December 17, 2003


Paranoia Politics: Some Democrats are nuttier than a tin of Almond Roca. (Mossback, 12/17/03, Seattle Weekly)

BEATING GEORGE W. Bush in 2004 will be an uphill battle. While the campaign will require blood, toil, tears, and sweat, I think it's safe to say that it will not be successful if the opposition runs on the paranoia platform.

I loathe Bush like the next liberal, but I'm afraid I have to partially agree with the diagnosis of neocon columnist Charles Krauthammer, a former shrink, who earlier this month said he had identified a new psychological syndrome: Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), described 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."

Now there are a lot of conservatives out there who are trying to pathologize liberalism—people who think, for example, that world-class economist Paul Krugman has somehow gone off his nut because in his column in The New York Times he consistently maintains that the Bush administration's policies are a menace. Krauthammer suggests Krugman is a BDS sufferer. He also tags Bill Moyers and Barbra Streisand, among others.

I disagree. Krugman, certainly, is one of the sanest men in the country. But I would also say this: Yes, there are those who occasionally become unhinged at the very idea of the Bush presidency, Mossback among them. A stolen election will do that.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 17, 2003 7:34 PM

Does the same apply to LBJ (Texas Senate race in 1948)? To JFK (1960)? To Doug Forrester (NJ Senate 2002)?

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 17, 2003 8:42 PM

"A stolen election will do that"?????! I thought he was writing this column to say BDS was wrong and it will lead to electoral disaster. But then again, he thinks Krugman is one of the sanest men in America. Ugh.

Posted by: BJW at December 18, 2003 9:48 AM

Defending Krugman's rants as sound economics tells me this guy is in the same boat as the rest of the BDS crew. The 'stolen election line is the dead giveaway. Actually, his core advice is in the last graph: "Keep paranoia close to the vest and fight to win." In other words, all of our lunatic rants are justified, but our candidates need to maintain a veneer of sanity.

Posted by: Dave in LA at December 18, 2003 10:04 AM

Knute also writes that Bush is the "worst President in memory", so I assume that he was a young child during Carter's term.

However, he did write a great column about what lessons the Democrats can learn from 'Master and Commander', which can be seen by using the link to Mossback, and going to the bottom of the page, to the previous column links.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 18, 2003 10:46 AM

The election was stolen in the same sense that the cop who stops a burglary is stealing from the burglar.

When you operate from a sense of entitlement, gifts not delivered are acts of theft. Which is why so many of the Left are behaving like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum because mommy has finally stopped giving in to the constant yelling of "Want!" and "Mine!"

As for the article, we've reached the point where the BDS sufferers (like most addicts) are rationalizing their behavior with every possible excuse in order to avoid admitting their problem.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 18, 2003 11:38 AM

So if they are still in denial, then anger is next (perhaps we are on the cusp of that), then bargaining (won't that be lovely), and then depression, followed by acceptance and renewal. How long will the cycle last?

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 18, 2003 1:23 PM