February 23, 2015

YOU MEAN HE'S NOT A GAY MUSLIM SOCIALIST:

Obama Derangement Syndrome (Ezra Klein, February 23, 2015, Vox)
 
In 2003, the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer diagnosed a new affliction in some of George W. Bush's fiercest critics. He described the condition as "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush." He called it Bush Derangement Syndrome.

BDS, at least in the examples Krauthammer gave, was mostly about Bush's policies. Howard Dean, for instance, wondered whether Bush was suppressing the release of the 9/11 report because "he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis." Barbra Streisand speculated that the war in Iraq was partially motivated by the influence the logging industry wielded in the Bush administration.

Bush Derangement Syndrome was, in other words, a function of 9/11 and the Iraq War: it was an effort, often misguided, to explain how the worst terrorist attack in American history happened, and why the most puzzling war in American history was launched.

Obama Derangement Syndrome is different. It isn't so much paranoia about President Obama's policies as it is paranoia about the man himself -- that he is, in some fundamental way, different, foreign, untrustworthy, even traitorous. What's odd is that it is attached to a president whose presidency has been, in almost every respect, conventionally liberal. Bush Derangement Syndrome sought extraordinary explanations for extraordinary events; Obama Derangement Syndrome seeks extraordinary explanations for an ordinary presidency.

And it's only conventionally liberal in the sense that W's was : freed trade; the WoT; and the Heritage mandate.

Posted by at February 23, 2015 5:22 PM
  

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