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The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

Obama's Great Betrayal, His Narcissism.... with Michael Brenner

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Headlined to H2 9/7/11


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Michael Brenner is, at University of Texas Austin, director of the Undergraduate Program in International Relations and Global Studies and is Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS- Johns Hopkins. 

The article referred to in the interview is:
The Great Betrayal   Barack Obama's betrayal will resonate in history long after he has become just another name on the over-priced celebrity speaker circuit. It is a betrayal of far more than the youthful idealists and loyal progressives who put him in the White House. Obama has unmoored the...

Interview rough (very rough) notes

Obama's narcissism.

Blurring virtual reality and actual reality. 

No convictions, no capacity for embarrassment or shame

So convincing in his chameleon roles because he can't himself 

Spent 2.5 years attacking public school teachers as the source of the problems with education" And yet there he is, up there, saying "i'm with you. I feel for you. I'll do what I can for you."  That's not normal for politicians. That's why I think there's a personality element that we have to bear in mind in order to explain Obama. 

How does a mature society wind up having a narcissistic personality like that in the White House?

Media doesn't do it. Our memory spans are short. 

The NY TImes have given him a pass for two and a half years. 

The sellout on the bush tax give-away-- in terms of its extension in December, the extraordinary things he did on the Debt Ceiling cap, his currying favor with the Wall Street predators..

Liberals and progressives generally have been enablers of this betrayal. 

Obama has unmoored the Democratic  Party from its foundations".

He has sold out the whole heritage" the new deal represented a country coming to terms with the idea that the values of a frontier society were no longer tenable. 

He has turned his back out, cut the heart out of the party, has estranged them-- 

For a Democratic president to attack school teachers have always been democrats because they believe in social progress, believe in a sense of community. 

When you launch a campaign against them it means you not only devalue their votes but that you don't care about what school teachers represent. 

Just as he's turned on blue collar workers he's turned on teachers. 

What does the democratic party mean. You've turned it into the republican party without the crazies. 

If you look at domestic issues, he's well to the right of Richard Nixon"

Who was president when the first clear air act" it was Richard Nixon. Nixon never attacked social security. 

Richard Nixon was to the left of Obama. 

Obama has no leadership. he has no way to tell a narrative. 

Compare it to the rhetoric and behavior of Franklin Roosevelt. 

i think he's always wanted to be part of a social and economic elite. 

First think he did, with Michelle, to re-do the family quarters. He chose Michael Smith-- the guy who designed the $800 waste basket for the former head of Merril Lynch-- This bespeaks someone who has social aspirations. 

Obama was inspired by Ronald Reagan-- totally disregarding the content of Reagan's message, disregarding Reagan's position on civil rights. 

Tells you about his historic ignorance, in terms of being an American black, he's never had the experience that 98% of American blacks have had.  He got enormous benefit from it and treatment because of it. 

for him, the america that counts most is the pillar of the republican party, including wall street. 

One of the most telling incidents in his life was a very serious affair with a wealthy white woman from Columbia. They broke  up, not clear the reasons why" 

Now everybody kicks him around because everybody knows he's a guy that can be kicked around. 

He instinctively defers to the strong, to the high and the mighty, to wall street, to the pentagon brass, to the CIA. And he gets up there with these seemingly forceful speeches, high volume, but he's a patsy. The only people he'll be aggressive toward are the weak and his own supporters. 

Everything that we know about Obama in the last two and half years conforms to the pattern--- (that he has a personality problem.)

Obama has high IQ,   " but look at the incredibly stupid things he's done."

He could have flung the Republicans into the political wilderness for a generation. Instead, look at what you have. The Democrats are a corpse. The republicans are the most mindless. 

Rob: Given where we are, what can we do?

stop playing the game that this is the guy we've got to follow.  That's simply going to deepen the hole that we're in. We have to admit what's happened. 

Is it possible to get Obama to pull an LBJ and to step down from the race?

No. Narcissists never admit that they are wrong that they fail. In their own minds they continue to look good, even it means buying into the philosophy of your opponents. The only thing that counts for Obama is staying in the white house no matter what the circumstances. he has no sense of shame, no conviction or sense of cause. As long as he stays in the white house for eight  years" he's quite confident that he can in effect spin reality in ways that would retain a positive image for himself and the public. He's a hustler. 

talks about Obama's Kenyan aunt, who Obama featured in his book. She overstayed her visa in Boston-- the real story was he had ignored this woman who had served his purpose by being prominently mentioned in his book-- and he totally ignored her. Then the story came out about six months ago-- the boston globe followed up-- she was trying to, by legal means, to stay in the country. Was living on public assistance. Was asked if she'd been in touch with the president. Last communication was that she was never again to approach the president. "I don't want to hear from you" 

You draw from that the character of Barack Obama. 

Obama has adopted Bush foreign policy, Bush policy in the war on terror", military spending,  

Appointing Petraeus head of CIA gave Petraeus incredible power over Obama- perpetuating a number of myths-- about Iraq, Afghanistan-- a man who has contradicted Obama-- a man to whom Obama has repeatedly deferred.

HE's a captive of a Petraeus led team, not that he minds being a captive".

All that we can do is be as vocal as we can, as open in our criticism as we can, to raise consciousness as much as we can, to challenge our elected representatives as much as we can. 

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Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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Rob is, with the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here. To learn more about Rob and, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

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Progrssive Caucus must  organize a conference... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Sep 8, 2011 at 7:57:00 AM