January 25, 2014
Barack Obama's Constant State of Cognitive Dissonance
By Jeannie DeAngelis
Contradicting the faultless, albeit far-fetched image he has of himself, Barack Obama is a man harassed by truth. That's why, judging from his inability to accept personal responsibility, Barack Obama must be living in a constant state of agitated cognitive dissonance.
The late Leon Festinger is the social psychologist who proposed the theory of cognitive dissonance. According to Festinger, until the person suffering with perceptual disharmony can find a way to justify wrong actions and decisions, it's impossible to achieve a calm mental state, especially when those wrong actions and decisions challenge the way the cognitively dissonant individual sees himself.
That's why placing the blame for his mistakes on others and attempting to avoid having to admit he's not the sterling specimen he perceives himself to be is the only way Barack Obama can resolve the disharmony of perceptions and truth raging within his head.
In an interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker, entitled: "The Obama Tapes," instead of owning up to being the radical, rigid ideologue that he is, Obama blames many factors other than himself for Washington DC's gridlock and his powerlessness to "penetrate the Republican base."
Besides standing against Obama's left-wing plans for America, Republicans disposed to work with him have complained that the president seems unwilling "to reach across the aisle" to form coalitions by way of social interaction. That's because he won, he's right, and quite frankly he's proven that he despises anyone who disagrees with him -- just ask federally-indicted Dinesh D'Souza. Therefore, rubbing elbows with anyone besides Beyoncé and Jay-Z probably isn't something Barack Obama feels inclined to do.
Nonetheless, Obama did acknowledge that there is "no doubt that personal relationships matter at the margins and can tip something over the finish line." That's why he blamed his daughters (if you can believe it) for his being unavailable to "tip" his bad policy "over the finish line."
In other words, coalitions are built at cocktail parties, which demand something from the president that he'd rather not give, so his excuse is he's busy at home tending to the kids. Clearly, Obama is convinced that his inability to successfully implement his agenda is not reflective of his incompetence or his refusal to compromise -- it's Sasha and Malia's fault.
During the interview, Barack Obama's desperate attempt to expunge discomfort from his personhood was further made manifest when he blamed his declining standing among the American people on a core group of Republican House members (code name: Tea Party members). The president accused House members from conservative districts of capitulating against their will to pressure from radical constituents that Obama believes view their representatives agreeing with him as "betrayal."
How pathetic is it to see the leader of the free world attempting to subdue his cognitive dissonance by convincing himself that if not for pressure from voters, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) would otherwise be falling lockstep into dutiful compliance with Mr. Brilliant's vision?
The pièce de résistance from the interview came when clownish Obama accused conservative media of creating an unfair "caricature" of him as a person removed from "reality."
Bemoaning what he identifies as biased criticism coming from his adversaries, the president has convinced his cognitively dissonant self that he's been unsuccessful because of:
[t]he inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I'm not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, but I'm somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we've put in place worked better than people might think.
That's right -- Obama considers himself an innocent man, and the reason he's the abysmal failure that he is, is because of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
If you want to talk mental distress, just wait until Obama spots Sean Hannity sitting next to Louie Gohmert (R-TX) at the State of the Union address.
President Obama must feel better believing that when he's not playing 150 rounds of golf, on a $4 million vacation, or partying at the White House with millionaires and billionaires, were it not for the misrepresentations the right wing has imposed on him, uniting voters from conservative districts would be a piece of cake.
According to the president, "[a]s long as there's that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it's hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction."
Here's the problem: there is no gap -- for the average Republican, perception virtually matches reality.
So in Barack Obama's bizarre world of 'Everything is everyone else's fault,' if it weren't for all the ingrates who don't appreciate messianic resolutions, John Boehner would heartily agree with everything the president proposes.
Totally in denial, and after blaming everyone and everything but himself, Obama told The New Yorker that the "truth of the matter" is that "even when there were a lot of political risks involved," he believes Democrats have been an extraordinarily cohesive group.
Obama told David Remnick, "I'd like to think that part of that is because the Democrats up on Capitol Hill that I have relationships with know that the things I'm fighting for are things they care deeply about, and that I have a genuine commitment to seeing them succeed."
Evidently, the president has been so busy trying to alleviate the discomfort of cognitive dissonance that he hasn't taken the time to notice that Democrats are abandoning him in droves over ObamaCare.
So, other than trying to resolve the discord in his mind created by the conflict between reality and the self-important perception he has of himself, what in tarnation was Barack Obama talking about?