May 12, 2006

Demo-Demento-Depression ® : Just Say "Medicate!"

AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS TO IDENTIFY with the hamstrung, sold-out, and Gobstoppered Republicans currently dissipating electoral power in Washington, it must be much more difficult to be a classic Democrat these days. On some level it has simply got to literally make you sick.

The Democrat Disease has many manifestations but now most often presents as "Semantic Dementia " -- progressive and with no known cure. No telethon long enough and no condom thick enough. And as

Republicans continue to refuse to step up to the plate and take a manly cut at the Big Whiffle Ball in the White House Tee Ball & Pack the Court Theme Park, the disease seems to be leaping the blood-brain barrier and infecting previously sane Democrats. These tendencies need to be spotted and treated at the point of infection before the virus settles in the host. While it is true that "everybody wants to get you down in the hole that they're in," just because you have compassion for the afflicted is no reason to bed down with them in the ICU.

At a small conference I attended on Sunday I noted that more than one of those in the room introduced themselves as a "recovering Democrat." The only self-avowed "liberal Democrat" in the room was one Kevin Drum, but since he has made a tidy career out of this retro-identification he was issued a hall pass.

What was notable about this group was that, although identified with Conservatives, Libertarians and Republicans (the ostensible party in power), it found it almost impossible, at lunch and during breaks, to talk about politics in a way that did not let the current manifestation of the Democrats' depression and dementia drive the conversation.

This month that means "Karl Rove" and/or "Rove, Karl" until your teeth burst into flame and your head implodes like a gut-shot television. Maddening until you understood the origins of the discussion were not to be found in reality but in the fantasied utopias of the Democrat mindset.

The nature of clinical depression and dementia is that, if enough people manifest the behavior consistently, it becomes communicable. Yhis is known as the Sorority House Syndrome. The result of this transference is a compulsion to emulate the infected Democrats and actually engage their current favored fantasy as if it was something more substantial than a drunken dwarf spider's single-strand web across your front door on a sunny summer morn.

Sane people would listen for a moment to the Karl Rove mantra and reply, "Okay. Fine. I hear you. Bottom line: you've got nothing and are repeating the nothing you've got. Consult current medication dosage and increase. Then seek new professional help because the talking part of this cure just ain't making it. Moving right along now, how about those Mets?"

This, of course, does not happen since the compulsively political class is also the compulsively nattering class. It has been since all its members, of whatever party, ran for and lost the election for hall monitor in the sixth grade. Hence, it tends to natter on about whatever is put in front of it and labeled "Political Issue du Jour: Would You Like the Five-Minute Argument or the Whole Decade?" Like a skin rash, these sort of discussions tend to come out in the summer.

But since you can become what you behold, I'd caution fellow Independents and Republicans about engaging every manifestation of "Demo-Demento-Depression ® ". Not only does it burn up the time available in office for doing real things, it can transform you. If you engage long enough, you can become the one thing in American life that is currently even more depressing than being a Democrat; being a Kennedy.

Yes, it is indeed the case that "Going Kennedy" is now known to be the penultimate stage of Demo-Demento-Depression ® ; a fate even worse than not being elected since it often leads to not being elected (See "Kerry, John"). Still, a moment's reflection would lead you to an even more chilling conclusion: there now is a state of political dementia even more deadly than simply "Going Kennedy."

Think of it. A rise within the party and America beginning with the son of an Irish Immigrant becoming a successful politician in Boston. His son, with the eye on the main chance, rises higher through politics, stock speculation, bootlegging and other businesses. That man decides to create a political dynasty and has the sons and daughters and resources to do it. It begins in ernest with the election of his son, John F. Kennedy, as President, a squeaker as dubious as the Florida vote in 2000. It goes on from there through trials, tribulations, and tragedies well known to all. It goes on and it goes on and it goes on. Whole libraries are written about it. Multiple millions worship at the feet of this fantasy. It is, it seems, the stuff of American myth and legend.

And now, several decades, numerous deaths, and many millions of dollars later, the entire project has produced for the ages as its final result, the Kennedy Apotheosis in three small but hefty letters: T E D.

As I said, there are more depressing things in our politics than being a Democrat. You could always be a Kennedy. You could even be a Ted.

Other than abstinence, there's no cure.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 12, 2006 9:31 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Cooperstown. First ballot.

Of related interest regarding semantic Demodementia: The Logopathology of the Left

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at May 12, 2006 6:09 PM

How very fascinating

Posted by: Nigel at May 12, 2006 11:48 PM

The Hoosier variant, of course, is Birch Baye, the Indiana-Kennedy-wanna-be, who gave the state Evan Baye, which, in turn, passed him along to the Senate where he waits on the edge of his feathers, hoping to fly...

Posted by: JCworth at May 13, 2006 4:29 AM

Gee, Gerard. You left out that other shining example, Patrick Kennedy.He seems to check into rehab with astonishing regularity, come out chanting "clean and sober, thank God" for the media and then stop for a quick pick-me-up and a few pills after all that stress.

Posted by: Richard in Port Orchard, WA at May 13, 2006 12:02 PM


Thank you for ruining forever one of my favorite old songs.

Pretty funny though.

Posted by: Vanderleun at May 13, 2006 11:06 PM