Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Giving Brains a Bad Name

Were the fireworks louder this year or what?

Newt Gingrich may be on to something by making Alzheimer’s a campaign issue, although he could be going too far in trying to make voters forget about his crackpot Contract with America, Tiffany tabs and his latest wife’s terror campaign that led an entire staff to quit.

Mitt Romney, as always, is testing the waters with a little senior moment of his own, forgetting he had to apologize for saying that Obama made the economy worse, and at a neighborhood holiday celebration, repeating the gaffe. Those who have been following him closely are not surprised, since he has had trouble remembering the names of other Republicans in the race.

Michele Bachmann seems to have an invisible edge in the mental health meltdown, with a clinical therapist and her husband of 32 years always at her side, often with arms wrapped around her.

All this, plus the intellectually challenged remainder of the field, leads David Brooks to conclude that the GOP is in the grip of “the mother of all no-brainers.”

The Republican Party, he decides, “may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

“The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.”

A Washington Post columnist suggests they could use “a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.”

Such armchair analysis may be helpful but, if this Alice in Wonderland Tea Party continues through next year, it will be voters who need to have their heads examined.

JFK used to say "You can't beat brains," but he was living in a time before 24/7 idiocy had turn the mind of the body politic to mush.

Update: The diagnosis gets worse. Paul Ryan tells an interviewer about his proposed Medicare changes, “When the plan is described accurately, it actually polls very well.”

Add to GOP psychiatric symptoms “in total denial,” a condition that makes it near-impossible to treat delusions.

The President invites Republicans to discuss a “balanced approach” to the stalemate, but how do you do that with politicians who have become unhinged from reality.

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