And despite his CPAC speech, it's unlikely that McCain is going to be able to win over the dead-enders in his own party. Pop into the comments sections of some of the more conservative blogs (be sure to get your vaccination shots first though before delving into such fetid waters), and you'll find a sporadic but persistent barrage of references to "John McLame" "John McAmnesty" "John McPain" and similar Algonquin Roundtable witticisms. They're quite happy to cut off their noses to spite their faces because spite is what they live for and on. As for the rightwing talk radio tea-kettle whistles, most of them aren't going to be modulating their tone or changing their tune anytime soon. They have too much invested in their own self-righteous posturing to get with the program now. I haven't listened to much rightwing talk radio in recent years and what struck me from monitoring Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and such on Sirius' Patriot channel is that their animosity toward McCain is topped only by their own grandiosity. The sort of hacky quacks whose psychotherapeutic blogs appear at Pajamas Media are always drivelling on about liberal Democrats being afflicted with toxic narcissism (this sort of slop), but you don't know what narcissism in the native raw until you've heard Sean Hannity and Mark Levin crow about their unwavering conservative principles and the record of ringing pronouncements they've made and will continue to make as long as the love of Ronald Wilson Reagan beats in their hearts and now we have a call from Connecticut, Mike calling from the car phone, Mike you're on the air--well, we seem to have lost Mike...
Even though Levin, classy gent that he is, refers "Hillary Rotten Clinton, Her Thighness," I wonder if he and his litter mates are going to be able to mount the hate-on against her than everyone anticipates. Yes, they hate Hillary, yawn, but they've hated her for so long that they already sound hoarse and their insults tired. As for sliming Obama, yes, I've heard the "Barry Hussein" and "Osama Obama" cracks too, but it'll be harder for them to go outright racist on him because that's truly the no-go zone in talk radio now. Just ask Don Imus, who had his cowboy hat handed to him over the "nappy ho's" slur and now sounds like warm mush whenever the conversation tilts toward skin color. He refers to Hillary as "Satan," but it sounds less like a bladed insult and more like shtick he's too lazy to update.[emphasis mine]
The "slop" that Wolcott references and which stimulated his annoyance is a post by Siggy (another professional in the field) who dares to discuss the fundamental toxic victim mentality and pathological narcissism that defines the today's left as a movement; and Wolcott makes a rather typical sort of mistake when he talks about the idea of "narcissism in the native raw".
Like many laypersons, Wolcott assume that narcissism is always a bad thing.
In fact, as I have pointed out repeatedly, narcissism--when there is a optimal synthesis of both the grandiose elements and the idealistic elements-- is an absolutely essential ingredient for a healthy, functional personality. For healthy narcissism, the essential task of the individual is to combine the grandiose side of the personality-- which is responsible for developing individual ambition and the energy to pursue happiness, as well as a feeling that one has a fundamental right to that life and happiness; with the idealistic side--which provides the ability to to develop values and ideals (see here for a full discussion). An excess of either side leads to dysfunctional, self-serving and often toxic behavior.
By definition, all ambitions, values and ideals are necessarily narcissistically invested. How could it be otherwise? These are the factors that define us as individuals.
The classic pathological narcissist cannot imagine anyone acting from 'unwavering' principles, because to them ideals and values only exist to service the grandiose self and can be adjusted as necessary for the whim of the moment. In other words, such 'narcissists in the raw' are developmentally stuck, and frequently flip-flop between malignant grandiosity and the idealism and values du jour that are felt to service that grandiosity.
Certainly radio personalities, as well as celebrities in general (like most politicians) have an abundance of narcissism. Whether that narcissism is of the pathological type or whether it springs from a healthy synthesis (see here and here) of the two parallel developmental tracks of narcissism can only be assessed by their behavior and the consequences of that behavior. If Wolcott really wants to understand the "drivel" we psychological professionals put out on this topic, he should consider the devastation and innumerable deaths brought about by all those wonderful leftist utopian ideologies of the 20th century. Now there was pathological narcissism in the native raw on a grand scale, the kind the political left can get behind.
At least when Sean Hannity 'cuts off his nose to spite his face' or acts out of spite, his behavior is personal and it has a limited impact. When it comes to that kind of localized behavior high honors must be shared by members of both political parties.
Nevertheless, if Sean Hannity and others want to go down with their conservative principles completely inviolate and not vote for McCain-- that is their choice. I can appreciate and even honor such a principled choice. By the same token, it is also Nancy Pelosi's choice to call Iraq a failure and insist despite all the evidence that the surge is not working.
What 'prinicple' is Pelosi adhering to with unwavering determination? Ask yourself how it benefits Sean Hannity to be correct about McCain not being a true conservative and unworthy of support; versus how it benefits Nancy Pelosi that her country admit defeat and failure at the hands of a terrorist group. In the former case, if Hannity is correct, the Republicans and even Hannity lose. In the latter scenario, America loses but Pelosi and the Democrats win big---really big.
Placing your bets on your country losing a war so that you can win an election is the gamble the entire left has wagered. Contrast Pelosi's stance with McCain's statement that he'd rather 'lose a campaign than lose a war'. Which of the two has a serious narcissistic defect going for them and sees their own needs as first and foremost?
I happen to think Hannity's decision is a bad choice because in politics the 'perfect' is often the enemy of the 'good' and because of the nature of the beast, we voters (who each struggle with their own narcissistic conflicts) are often faced with the option of only voting for the least obnoxious candidate. Yet, Hannity is capable of being convinced to support McCain (I heard him say so last night). Is Pelosi capable of supporting America in a war if a Republican is in the White House? Don't bet on it.
What's really laughable to me is that the leftist pundits can't even figure out what kind of behavioral pathology is going on here: some are moaniing about how the conservatives will "march in ideological lockstep" with party leaders no matter what; while others --like Wolcott-- insist that those same conservatives are too narcissistically invested in 'posturing' about their 'unwavering conservative principles' to vote for the likes of John McCain.
Their confusion can be understood by looking at an example of the 'unwavering principles' of the left found in this story , which shows how the feckless antiwar, antimilitary types who 'speak truth to power' and posture with grandiose flair--can only stick to their principles when it doesn't have any personal consequences for them.
And speaking of "marching in ideological lockstep"--could there be a finer example of goosestepping than the expectation that all blacks or women must be Democrats support Democrat policies--otherwise they are by definition 'traitors' to their gender or race? Isn't the whole 'identity politics' thing a mandate to conform to your group or race or tribe in order to maintain ideological purity?
In point of fact, both of these positions that are attributed to conservatives are actually psychological projections on the left's part, because they represent the only possible positions their rigid dialectical and propagandized brains can imagine. Due to the narcissistic defect that the entire movement suffers from, they are all more or less stuck on either the grandiose or the idealistic narcissistic pole without the ability to synthesize the two extremes of the dialectic. Thus they vascillate between the cold grandiosity inherent in believing they know what's best for all of us; and the utopian idealism that leads them to impose --by force if necessary--those beliefs on everyone else.
Undoubtedly some of those who hate McCain with a passion are motivated by raw narcissism--as are some of those who support him, I would imagine. But that there might be principled opposition on the part of conservatives to John McCain, well 'that sort of slop' is a concept that is beyond the likes of Wolcott and the rest of the wildly unprincipled and intellectually bankrupt political left.