It could be said a narcissist's best friend is the reflection he sees of himself in the mirror. No other relationship comes close -- unless the narcissist has the unique opportunity to meet another version of himself, which happened last week, during the recent Group of Eight (G-8) summit at Camp David.

"President Obama, this is new French president Francois Hollande. President Hollande, c'est le president americain Barack Obama." "Tweedledum meet Tweedledee."

If, as they say, a picture paints a thousand words, then it is obvious it was amour at first sight for Obama and Hollande -- ahem -- as compared to snapshots taken of Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which Obama's body language expressed he'd be more comfortable sitting next to a rattle snake.

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

It isn't every day an American president hits it off so jovially with a staunch socialist leader, but these are strange days we are living in. Ignoring the obvious is supposed to be the norm.

Obama and Hollande share much in common including the way each coasted to victory riding on the winds of social unrest and economic uncertainty while using slogans promising change. Obama used "Hope and Change" and Hollande, "Change is now." Does it actually matter? Not really. Except for the fact that both cases show us how people are willing to compromise core beliefs when times get tough.

At the G-8 summit last week, both leaders left German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the lone voice promoting the common sense approach to fixing Europe's economy by living within one's means. Instead, the not-so-dynamic duo promoted a plan for "growth." The same kind of "growth" America experienced after implementing the stupid stimulus bill which grew the deficit instead of "shovel ready" jobs.

The type of "growth" Hollande and Obama espouse translated into layman's terms means: The government has license to steal money from job creators so it can spend like hell.

Obama calls it "paying your fair share." Hollande calls it "socialism." Simintics, semantics.

Obama later joked about his failure saying, "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected," which was about as funny as Obama admitting he's in over his head. Rather than admit failure, Obama whitewashed over his "Hope and Change" slogan and replaced it with the word "Forward." Despite obvious failure, Obama wants us to proceed forward, in lemming like lockstep, over the cliff.

Thanks to a tip from a reader named Ted, I discovered the "forward" shtick has a dark side. According to Russian immigrant Svetlana Kunin who writes for Investor's Business Daily, Obama's new slogan, "Forward," is the same motto (when translated) used by a Russian anti-capitalist left movement founded in 2005 which merged with the "Socialist Resistance" in 2011. You can see her enlightening article here.

To the unaware, Hollande's plan for "growth" includes raising taxes on job creators from 41 percent up to 75 percent. Lord knows what will happen here, should Obama be entrusted with a second term.

In the meantime, we're already hearing talk about the need for additional stimulus spending to fix those rickety roads and wobbly bridges the first stimulus bill failed to repair. Just like an addict promising that one more hit will be his last, it's time to admit Washington has a spending habit that cannot be fixed with another fix.

Once upon a time, personal responsibility ruled the day and living within one's means was honorable. Purchases extended on credit were the exception to the rule, and saving for a rainy day ensured personal "bailouts" in cases of emergency.

But that was then. We're not in Kansas anymore, and it will take more than clicking a pair of ruby shoes together to get us home. Blindly proceeding forward into the unknown is a dumb idea when you know you've lost your way. The best thing you can do is go back to a point of familiarity and then proceed with caution.


Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email Susan at [email protected] or her website at

©2012 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan's column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561