GOP and Oppositional Defiant Disorder
I wrote an article over the weekend entitled "Republicans' ODD Behavior Part 1" for the Raleigh Examiner, using examples from the health care debates. It's quite long, so I'll just excerpt it below. If nothing else, it's fun snark for a Sunday afternoon (though the conservatives responding to it in the Examiner comments facility don't seem to get the humor...).
Betsy, Bride of Chucky
Back in February, industry shill Betsy McCaughey, who recently got punked so badly on The Daily Show that she resigned from her post as director of Cantel Medical Corporation, wrote a blisteringly erroneous op-ed that warned old folks that President Obama wanted to reform health care so they would die quicker. Betsy used this same whopper in 1994 to help derail the Clinton administration's health care reform plan, and was so successful that fifteen years later, when another Democratic attempt to fix health care threatened industry profits, health care moguls reanimated McCaughey from her cryogenic vault to unleash her convincingly dishonest rhetoric on an unsuspecting public a second time. Betsy gets a diagnosis of frequent lying for her troubles.
Dead Baby Juice
On June 30, one of my favorite bits of the entire summer snarl festival is provided by a glassy-eyed protester at a town hall hosted by Mike Castle of Delaware. Castle is a Republican, but I guess he doesn't have the Fox News Seal of Approval stamped on his prefrontal lobe, so he, too, gets some lip from a saucy crowd. Castle is treated to a smorgasbord of conservative lunacy, including a claim that Obama's "socialized medicine" will be worse than 9/11, controlling carbon dioxide emissions will destroy the area's poultry industry and will result in taxing trees (don't ask), global warming is a "hoax" and Castle is a "traitor" for believing in it (and in evolution, says one adventurous audience member), Obama is a Kenyan (everyone's seen this clip of the woman waving what she says is her birth certificate, but what I think are her travel papers from the planet Mzokgwsupyxl), and more. But my favorite, the one that makes me laugh every time I think about it, is from one memorably unwrapped audience person who goes off about the conspiracy behind AIDS and "swine flu." According to Our Hero: "The virus was built and created in Fort Dix, a small bioweapons plant outside of Fort Dix. This was engineered. This thing didn't just crop up in a cave or a swine farm. This thing was engineered, the virus. Pasteur International, one of the big vaccine companies in Chicago, has been caught sending AIDS-infected vaccines to Africa. Do you think I trust — I don't trust you with anything. You think I'm going to trust you to put a needle full of dead baby juice and monkey kidneys? Cause that's what this stuff is grown on, dead babies!" I've suggested to my son's best friend, an aspiring metal guitarist, that he rename his band "Dead Baby Juice." Don't laugh, your teenager may buy their CD a year from now. If he or she does, you can blame me for your loss of tooth enamel as you grind your teeth to the beat.
Dead baby juice. Damn, there's nothing I can say that adds to the intrinsic sick humor of that one. ODD doesn't feature "screaming meltdown delusions" as a symptom, but I think we can safely make an assessment of excessively arguing with adults, deliberately trying to annoy or upset others, or being easily annoyed by others, having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment, and saying mean and hateful things when upset.
The Revenge of Betsy, Part XVII
Betsy McCaughey, doing her best Jason-returns-from-the-grave bit, returned on July 16 to take another bite out of our collective brains. Lurking behind the door with a butcher knife, Betsy lurched out, ripped off her hockey mask, and, via Fred "Vlad the Undead" Thompson's radio show, told the American public: "Congress would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner." These sessions will help elderly patients learn how to "decline nutrition, how to decline being hydrated, how to go in to hospice care ... all to do what's in society's best interest or in your family's best interest and cut your life short." The St. Petersburg Times's crack bunch of debunkers in their PolitiFact brigade called McCaughey a "howling liar" — wait, that's my phrase. But they did find her to be "factually challenged." Let's paste the following gold stars on her forehead: having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment, being spiteful and seeking revenge, saying mean and hateful things when upset, and frequent lying. (Limbaugh hopped up on the Betsy bandwagon by echoing her claims a few days later, making him the Renfield of this little horror show. Next: Limbaugh eats flies on the air and croons, "The blood is the life!")
Exterminating the Less Productive
Betsy, the Queen of the Undead, rises again to accuse two of Obama's senior health care advisers, Ezekial Emanuel and David Blumenthal, of wanting to euthanize "less productive" members of society. Boy, the seniors were just getting over their anxiety attack over Boehner and McCotter's pronouncement of doom when Betsy lays this one on them. And she gets extra points for naming the two people about whom she's lying. Like her Congressional confreres, McCaughey gets noted for deliberately trying to annoy or upset others and frequent lying.. (And extra credit for sheer bloody-minded persistence. I'm starting to think less Dracula and more the creepy little guy in Saw. Or Farmer Vincent in Motel Hell, who plants his victims in the ground and lops their heads off with a combine. Did I really watch all this stuff when I was a kid?)
Texas Republican Louis Gohmert may end up in lockdown for his own apparent disorder. On July 24, Gohmert makes his covert way into the studio of conspiracy junkie Alex Jones, who himself has accused Bill Clinton of being behind the Oklahoma City bombings, and that 9/11 was planned in Washington and Tel Aviv. Gohmert and Jones engage in a game of "conspiracy one-upmanship," each one trying to out-loon the other. Gohmert says Obama is gonna implement him some socialism and kill old folks. Jones begins comparing Obama to an off-the-cuff list of the world's despots. Gohmert says the government wants to strap condoms on wild geese. Jones says Clinton and his staff of Dr. Mengele clones want to sterilize all of us by dumping chemicals in our drinking water, implementing a "eugenics control grid over us," andcreating "youth brigades, national service compulsory in a group outside the military under the Democratic party control in the city year in the red and black uniforms ..." Gohmert, realizing he might be outgunned in full-bore howling insanity by Jones, resorts to the nuclear option of conspiracy theories, comparing Obama to Those Nazi Guys. Obama's policies were "done in the 1930s," he says. But, as Jones has him on points, he extends his comparison even farther, saying, [I]t's not the only place its been done. It has been done throughout history." Jones, a veteran loon pugilist, comes back with, "Mao did it." Obviously realizing that he is in the presence of greatness, Gohmert can only agree. "Well, that's exactly what I was thinking of. This is the kind of the thing we got to stop. We got to get back to the roots, the basics." After some mutual congratulations and admiration, Gohmert slinks out of the building through the parking garage, staying out of the range of the black helicopters and orbital surveillance satellites, and takes four taxicabs back to his underground compound.
I have to say, Gohmert and Jones may fall outside the category of ODD sufferer, and probably need adjoining cells in the Arkham Asylum. However, let's see what applies here: throwing repeated temper tantrums (closest thing that applies to the slavering, squealing paranoia those two gave us), excessively arguing with adults, deliberately trying to annoy or upset others, or being easily annoyed by others, having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment, saying mean and hateful things when upset, and frequent lying.