Friday, July 06, 2007

Bush Derangement Syndrome Redefined

Andrew Sullivan has posted an email he received accusing him of being a victim of "Bush derangement syndrome".

The term Bush derangement syndrome is a pejorative term used by conservatives to tar political opponents. Charles Krauthammer coined the term in a column he wrote in 2003. Here is the definition of the term as provided by Krauthammer: "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush". If you listen to talk radio, Fox News or read the conservative blogosphere, you have most likely stumbled over this term.

One must wonder if Bush derangement syndrome must apply only to opponents of Bush. How is it that near slavish devotion to the President is indicative of mental soundness? The case may be made that the neoconservatives and hard right evangelicals who continue to supply the only support for this manifestly disastrous President are the ones who are mentally unbalanced.

You could almost feel the exhilaration of the Republican base when the President took his stand on the immigration issue and the wingnut task masters on Fox and Talk Radio signalled that it was time to finally protest a Bush policy. At last, the great mass of right wing koolaid drinking Bushbots were able to loose the political chains that bound them, and attack the President. They did so with glee, vitriol spewing from the White House and Congressional switchboards as well as the radio speakers if you happened to tune to the wrong station. Finally the attack dogs were given a chance to leap at the throat of the President, and they did not let that chance pass. The task masters had given their charges the keys to the chains that bound them for so long, and they were just thrilled at the freedom they had not experienced since Bill Clinton exited the White House.

Of course there are other scattered examples of this type of brief parting of the ways between Bush and his base. The nomination of Harriet Myers is such an example. But the overall point remains valid. The hard right wing koolaid drinkers are slavishly devoted to a failed President, and that truth is what should be the cause of concern amongst those psychoanalyzing the American electorate. It turns out that my side of the political divide were prescient regarding the issues we were railing about when Krauthammer wrote his cutesy little meme, and the strange mental behavior is being exibited by the other side.

There are a myriad of examples in which the vitriol given to Bush over immigration would normally have been expected from this very same group, yet the partisanship (which is what sunk immigration) that defines their very reason for existence has kept them silent. For example... Bush ran in 2000 on a platform of fiscal responsibility. Yet now fiscal responsibility is a trademark Democratic rallying cry, helping us win the Congress in the last election. One must consider outrage at the current state of the budget as a sign of so called Bush derangement syndrome, because the fact is that a very large percentage of the vituperation directed at the President on this score has been from the lefty blogosphere and our allies. Indeed a sure sign that a conservative is moving out of the darkness is the first time they write a blistering critique of budgetary affairs under this Presidents tutelage.

Remember the Bush promise in 2000 to not use our military to nation build? That was supposed to be a dig at Clinton's involvement in foreign affairs. Who could have even imagined then that our military would be fed into a quagmire in Iraq with the oft expressed mission of standing them up so we can stand down? Yet, somehow, building Iraq is now a signature Republican position. Only one Republican Presidential candidate is running against the war, and Ron Paul is considered a kook by the vast majority of his own party. One must consider condemnation of the Presidents manifest disaster in Iraq as a worrisome sign of so called Bush derangement syndrome. Indeed, a sure sign that a conservative is moving to enlightenment is the first time they write a blistering critique of the handling of the Iraq debacle by President Bush.

Who could have ever imagined the party of Ronald Reagan supporting the torture of captives? Reagan made his name lambasting the Soviet Union for their gulags and human rights violations. Yet we have come to the point where President Bush is literally using the very same gulags the Soviets used in order to disappear people the President determines are allied with Al Qaeda. It is the world turned upside down, where black is white, and the right wing koolaid drinkers line up in blind support of this abomination in our names. One must consider outspoken affirmation of American ideals for human rights and against our detainee policy as a symptom of so called Bush derangement syndrome. Indeed a sure sign that a conservative is moving from the thrall of Bush is the first time they write a blistering critique condemning Bush for torturing people.

There are scads of issues we could play this game with.

Which makes one wonder... what is wrong with the mindset of the blindly loyal Bushbot which allows them to justify to themselves the obviously wrong headed direction this President has taken us in so many cases? Consider the outcry if it were Bill Clinton who pursued these policies. Consider the Clinton derangement syndrome which put us through an impeachment because of tawdriness in the Presidents personal life. Can you imagine how the right would have reacted to Clinton authorizing torture? I can't! Getting our military bogged down in Iraq? President Bush is the commander in chief of the greatest military force in the history of the planet and he has allowed our army to be fought to a standstill by a few tens of thousands of homegrown insurgents armed with home made bombs! I mean just think of what that says about the Presidents effectiveness in his role and the reaction that your typical Bushbot would have if Clinton were the one stupid enough to have led us to this state of affairs.

Let me provide a redefinition of the term Bush derangement syndrome, from a lefties perspective. Bush derangement syndrome: The sudden onset of blind acceptance for a given policy of George Bush, even if the policy in question is directly contradictory to the long held opinions of the victim prior to Bush's Presidency.

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