what they truly wanted to do and in the course of time or because of the numbers, people accept it and there won’t be discrimination. That is the fundamental idea America was built on, it appears to me, that bring together all people and we learn to live and prosper with that diversity.

      • And there is a certain undercurrent to this discussion in that if the ‘complex’ name did not originate in European or western context, it is a problem. Maybe that is what everybody is objecting to.

        Otherwise, who would have thought Zbigniew Kazimierz “Zbig” Brzezinski would have become anything? Or his daughter Mika Brzezinski?

    • This comment should have lined up with my comment above on 110B Saudi deal (fake) that trump is trotting around. When you have no shame in lying, public service becomes that more dangerous.

  17. It is quite something to hear more about how the Russians permeated all levels of our election campaign in 2016, and then to see and hear the media and the pundits tell us that this was a terrible thing, but that somehow Hillary lost because she was not a good candidate. In other words, she got 3 million more votes, despite the literally millions of Twitter comments which were actually from Russians pretending to be Americans, telling everyone how they just couldn’t vote for Hillary because she hated Blacks or hated Catholics or some other complete lies. And despite the perhaps millions of Facebook ads and fake news stories which were also planted by Russians pretending to be voting Americans or American media. And despite the clear evidence of major voter suppression in key states. And despite the sanctimonious FBI Director having two sets of rules; one which says that you do not interfere with an election less than a month out; and the other saying, that you do if it is with regard to Hillary, and emails which you found, but which turn out to be the same ones you looked at months ago. And that you never comment about the aspects of an investigation you have done which leads to no charges, except when it is Hillary, whom you excoriate for 45 minutes on television, because you feel bad that your right-wing friends could not get what they wanted, so you try to do at least something for them. And that you don’t tell the country that the FBI is investigating Trump, even though you know that the right wing is saying every day, “You can’t elect a President who is under investigation,” even though Hillary was not since June, when nothing was found; and Trump was a subject of an ongoing investigation.

    So all that happened, and the media and the pundits say, oh, that was terrible, and we must protect our election systems so that it never happens again; but clearly the reason that Hillary lost was that she was such a flawed candidate. Because of course we know that a great candidate like Obama would have won, even if the VRMA had not been in effect like it was not in 2016; even if Russia had made all efforts on behalf of the other candidate; even if various vote suppression devices kept about 1.5 million people from voting in key states.. You see, none of that really mattered, although, well, it was important; but the main thing to know is that it was Hillary’s fault. Now, this makes no sense at all. But virtually every single person in media says it, as if it is imperative for them to say that we must blame Hillary for Trump being in power, not any of this other stuff.. And the Democrats got stuffed in the midterms of 2010 and 2014, but that was due to racism and angry White people, and such things; while Hillary losing; well, she won the popular vote, but who cares; was due to Hillary.

    Clearly, this is a belief system, the cult of anti-Hillary, which must prevail against any bothersome facts to the contrary. I write a lot about this, because it s infuriating, pervasive, and pathetic. If I said to one of them, well, you are thus saying that there is no need to protect the election systems, no need to stop voter suppression, because all we need is a candidate who was not Hillary, and then none of these other things would matter, they would look at me incredulously, and say that they weren’t saying that at all. So then, what is it that they are actually saying, if not that? Actually, they are just doing what Trump does, try to get all their talking points in, even if they contradict each other, thus making them a miasma of nonsense.

    • It’s a business case discussion. The Media deemed Hillary boring a policy wonk a known entity wouldn’t help the horse race click bait or their profits. They were a business going through financial and creditability challenges with their reluctance to perform factual reporting vs their emerging Househusbands of the News BS reality programing model. And there is no way they will report that they along with Russia, Comey FBI bias, Russia, Mercer were responsible for tanking the female nominee for President. If they did it wouldn’t just be TRump attacking them at his mob rallies. I recall counting the number of WAPO articles against Clinton, it was so egregious, just on emails, and the count was overwhelming finally a journalist organization did the research and yes, they had run the most negative reporting on Hillary. Money, big bucks for that TRump click bait, just another industry bailout main street paid for. Yes, I believe in a free press, and they have a right to make a profit I just know this may not result in the real facts being reported on any event
      This is one of my concerns about the next non-Republican nominee, even if they are great for this country, if they aren’t great for click bait and feeding the cheap easy lifting sound bite they are going to receive the Hillary Treatment. It’s already started, Amy is ok, Warren a crab (WAPO), Gillibrand cheap. But wow Nikki Haley in that dress at the Smith dinner, not the enemy quote turned her into the only future hope for the Republicans. Anybody believe Haley would make a better President for the country Warren, or Klobuchar, nahhhhh.

