Friday, April 4, 2014

A Political Sickness of the Highest Order

The condition medical science calls Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Disorder must be a prerequisite to running for office as a Republican.

Sufferers have far stronger and more frequent obsessions than normal folk, and their obsessions trigger uncontrollable actions that are aggressive, irrational and socially inappropriate. They can’t help themselves.

For example, House Republicans yesterday made their 52nd attempt to repeal or emasculate the Affordable Care Act, which they derisively call “Obamacare.”  Like their previous attempts it was doomed even before it was written.  Still, at the mere mention of Obamacare, a right-wing Republican is likely to melt down, compulsively shouting “death panels,” “socialism,” and other nonsense slogans.  Both the AMA and the APA reportedly are considering making Obamacare Obsession a separate and extreme subform of OCBD.

Another extreme form of the disorder that is rampant among Republicans is Benghazi Obsession. Whenever a Republican gets a whiff of a nearby progressive idea, he is likely to begin trembling and compulsively shouting “Benghazi! Benghazi!”  At our local Congressman’s office the other day, a constituent asked him about incentives for development of wind power, and he turned crimson, leaped atop his desk and yelled “Benghazi” so loud that his plastic Jesus shattered.

No amount of truth can wean an OCBD sufferer from his or her favorite obsessions.  No wonder the so-called “birthers” are being compared to the “flat-earth society.”  An acquaintance of mine developed a clean-house obsession that was so strong she ultimately stopped living in her house after it had been cleaned, so as not to muss it up. The political equivalent is the Republican governors who refuse to let their aged citizens reap the benefit of expanded Medicaid under . . . the O-word.

Some historians believe the Tax-and-Spend obsession was the earliest form  of OCBD among Republicans.  An archivist says “Tax-and-Spend Democrats” was scrawled on the walls of Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh at the first Republican national convention in 1856. “Tax-and-Spend Democrats” ranks third behind Momma and Dada as the most frequent first words spoken by Republican infants.. To this day it ranks with “Cut the Deficit” as the most compulsive Republican response to the mere mention of Social Security.

Doctors say OCBD isn’t contagious, but as the disorder becomes more and more extreme among Republicans, it has spread across the aisles of Congress. One of the first manifestations of this was the WMD syndrome.  Under its influence, most Democrats in Congress supported the authorization to invade Iraq.  Democratic immunity to Republicans’ Endless War Obsession had been weakened by the national endemic of Terrorism Obsession, which began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still rages throughout the population.

OCBD Democrats have a Compromise Obsession that causes them to compulsively accept defeat before the battle has even begun.  That’s why President Obama capitulated to Big Pharma and Big Insurance even before the Affordable Care Act was drafted.  

Republican Sex Obsession began during the Clinton Impeachment fiasco with Special Prosecutor Ken Starr’s intense fascination with the most lurid physical details of the Lewinski-Clinton relationship. It, too, has spread across the aisle to Democrats who join Republicans’ compulsive intrusion into the most intimate and private aspects of women’s lives.

While there are many obsessions that cause compulsive and bizarre behavior by our elected leaders, the most dangerous at this moment is the Iran Obsession.  An offshoot of the larger Arab Obsession, the Iran Obsession is a cousin of the WMD madness that put us into the disastrous Iraq war.  Its most seriously afflicted sufferers, like Dick Cheney and John McCain, compulsively attach “nuclear weapons program” to any mention of Iran. Even though that Muslim republic has no nuclear weapons program and doesn’t want to have one, the OCBD crowd wants to bomb-bomb-bomb it to smithereens.

Many OCBD sufferers fly into rages when their compulsive behavior is thwarted.  If that happens to one of the many rulers around the world who do have nuclear triggers, it doesn’t really matter which side they’re on.  The world’s toast either way.