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  •  Power is intoxicating... (21+ / 0-)

    ...unlike just about any other experience, and unique unto itself...and I experienced this firsthand, at a young age working at a mid-level gig, with multiple close friends at the uppermost levels of a national re-election effort for a sitting President. (I've done this many times in much lower level campaigns, as well. But nothing comes close to the Presidency in that regard)

    It's a trip. And, almost EVERYONE's in "the bubble." It's not just the President, but most of those around whomever's in office, too.

    In and of itself, the "power bubble" feeds upon itself...to the point where we're at where we are today.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:26:02 PM PDT

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    •  I've worked in a similar and very related bubble (13+ / 0-)

      Specifically, as you may know by now, finance. At an IT grunt level, admittedly, but nevertheless, close enough to the action and players to get a strong whiff of what they're like. And yeah, it's also a bubble, of money, power, perks, sex, food, access, ego, status, etc. (Yes, sex and food--these guys ate like pigs and treated women like shit, and I'm convinced that if you took both away most of them would have worked in a different field). You spend too much time in it and it becomes reality, the outside world invisible, and any criticism a source of mirth and mockery. Like politics, it's not a field that invites self-examination, honesty or humility. No wonder they get along so well.

      And yeah, he stepped into it, and no one forced him to make most of the choices he's made. I think he likes being in the center of the known universe, and I don't think he minds the way that universe is, from his point of view at least. There's very much an ego thing going on there. Huge. I know the type. Assuming he had the interest and discipline, he would have KILLED on Wall St.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:36:57 PM PDT

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      •  Succeeding in politics requires a certain... (9+ / 0-)

        ...skillset. And, when one realizes they have "it," sooner or later (hopefully "sooner"), that's when they have to make potentially life-altering decisions with regard to what path to take, and how they're going to walk along that path. This holds true for life, in general (and the choices virtually all of us make). But, like Wall Street and capitalism, in general, to reach the top in politics takes a certain level of twisted behavior, or a willingness to aim for that level as one adapts to one's environment, either successfully or not. And, when one adapts over a long enough period of time, they tend to morph into that personae. I know this is basic, philosophical sh*t. And, not particularly well-stated, at that. But, it's just a stream-of-consciousness comment in a blog. (And, again, not a particularly erudite one at the end of a busy day in the real world, either.) So be it.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:49:11 PM PDT

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        •  Functional Psychopaths. (10+ / 0-)

          In short:

          The people who are fucking us are Functional Psychopaths.

          It should be noted that a basic, fundamental tactic of a psychopath is to dupe people into loving/worshiping them, WHILE fucking them.

        •  It just occured to me (14+ / 0-)

          that one quality that both fields (politics and finance) share is that neither is an "essential" field. Meaning, one that provides the public with a basic need, like food, shelter, power, etc. They're, in a limited general sense (but all too often in an unlimited actual sense), parasitic, if that's the right word, in that they feed off of such basic fields. I.e. we need banks to finance our purchases of housing, and we need government to oversee the banks who finance our purchases of housing. They're both derivative fields, kind of like law (which is yet another magnet for not very ethical people). Perhaps there's something about that, that attracts such people. Think about it.

          Artists vs. art dealers
          Doctors vs. insurers
          Writers vs. publishers

          The less "essential" and primary a field, the more likely, perhaps, it is to attract and reward people of questionable ethics and morals.

          Just a stream of consciousness theory. :-)

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:11:54 PM PDT

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          •  Very interesting. (6+ / 0-)

            Just think of the parasites that have fed, for decades, off of the creativity of the world's musicians.

            •  Artists, in general: writers, painters... (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cliss, 3goldens, 3rdOption, linkage, k9disc, freesia

              ....creatives. There are many valid fields that support these "trades." And, then there are the parasites....within these fields and throughout society as a whole. But, again, I've taken my comment thread here down a very TRITE/PEDESTRIAN path. (Heh... "pedestrian path.")  Sorry 'bout that.

              "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

              by bobswern on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:20:53 PM PDT

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          •  There've been a lot of arguments made about... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, tardis10, 3rdOption

            ...whether or not politics and capitalism/finance are "essential" fields. But, I definitely catch your drift.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:16:40 PM PDT

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            •  First vs. 2nd order (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3rdOption, annan, bobswern

              Primary vs. derivative, essential vs. secondary, etc. First came farmers, then makers of farm implements, then people who sold them, then people who fixed them, then people who financed the purchase of them, and so on. Take away the farmer and none of these have a reason for existing.

              Obviously, finance is essential in any modern economy, but not at the most fundamental level. Financiers don't make "real" things. They help people make, sell and buy them. Surely this affects the sorts of people attracted to it.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:40:40 PM PDT

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      •  Hmmm... sounds a lot like (0+ / 0-)

        the nuclear industry. Power corrupts.

    •  Hell, I've seen power-madness from being (6+ / 0-)

      in charge of next month's bake sale and Chinese Auction. It all boils down to: does a person have enough serious, and non-selfish, purpose to go past the mammalian herd/hierarchy dictates of biology?

      Really, unless the next step in evolution for humanity is a wide-ranging empathy and a willingness to foresee what is obviously in the cards, we're ain't seen real trouble yet.


      Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

      by Jim P on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:03:31 PM PDT

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