      • Well said. The business aspect is also very clearly that they want the Republicans to win, because they are corporatists. As far as Haley is concerned; yes, they have done that with McCain, GW Bush, Romney, Kasich, as well as Haley. Any Republican who is not an absolute extremist is just what they want. Haley is far Right, she would be terrible for the country; but it would let the media show that it’s not women they don’t like, just HIllary; plus they’d get the same tax breaks and lack of regulation they desire . In earlier times, most of the newspapers were owned by fat cat Republicans, but there was room for some smaller papers, and enterprising journalists to counter them. Now because of monopolies which of course are part of the Republican agenda, we have wall to wall television “news’ dominated by the Right, and vast newspaper chains which spew a far Right party line. MSNBC, which was the one hope on TV, is now starting to fill their guest lists with Axios “reporters,’ and Axios, along with Politico, The Hill, and Real Clear Politics, were begun as stealth operations to purvey Right wing talking points under the guise of political discussion. Their staff are not reporters, they are political operatives, with an occasional actual journalist put in there for credibility.

  18. Our TV media/journolisters have lost sight of this.

    • Oh my, this tweeter is being criticized for plagiarism. But he did put it in quotes meaning someone else said it. He could have made clear in his tweets that he could not find who said it (anyway, he has figured out now who said it first). I have the habit of linking to tweets here as is because you all should see the original tweet I got influenced to say what I said.

  19. hmmm… who were they talking about? and which one is it?

    • Another good video from her. I think malignant narcissist bordering pn the psychopathic fits nicely for the WH squatter.

      • Hillary could never be a narcissist…

        • Good for Ronald Klain. Lawrence Tribe has said that he was just about his best student at Harvard Law School. It actually takes a little courage for Klain to speak up like this, give that n it is so gratifying for most of his peers to scorn Hilary. Those who have known her almost invariably give her the highest compliments.

          • So true, William. If we still have genuine historians down the road, Hillary Clinton will be acclaimed.

          • Sue, I totally agree. She will be seen as a veritable martyr, the person who stood up to the evil forces when many did not; and of course the woman who paved the way for all these other women following her to enter and succeed in politics. But of course she is far more than a symbol, she is an extraordinarily gifted public figure who would have saved the country, had people only realized it, and allowed her to. The bitter truth is that Hillary will better serve history as a martyr than as a flesh and blood person. In a somewhat related vein, remember how Gore, somewhat similarly mocked and derogated, received such high praise from the media when he accepted the phony Supreme Court result in Bush v. Gore? “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it.”

  20. I agree with Connie, public officials should face the music for the things they do. And can you imagine a Democratic voter constituent reaching this mfer McConnell in any other way? Do you think McConnell will give him/her the time of day?

    • Connie’s my girl and Sherrod is my guy. God, I wish he’d run for President.

      • It seems as if he would rather be an important Senator making policy, than out on the biggest stage. But he would make a fine President; and yes, I also like him better than the other possibilities. We could run his campaign for him!

        As to Harwood’s comment, I don’t know what this constituent did, but Harwood, who usually is pretty decent, falls into that ivory tower mode here. No sane person wants violence, but public protest has a long and respected history, gosh, even in the early days of America! We have a group of oligarchs who keep passing bills which the majority of people do not want or favor. These people, much like the cruel and decadent ancien regime of 18th century France, have not the slightest interest in what their ‘inferiors” want or ask for. They would run them down in the street with their carriages, just like the Marquis de St. Everemonde. People are growing very upset and frightened, as they see no way to effect positive change; since these oligarchs are taking away their rights and protections, simply to indulge and enrich themselves. So of course they react. And then they get chastised by the media, “get back in your seats!” And when they try to vote, they see their voting places taken away (In Dodge City, KA, they took the only polling place and moved it out of town, so as to not be accessible by bus), themselves purged off voter rolls for no good reason. So of course they are reacting. When the day comes that they do not react, then we do not have a democracy any longer.

        I saw an absolutely horrifying old article, that I would not read, because it would just be too upsetting. This was from 1934, the NYT wrote something which apparently urged Jewish people to be more civil to Nazis. There is a book which I was given as a well intentioned gift, but which I did not want to read, which catalogues how the NYT knew about the Nazi atrocities, but hid them from the public.

