My friend, a mental health professional, thought a bit about Dave Pell's notion that Bush exhibits signs of harboring some Oedipal conflict, and came up with this response:
OK, I've been pondering this and have come to the conclusion that I am less sure of Bush's 'overwhelming evidence of an Oedipal Complex' [then Pell is].
Narcissus and Oedipus both play a significant role in early psychoanalytic thought but they are not necessarily connected.
Although, admittedly, an unresolved Oedipal Conflict is, according to psychoanalytic thought, considered to be a precursor for neurosis, and/or a 'depressive position.' In as such ... a depressive position may precipitate the formation of a neurotic disorder, e.g. Narcissism (or a number of others).
So what does that mean in the case of GW?
It must be presupposed that GW sometime between 3 and 6 [years old] was lusting after his mother and perceived his father as an arch rival in this quest.
According to psychoanalytic thought, each human must enter and resolve this Oedipal Phase successfully. So we must speculate that GW somehow failed to resolve this phase and was doomed to eternal rivalry with his father and all representative of him.
This is where I clearly differ in my perceptions from those of [Pell]. He, in my opinion, actually contradicts the basic position of the Oedipal Conflict by stating Bush is motivated to identify with other father figures ... which in itself would suggest that Bush did resolve the Oedipal conflict ... and, as such, would not suffer from an Oedipus Complex.
Later, she extended her thoughts, after I pointed out some indications that there is a serious rivalry between the George Bushes:
I personally would prefer to omit the Oedipal conflict out of what seems to be going on there between father and son ... simply because it's just a tad too 'Freudian' and as such a little too esoteric for my own post-analytic way of clinical reasoning. Let it suffice to say that, in my opinion, GW's apparent ease in relating to very powerful men that may be perceived in a Paternal surrogate way contradicts the premise of an Oedipal conflict per se.
But this is not an automatic elimination of other sources of conflict and/or rivalry between father and son. We are only taking the typical Oedipal triangulation ... involving the lust for mother ... out of the equation.
In my opinion, Bush's problems may very well have a genetic etiology that predisposes him toward addictions and ensuing habituated behavioral patterns. Add to this his less than optimal cognitive ability that predispose him toward concrete perceptions and reasoning.
Now consider this unfortunate combination of 'raw material' being born into a family of power and privilege whose social status is a highly valued commodity. It may be assumed that GW's inherent lack of potential to enhance this status in any meaningful way was readily evident at a rather young age. It may be anticipated that he had little occasion to measure up to his parent's expectations of the 'first born' and/or to elicit their pride and approval.
His, most likely, chronic inability to 'measure up' may have lead to early onset of rebellion and subsequent acting out. His parent's status consciousness may have prevented them from taking firm and decisive actions lest the 'flaw' in their family would be exposed. In fact, they may have tried to cover up all the initial indiscretions and bail him out, time and time again, even long after the indiscretions turned into more serious issues. This would have given GW the early and increasingly reinforced impression that he is impervious to the standard of accountability others are generally held to.
So what do we have so far? An inadequate pampered brat who has little potential or value on his own but is allowed to perceive himself above the rest based on his family's status and ensuing approach to him. In short ... we have here the basic ingredients for the formation of Narcissism. The Narcissist, in stark contrast to his presentation of 'superiority' is actually a highly inadequate and insecure lump of misery under the carefully constructed social veneer. He fears more than anything to be exposed for what he really is and will react with tremendous rage at any perceived or real criticism. And he will be inherently motivated to surround himself with those who will make him look good, praise him, extoll his virtues, and allow him to maintain his charade.
Now who more than Daddy Bush would know more about the 'true self' of his little pup? The Dad who covered up his sins and bailed him out but for whom GW was never good enough ... could never measure up to. The Dad who probably stood for whatever GW knew he could never achieve for himself and the Dad who knew what a screw up he really IS.
This Dad would have to be the absolute nemesis of the Narcissist ... a constant reminder and threat of exposure of the dreaded 'real self.' From a strictly dynamic point of view ... it might be assumed that if GW could ... he would love nothing more than to destroy and obliterate his nemesis. But in absence of being able to obliterate ... he will have to resort to his passive-aggressive digs and acting out that we have witnessed. And that is mild as far as the manifestations of 'narcissistic rage' go ... but I think that it serves as an adequate enough explanation of the evidenced conflict between father and son. The more the GW comes under pressure and the more he is beginning to be 'exposed' ... the more we may expect him to unravel. The 'big guy' could potentially crack before our very eyes.
My friend is not the first to suggest that Bush's personality seems to comport with Narcissistic Personality Disorder -- see this and this.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.