PDS – President Derangement Syndrome

Posted on Tuesday 5 September 2006

Recent years have brought on what I’ve often seen described as “Bush Derangement Syndrome”. Most frequently manifesting on the very hard left, BDS has one easily identifiable symptom: the emotionally stated belief that George W. Bush is responsible for every ill in the country.

As a moderate, it’s both disheartening and confusing to watch the hard right and left attack one another over BDS, because I see validity on both sides… but BDS isn’t a new political ailment. In fact, it’s the yin to the conservative yang of CDS: Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

While CDS often surfaces in the comments of various blogs (notorious as troll caves), it isn’t limited to the irrational. In fact, Polimom’s home harbors a recovering CDS-sufferer as well, and the subject comes up more often than one might expect in an otherwise politically moderate household.

Most recently, a CNN story from 1996, found via Americablog, was the topic:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess. [...]

“We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue,” Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

Since a major symptom of both Syndromes is an outright rejection of data based on source, (and I’ve often thought the Americablogger suffers from BDS), I presented the CNN article to DH directly… and we ended up in a rational discussion about it.

Clinton was obstructed, and it’s ironic that the legislation he was pushing for so closely resembles the Patriot Act today. As a time-capsule, it’s interesting, but in the face of recent post-9-11 CDS revisionism, it’s astounding.

A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post ran another retrospective look at a Clintonian issue:

As a conservative analyst who spent much of the 1990s working against most of Bill Clinton’s agenda — including even some aspects of his welfare reform proposals — it pains me to say this.

Bill Clinton was right.

He deserves more credit for the passage of welfare reform than most conservatives probably care to admit.

No, they won’t care to admit it… particularly if they’re suffering from the dreaded CDS.

Between them, I’ve started thinking of these as two sides of the same coin — the Presidential Derangement Syndrome (PDS).

PDS is bi-partisan and utterly irrational. It over-stimulates the right-brain synapses so severely that the left-brain — the thinking side — simply shuts down, and Robert Rector’s article in WaPo described its manifestation perfectly.

Before we go much further into the November election madness, we’d do well to remember the risks of obstructionism for its own sake. The Democrats have an excellent shot at re-taking at least the House this year, but if the goals of those elected are merely acting from PDS, we’ll be just as dysfunctional as we are right now.

The polls indicate that voters are angry; I believe that, and it worries me. Our country has spent far too many years trying to block, undermine, or attack, and we’re at a critical juncture.

Polimom’s vote will go to candidates that can speak without spraying spittle across the microphone; whose eyes don’t shade toward red with PDS-driven high blood pressure. We desperately need people who are going to work together, rather than against “the others” simply because they’re Red or Blue.

We’re thirteen years into a pathological PDS problem, and we’re starting to fray around the edges. That’s fine with me; let the edges go. Maybe then we’ll start to look like a unified country again.

13 Comments for 'PDS – President Derangement Syndrome'

    September 5, 2006 | 12:16 pm

    [...] Plus: Home, Home on Derange. [...]

    September 6, 2006 | 9:53 pm

    There is only one response for this kind of post: Like DUH!

    You might have well have said we must all have a group hug and breath. Air! Like Duh!

    Nothing new here. Nothing to see.

    extex mario
    September 6, 2006 | 11:46 pm

    couldn’t have been better stated. you hit the nail on the head pollmom!

    September 7, 2006 | 6:21 am

    Like DUH!


    September 7, 2006 | 12:06 pm

    I seriously doubt we’ll ever look like a “unified” country again; after giving your post much thought I’d have to say that I’m struck by your line, “Polimom’s vote will go to candidates that can speak without spraying spittle across the microphone.” I’m frankly stumped to understand how any intelligent human can vote for a candidate of either of the two parties. Neither Party acts like one; neither adhere’s to it’s advertized agenda; in the National elections, the candidates and the elected are more beholden to the Lobies and special interest groups that funded their campaigns and line their pockets while in office. In ’08 some slimy piece of dirt will win the White House on the lies it’s told to the gullible who once again will believe the lies. In the wake of the debacle of Katrina, which showed how impotent this gov’t is; in the wake of the open borders program which shows how corrupted this gov’t is on the one hand and impotent to protect national borders it is on the other, I’d like to know how anyone can continue to support this gov’t with a “vote”? I’ll not again so support this gov’t unless and until such time as it’s been drastically overhauled. The present system is an insult to intelligence, a pointless economic ripoff and lethal when allowed to act on the world stage. The horror of this situation is that we certainly can’t trust the twisted miscreants in the gov’t to overhaul the system; so nothing will change. But perhaps the day will come when a slimy dirtbag is elected to the White House only to realize that only 30% of the eligible electorate put him/her there; realizing he/she has no mandate or real authority to do anything. The only way to get this fixed is to withold financial support from either of the two partys and to insure the “winners” do so without a mandate.

    September 7, 2006 | 6:12 pm

    “The only way to get this fixed is to withold financial support from either of the two partys and to insure the “winners” do so without a mandate.”

    Glide — I know a number of people who are not only witholding support, they’re actively contributing to the opposition at this point.

    September 8, 2006 | 7:13 am

    Well…….that’s an interesting idea, but what “opposition”? So far all I’ve seen emerge is Kinky Friedman on the State Level and the “Libertarians” on a National level, but they seem doomed to putting forth a raft of candidates that more resemble walleyed crackpots at a Trekie convention. Without some total overhaul of the entire system, probably meaning Constitutional reform and amendment, I see us stuck forever with the “least of two evils” type situation we’ve been in for as long as I can remember and to my mind that’s just awful and it gets worse with each passing election season because the system doesn’t reward and promote “leaders”, it rewards and promotes pitchmen/women, artful in the decietful practices of spin and misinforming the electorate. At the rate we’re going, in twenty years we’ll be seeing an election where Paris Hilton and a David Duke clone are vying for the Presidency.

    September 8, 2006 | 7:51 am

    At least one of the folks I know who are “done in” by our politically poisonous atmosphere is making campaign contributions to candidates in districts other than his. Specifically — although he’s a Republican, he’s actively supporting a Libertarian in another part of Texas… and he would have supported a Democrat, but they didn’t put up a candidate.

    In my case, I guess that might translate to long distance support for a moderate elsewhere, even though it won’t help me personally.

    September 8, 2006 | 11:00 am

    Is There A Political Affliction Named “PDS?”…

    Decide after you read this….

    January 24, 2007 | 12:58 pm

    [...] We’re just seeing the ongoing symptoms of PDS (President Derangement Syndrome). [...]

    March 14, 2007 | 1:07 pm

    [...] But the need to point to Clinton (a common symptom of one form of PDS) has apparently overtaken rationality, as evidenced by the Wall Street Journal’s editorialists (Opinion Journal): As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we’d suggest she call herself as the first witness–and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel. [...]

    March 15, 2007 | 8:46 am

    WMDs discovered on local blog; Pentagon prepares to attack…

    This morning, intelligence sources made a startling discovery: the virus that causes Presidential Derangement Syndrome (PDS) has mutated, and is infecting mass numbers of people with a new strain called Widely Manifested Derangement syndrome (WMDs).

    January 20, 2008 | 7:45 pm

    [...] But while I don’t suffer from BDS (or CDS, or any other PDS variety), I am supremely unhappy with the Republicans. From where I sit, in fact, that’s the biggest minus in McCain’s column at the moment. The fact that he has to fight against his party on such issues tells us a lot about the GOP today. [...]

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