      • It occurred to me after writing the above, that Harwood is echoing Marie Antoinette, who when told that the people of Paris had no bread, naively suggested, “Let them eat cake.” I don’t have Twitter, and I don’t want to, but occasionally I wish I could put in a comment such as that.

        The book I referenced, in case anyone would have the stomach to read it, is called “Buried by the Times.”

  21. Cats know.

  22. This is great news.

  23. How can what Brian Kempe is doing in GA be legal? How can he run as a candidate at the same time arbitrating election process? How? How?

  24. But what good is a free press if they are also enabling the corruption and dysfunction? They are not writing about bad policy or corruption or if they do, those who write them are drowned in the noise that others like MAGA Maggie/Mike generate about WH gossip (like how he tested his horseface slur and others, he generates everyday for these people to yap about as distraction). Move these mfers to cover more important things.

    • Fairly good Frank Bruni piece on this kind of thing MAGA Maggies of the NYT are doing.

      The way out isn’t clear, but a few necessary adjustments are. We in the media should do less “horseface” and more ballooning deficits, dysfunctional federal agencies, disgraceful cabinet members and reckless judicial appointments. Too often the substantial sinks beneath the saucier stuff, yet another factor that favors the president and lets him off the hook.

      We should also re-examine how we discuss whether Warren or some other challenger has the particular chops to handle Trump’s falsehoods and slurs. It’s as if we accept his strategy as legitimate, even ingenious, and locate weakness and fault in the person who can’t counter it.

      He’s the sad, bad actor. We can’t let his relentless spectacle obscure that.

      • There is no easy way to counter this motherfucker in any reasoned way because he lies and moves goal posts (I think Hillary said that during the campaign). I think the situation we are in now is best handled by discussing what is happening to people everywhere, of all social class, race, ethnicity. Go back to that old adage, ‘are we better off today than before because of this guy?’ and the answer is definitely not, no we are not.

  25. Get rid of White House Correspondents, period!. Just started listening to Gura on MSNBC and Bennet is paraphrasing how trump thinks what he is doing is working for the Republicans. Of course, that is a given, he thinks his lying and revving up his deplorables work for him. But the fact, network after network have these reporters gloriously repeating stuff, paraphrasing and making it sound even better is very dysfunctional. We need a new strategy.

    This is what Frank Bruni in his article calls making trump’s strategy legitimate. No, no, no… nothing he does is close to being legitimate or normal.

    It’s as if we accept his strategy as legitimate, even ingenious, and locate weakness and fault in the person who can’t counter it.

  26. By Benjamin L. Corey:

    Top 10 Signs You’re Actually Following TRUMPianity Instead Of CHRISTianity.


    • Actually,I don’t think Benedict Donald is smart enough for the role.

      I could believe Putin in the role. 👿

  27. Who talks like this anymore? I miss his intellect and profundity in all the current so called leaders.

  28. Putin probably keeps one of these on his desk. 😈

  29. The day MAGA Maggie gets kicked out NYT or just out of reporting/journalism, will be a happy day. She is tweeting, calling trump a genius for talking about Gianforte’s assault on Guardian’s reporter in view of Khashogi’s assassination. Yes, she called trump a genius for creating that distraction and provoking a reaction from his opponents. She should not be in a position of influence because what she does not get is that it does not need any ingenuity (she calls him ingenious) but just a lack of morals and psychopathic behavior which is dangerous for the country and its people. What she does not get is that he says it in front of thousands of his deplorable rally goers creating an image of acceptability of such behavior and a numbness because that vile man was able to say it in public to a large crowd which cheered in affirmation. Her calling it ingenious makes it that much more dangerous. We are not watching some game here and analyzing how he plays that ‘game’. Millions of people’s lives are involved, a country’s well being is involved. Isn’t there any one who can talk to her and her ilk?

    • “Isn’t there any one who can talk to her and her ilk?”

      No one whose voice is louder than the voices of their employers, who are McDucks who don’t want them to tell the citizenry anything which might persuade us to vote the Rethugs out of office, destroying the tax cuts for McDucks.

      The McDucks don’t give two runny rat shits for the well-being of our country, or the lives of us peasants.

      Like the German plutocrats of the 1930s, our McDucks think they can control the fascists.

      I’ve said the above, in one way or another, several times on this blog.

  30. Or what MAGA Maggie calls genius…

    For some reason can’t link the tweet but
    Daniel Dale is tweeting how trump is just making stuff up this week, not lying or exaggerating but just making stuff up.

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