Their coming to take me away! Ha ha! Ho ho! Hee Hee!
Maureen Farrel has an important column up today on Buzzflash ("America Unhinged"). In it she identifies the latest attempts to equate criticism of Bush with some kind of mental illness. The point is obvious: when you can't respond to your critics in an intelligent manner, try to paint them as unbalanced and one-step short of the loony bin.
"America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War." – John le Carre
While one would expect Ann Coulter to write a column entitled "Liberals Unhinged," when New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof joined the fray a year or so ago, such criticism was taken more seriously. Accusing the left of "dumbing down," he argued that liberals were falling into a "cesspool of outraged incoherence."
Since then, it’s become commonplace to equate hatred of the president with an inexplicable mental illness. Charles Krauthammer has observed that "Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush -- a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological" while the Weekly Standard’s Christopher Caldwell believes that "Democrats have been driven into a frenzy of illogic by their dislike of George W. Bush." Tucker Carlson has taken the conceit even further. "At least twice over the past few months, we here on Crossfire have sent urgent warnings to the mental health community about a certain New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman," Carlson recently said. "Krugman hates President Bush so much, so completely, so obsessively, that he can barely speak. And as readers of his column know, he long ago lost his ability to think clearly. This man needs help and he needs it desperately right away." [CNN]