December 05, 2003


BDS is spreading throughout the US, and for the first time has been identified in a dairy state. Dr. Charles Krauthammer reports:

It has been 25 years since I discovered a psychiatric syndrome (for the record: "Secondary Mania," Archives of General Psychiatry, November 1978), and in the interim I haven't been looking for new ones. But it's time to don the white coat again. A plague is abroad in the land.

Bush Derangement Syndrome: the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush. Now, I cannot testify to Howard Dean's sanity before this campaign, but five terms as governor by a man with no visible tics and no history of involuntary confinement is pretty good evidence of a normal mental status. When he avers, however, that "the most interesting" theory as to why the president is "suppressing" the Sept. 11 report is that Bush knew about Sept. 11 in advance, it's time to check on thorazine supplies.

A related syndrome, HDS, continues to devastate Australia.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 5, 2003 10:30 PM

Krauthammer is, or used to be, a Democrat. It strongly seems that, with his concluding paragraph’s slightly jocular but only slightly jocular call for contributions to—BushCheney2004?—nay, to the Republican National Committee itself!, he is subtly announcing that he has finally Made The Switch, has joined those of us who Live By Night—ahem, I mean the “good guys” of COURSE. Ring the tower bells, Renfield, we must celebrate! Those of you Scoop Jackson Dems still hanging back dazed & confused, why not just give in? You’ll feel almost the same afterward, only better—take it from me. [Voice ceases, a batlike form flutters away in the moonlight].

Seriously it’s a good funny article with its psychiatric talk, Krauthammer is in fact a trained psychiatrist, & if he hasn’t already switched parties, his article still sure sounds like something decidedly subsequent to a Dem’s dernier cri.

Posted by: ForNow at December 6, 2003 at 04:53 AM

Looking again, I think Krauthammer is writing in considerable anger. He’s really fed up. That would jibe with this article’s actually marking a party switch for Mondale’s former speechwriter.

In explaining that Dean has none of the usual risk factors for Bush Derangement Syndrom, Krauthamer says that Dean has “no detectable sense of humor.” This is Krauthammer’s jocular way of saying that Dean meant it seriously, not jokingly, when he said Bush maybe had advance knowledge from the Saudis about the 9/11/01 attacks. Dean meant it, but it’s not true that Dean has no detectable sense of humor, since it appears at the beginning of Krauthammer’s quote of Dean:

Chris Matthews: "Would you break up Fox?"

Howard Dean: "On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but . . . I don't want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not. . . . What I'm going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one."

Now, it’s the kind of joke that one doesn’t like to hear coming from a Presidential candidate, & that, I think, is why Krauthammer included it. His remark about Dean’s having “no detectable sense of humor” is, in that light, oh, a bit nasty, I’m not complaining, I’m pointing out that it suggests that Krauthammer is very angry. (Either that, or Krauthammer didn’t get the joke about Fox. But surely Dean has shown a sense of humor on other occasions.) This relates somehow to Krauthammer’s only slightly jocular call for contributions to the Republican National Committee. Krauthammer is really fed up.

Just to be sure, here is the relevant text from the interview’s transcript:

‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ for Dec. 1

MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox?
MATTHEWS: I’m serious.
DEAN: I’m keeping a...
MATTHEWS: Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has “The Weekly Standard.” It has got a lot of other interests. It has got “The New York Post.” Would you break it up?
DEAN: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but...
MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?
DEAN: I don’t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not, because, obviously
MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?
DEAN: Let me-yes, let me get...
DEAN: The answer to that is yes. I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.
MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?
DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.

Posted by: ForNow at December 6, 2003 at 06:39 AM

Here in Texas BDS is an old story. What happens is he wins an election (Texas governorship by 53%, e.g.) and none of the Democrats can believe they have lost to such an idiot. So they spend his first term spreading BDS to the susceptible.

Then Bush runs for a second term and wins (Texas governorship by 63%, e.g.).

Of course no such thing could possibly happen on a national level where BDS sufferers are so much more intelligent, sophisticated, perceptive and influential than the Texas variety.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at December 6, 2003 at 09:17 AM

BDS spreading at national level? We’re talking BBC & the rest of the world press, many politicians & people in Europe, the entire nation of 'France' (Vichy), & on & on.

Posted by: ForNow at December 6, 2003 at 10:01 AM

I mean, it’s not just national, it’s global.

Posted by: ForNow at December 6, 2003 at 10:03 AM