I've long suspected that John François Kerry was a cerebral narcissist, but now my amateur diagnosis is pretty much proved by his reaction to the reaction to his now infamous "stuck in Iraq" comment.
Or perhaps "reaction" isn't the right word: "lashing out" is. Which is what cerebral narcissists do when they're caught making a mistake.
You see, cerebral narcissists are convinced that they never make mistakes. It's their one core truth, the thing that holds them together. As children, they were severely and cruelly criticized for everything they did, right or wrong. The protective mechanism is to think of themselves as incapable of making mistakes. Because if it can be shown that they have made a mistake, it means that they are utterly worthless to the core, and that's too painful a "reality" to face.
So when cerebral narcissists are accused of making mistakes, they totally freak out. They accuse their accusers of the worst motives. And they never, ever say they're sorry. Because that would be tantamount to offering your jugular to a wolf, a deliberate and pointless suicide.
I know this because my father is a cerebral narcissist, and I've seen him react to accusations that he is wrong about something. He isn't insulted, he's mortally threatened by it. And I've never in my life heard him apologize for something. I know that psychologically and emotionally, he just can't do it, because then his breathing privileges would be revoked by the universe or whoever holds the sword of Damocles over the heads of the psychologically damaged.
Frankly, I don't know for sure that Kerry was repeating the old Leftist cant that the military is filled with only the economically desperate or if he really was aiming for Bush and misfired. Either is credible, but the Left has to understand that the Right jumps to the former conclusion because we know what the Left thinks about the military. We know that Michael Moore said that the military is made up of those who have no other options in life.
We also know that the assumption is flat wrong; as this study shows, the military is a fairly close cross-section of the general population in terms of family income, race, education, and other factors.
It's hard for me to listen to the other side's arguments when I know, a priori, that many of their initial assumptions are factually wrong. How can you come to a logical conclusion when you're starting from a bad set of assumptions?
Answer: you can't.