Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is Ms. Clinton Crazy?

Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News, who has been writing a series of rather hysterical anti-Hillary columns, today published responses from readers who agree with his take that Clinton, in her remarks about the 1968 Robert Kennedy assassination, was really talking about a possible Obama hit.
Interesting, several doctors weighed in:

"This was an encoded/unconscious death wish toward Obama. It was not even thinly disguised."
Joseph Reppen, Ph.D., ABPP
"It seems best explained as a Freudian slip."
Tom Schossau, M.D.
"It's hard to know in this campaign whether Hillary's death wish is for Obama, or herself. Whether she has a deep down self-destructive tendency, like the late President [Richard] Nixon, is hard to know, but there are similarities."
William Hogg, M.D.

I had to laugh when I read this. We are apparently now at the stage of a presidential campaign where the good doctors are tossing in "unconscious death wishes" and "Freudian slips." It used to be, before Freud was nearly completely discredited, that somberly tut-tutting shrinks like these were brought in to comment on presidential candidates whose opponents considered them beyond the pale. In the 1964 Goldwater/LBJ slugfest, a nationwide survey of American psychiatrists found that a sizeable percentage of them thought Goldwater was unfit to serve as President because he suffered from clinical paranoia. Going ever further back, in 1896, the august New York Times hired a bunch of alienists (i.e, shrinks) to comment on William Jennings Bryan's psyche. In September of that year, just as the election heated up to fever pitch, the McKinley-supporting Times published an interesting little article entitled “Is Mr. Bryan Crazy?” which looked at any number of the Democratic candidate’s utterances and claimed that they were not the workings of a rational mind. The Times editors also included a letter from a distinguished alienist stating that if Bryan won the election “there would be a madman in the White House.”
Not content with this, the Times interviewed several more alienists and published the results two days later. These eminent medical geniuses said Bryan suffered from megalomania, paranoia querulent (complaining too much), and querulent logorrhea (talking about complaining too much). One other “expert” simply said, “I don’t think Bryan is ordinarily crazy…But I should like to examine him as a degenerate.”
Perhaps Goodwin and the Daily News will enlighten us further about the dark recesses of Hillary's psyche by calling for a round table shrink discussion like this....

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