The Democrats and the MSM have traditionally had a difficult time explaining to themselves why their preferred candidates for office so often lose to people they consider ethically, morally, and intellectually inferior. In extremis, they have taken to a course that last succeeded in 1964, that is, the Psychological Attack.
In my post PsychBlogging and the Goldwater Rule, I discussed the Goldwater Rule, promulgated by the American Psychiatric Association after the psychological savaging of Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election campaign. I included part of the text of the APA statement (and a link to the full statement) and added some thoughts about the delicate balance the PsychBlogger must negotiate:
As with any professional who uses his or her expertise to comment on the world via a Blog, the PsychBlogger must walk a fine line between using professional expertise to illuminate and using such ability as a weapon. I do not think the Sanity Squad crossed the line. We stayed close to the manifest behavior of our subject, did not use his psychological make-up (real or imagined) to attack him, but in an attempt to understand why he did what he did, and did not use our knowledge to discredit his political positions. We all must remain mindful of the risk of stepping over the line and, as with most issues, look for our readers and listeners to remind us when we, from time to time, approach too close to the line.
Once again, the MSM in concert with some misguided members of my profession, have taken to crude Psychological Assault substituting for substantive analysis. Newsweek has an article purporting to document President Bush's denial of the true state of affairs in Iraq. In the article, a colleague, Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz, someone I know and think highly of, a Psychoanalyst at my institute, lends his imprimatur to this attempted character assassination. None of us are immune to forgetting some of the basic tenets of our profession; in the spirit of amity, I would like to offer some advice to Dr. Sulkowicz.
First, however, a couple of points about the article itself, which offers a jaundiced and incredibly over-simplified, occasionally nonsensical, definition of psychopathology. The Anchoress does us the honor of using common sense, too often in short supply in the MSM, to devastating effect:
My goodness, that is a masterpiece of ugliness and “nuanced” aggression based on nothing more than someone sitting around musing. In one paragraph - and with the seemingly reluctant admission that all this musing may mean nothing - we get:
1) He might not only be lying to himself (because he must know that his “war is lost,”) but he’s also LYING TO US (Mr. Subliminal reinforces the “he’s a liar - Bush lied, people died” narrative).
2) When he was 7, he tried to comfort his grieving mother with all the compassion, love and clumsiness of a 7 year old.
(Mr. Subliminal says Bush is mother-hung, traumatized and guilt-stricken by his sister’s death and that’s why he’s retreated into fantasy land!)
Until I read that part, I was mildly amused…but that bit made me mad. When my Elder Son was 7 I lost a baby during pregnancy, and as I wept my son - full of compassion and wanting to do anything to make me feel better - climbed onto my bed and hugged me and told me “it will be alright, Mommy, it will be alright.”
I suppose my son is “mentally ill” too. Either that or Newsweek has made a serious miscalculation, here. Every parent who is honest understands precisely what passed between Dubya and his mother at that moment, and it is nearly obscene to see it painted as anything less than profound and innocent love. It is low, hateful, needlessly spiteful and quite honestly it says much more about the writer than it does about the president.
I have believed that Israel won, or at least that Hezbollah lost, since the end of the war in 2006. I was convinced of this by Michael Young, the opinion editor of the Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star. In an interview on my radio talk show, he made the compelling case that Hezbollah had lost.
Dennis Prager then documents exactly why he believes Israel won and that the United States has not lost; he concludes:
In effect, then, America will have lost in Iraq when America decides it has lost. And then it becomes what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.