March 16, 2007


Charles Krauthammer has a brutal column up in today's Washington Post called Diagnosis Cheney, focusing on a hit piece by Michelle Cottle in the liberal New Republic. The thrust of Cottle's article, apparently, is an attempt to diagnose the Vice President as being mentally ill because of his history of cardiac disease.

Krauthammer, a real psychiatrist in addition to being a political columnist, guts the "evidence" provided by Cottle, evidence that is so flimsy that any coherent layman would readily recognize as political, and not psychiatric in nature.

Well, that isn't exactly true. Krauthammer does amusingly suggest that the 1,900 word New Republic article may reveal an underlying syndrome from which Cottle may be suffering.

I was at first inclined to pass off Cottle's piece as a weird put-on -- when people become particularly deranged about this administration, it's hard to tell -- but her earnest and lengthy piling on of medical research about dementia and cardiovascular disease suggests that she is quite serious.

And supremely silly. Such silliness has a pedigree, mind you. It is in the great tradition of the 1964 poll of psychiatrists that found Barry Goldwater clinically paranoid. Goldwater having become over the years the liberals' favorite conservative (because of his libertarianism), nary a word is heard today about him being mentally ill or about that shameful election-year misuse of medical authority by the psychiatrists who responded to the poll. The disease they saw in Goldwater was, in fact, deviation from liberalism, which remains today so incomprehensible to some that it must be explained by resort to arterial plaques and cardiac ejection fractions.

If there's a diagnosis to be made here, it is this: yet another case of the one other syndrome I have been credited with identifying, a condition that addles the brain of otherwise normal journalists and can strike without warning -- Bush Derangement Syndrome, Cheney Variant.

If is correct, there has thus far been three blog entries posted on the Krauthammer column, with conservative responses provided by Betsy Newmark and Sister Toldjah to date, with an post by liberal Don Q at TPM Cafe be the only attempt at a liberal response thus far.

And an amusing post it is, with Don trotting out another long-running platitude in rebuttal to Krauthammer, one that can best be summarized as, "because of the hypocrisy!" (copyright Jeff Goldstein):

From Don Q:

But you know, psycho- I mean psychiatrist-columnist Krauthammer himself likes to conduct remote diagnoses. Back in May 2004, Al Gore called on Rumsfeld and Tenet to resign, and criticized the conduct of the war in Iraq.

And our buddy Krauthammer, on Fox News with Brit Hume, said that Al Gore was "off his lithium." Lithium, of course, is used to treat heavy mental conditions like bipolar disorder.

Don't you see the obvious brilliance of Don Q? Krauthammer is a hypocrite because, he, too, made a long-distance diagnosis!

But Don Q's analysis really isn't that intelligent, is it?

Whether you look at this example, or others that he cites, Don purposefully conflates Krauthammer's flippant metaphorical comments as a political columnist into being serious psychiatric evaluations, which they clearly and decidedly are not meant to be.

Far from showing Krauthammer to be a hypocrite, his post merely goes to show that Don Q lacks the basic mental agility to note that Krauthammer's political commentary and his psychiatric practice are two distinct facets of an accomplished multi-dimensional life. To accomplish his political goals, Don Q purposefully ignores reality to promote his agenda, which amusingly enough, is precisely what Krauthammer catches Cottle doing.

Perhaps this suggests that Don Q should quit tilting at columnists, and see a professional to diagnose his own condition, which seems to be Bush Derangement Syndrome—Krauthammer Variant.

I jest, of course.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 16, 2007 09:37 AM

The morons probably think Pelosi would become VP if Cheney were to get waxed.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at March 16, 2007 02:19 PM

See ... here's the thing ... Bush will be gone in 21 months. What are they going to do when they can't blame everything on Bush? I imagine they will continue to blame Blame Bush for every ill in the world for at least a decade after he is gone.

Posted by: crosspatch at March 16, 2007 11:20 PM