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There's been this 'unifying' theme kicking around in my noggin churning, lately: Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS).

Somehow it is the key to unraveling the political minefield that lies before us, I suspect. And if you have the time, allow me to explain those underlying uniting themes, with this post ...


Obama Derangement Syndrome  -- urbandictionary.com

The acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the statements -- nay -- the very existence of Barack Obama.

Jon Stewart has called ODS:  Baracknophobia.  

Rand Paul says "Barack Obama is turning the United States into a 'socialist nightmare'."

Even president Obama himself joked about it recently, at the 2014 correspondents dinner:

"You'll miss me when I'm gone. It'll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya."

So it is plain that there is this fear of all-things Obama-related -- irrationally held by some.  But what explains this mass-hysteria phenomena, and how is it different from say, BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) -- that gripped the nation not so many years ago?

Perhaps this irrational, hot-button fear and anger ... just goes with the Presidential territory?

Most here, would be hard-pressed not to cringe or wince, at the mere mention of the name: Dick {Darth} Cheney.

Of course if any one man, deserved all the citizenry fear and loathing, shadow-president Cheney would certainly qualify ...


Because isn't this why the human species instinctive bands together into "groups" in the first place -- so we can nominate someone to Lead ... AND so that we can conversely have someone to Blame, too?

... when all the complexities of life gather up, and fail to go {quote} "our way"? {end-quote}


The human species seems predisposed to nominate our Heroes, and alternately castigate our Scapegoats, when things go awry.

Whereas the truth of the matter probably falls somewhere in the middle, seeing as we are all human, and seeing how that Congress itself is the source of most of our collective inaction, lax oversight, and faulty legislation. That THEY really should suffer the blame ...


Believe it or not, before there was ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome), there was {quote} BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) {end-quote}. And even odder yet, we have Charles Krauthammer to thank for inventing this broad-brush-swiping 'illness':

Bush Derangement Syndrome -- rationalwiki.org

Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) is a neologism coined by neoconservative pundit Charles Krauthammer. As he defined it in a 2003 column, it is:
    “...[T]he acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.”[1]
BDS was originally coined by Krauthammer to attack Howard Dean, Barbara Streisand, and Bill Moyers in a pathetic attempt to equate them to full-on conspiracy theories about Dubya like Cynthia McKinney's endorsement of 9/11 "truth", and it soon became a convenient way for wingnuts to handwave away any criticism of Bush.[2] Unfortunately for those alleged to be suffering BDS, it is not listed in the DSM [The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] and as such unlikely to be covered by the average insurance plan.
[...]

These Pavlov-like Syndromes may vary in their degrees of factual accuracy, and intended objectives -- but their effects are the same. They lead to oppositional, divided government. They prevent the nation from moving forward, and pro-actively addressing the many complex problems, that any complex, modern society will inevitably face. Simply banding together as a group, has its advantages to a species. But it has many disadvantages too -- such as who speaks for me, my family, my career, my city, my causes?  And what if their words -- of my advocates -- end up simply falling upon deaf {or deranged} ears?

In those cases, many of those social-banding advantages ... then will end up transforming into simply trying to endure 'the government we got' ...


How Obama Derangement Syndrome is unlike that of Bush

Liberal Librarian, thepeoplesview.net -- Sep 14, 2013

[...]
Obama Derangement Syndrome is different [from Bush Derangement Syndrome] because it’s all-consuming. Nothing that he does can be credited. Everything he does must be deligitimized. He has to be shown as an empty suit, a buffoon, a clown, an incompetent, someone good at entertaining with speeches but completely out of his depth at governing. The more success he racks up, the greater the volume of this banshee wailing. The Republican Party and the Right in general have ceased standing for anything positive; they merely exist to oppose Obama in everything, no matter the damage it will do to the state. The Right’s only purpose is to conduct a scorched-earth campaign against the president.
[...]
Last time I checked, scorching the earth "on principle" was not a very pro-active nor constructive policy platform. Even though it might make the fire-brand carriers 'feel good' over their vocalized protests, and expressions of resistance.

To blame some-ONE for our problems, is only human nature. Even though that blame might not always trace back to that one person, alone. No matter -- "The Buck has to Stop Somewhere!"

Sometimes the Blamers may actually have to share in the Blame. Afterall, we {the collective we} are the ones who actually send the "clowns" to Congress -- that is when "we" actually cared enough to bother to vote for the bums the hurlers-of-blame.

We {someone} should ask Krauthammer:  Where is the Congressional Derangement Syndrome (CDS) -- that blames all-things Congress-related -- you know that uniquely American institution, where our cherished American Dreams, all go to quietly die ... ?




Here's a word test for you. I'll give a few "hot-button" phrases, you give your gut-level emotional response to each of them ("internal gut-checks" are fine for this little DS experiment):

Iraq War

War on Terror

Pre-emptive Strikes

Abu Ghraib

Guantanamo

Unknown Knowns

NSA Overreach

Home Foreclosures

Out-sourcing Opportunities

Homelessness

Keystone Pipeline

Occupy Wall Street

Bush Tax Cuts

Tea Party Patriots

Bloated Bureaucracy

Government Shutdown

Student Loan Crisis

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Drill Baby Drill

The Food Stamp President

Two Americas


What should be apparent (I hope), is that our outsized emotional responses are not always limited by our individual "party allegiances." And when those very "human outrages" stray across traditional party-lines, I would raise this possibility, and ask this political touchstone question:

    Do such common outrage responses, provide some hazy horizon-lines to that unstructured political territory, that some dare to call Populism?

In politics as in life, "outrage" will only get you so far, especially toward solving "our problems."

Because at some point the "outrage" fades, and all that will remain are the "Heroes" and the "Scapegoats" -- AND those still unsolved problems -- that at some base-level, "we" all share in common ... as bumbling, fragile, imperfect human beings, inhabiting a limited planet. No matter the leadership caps, we each may be temporarily handed, at one of our many stations in this journey called life.


It seems to me, whoever can best tap the common vein of 'frustration and futility' -- will likely be the next one we will collective nominate to Lead/Blame, our uniquely American, and very exceptional never-ending national parade.

Afterwhich, our un-examined Presidential Derangement Syndrome (PDS) will morph again, and will eventually keep us once again, appropriately constrained {and frustrated}. ... Consumers in waiting. With only Jeb/Hill to blame, this next blame-game time around.


Defining "our problems" which we need to commonly solve as a Society ... would be a very smart, first Populist step (if you'd asked me). Especially if we ever hope to, practically and effectively, break out of our National PDS rut ... (Blame the President rut.)

To solve a problem, we first have to agree on, just what that problem is.  Such are the limitations of language, and competing group consensuses.


Or so it is becoming more obvious to me. That Populism is the uniting-theme who's time has finally come. Our group "Dems" would be wise not to miss this uniquely empowering, and politically crass opportunity. ... Afterall isn't this one of our Party Platforms, that we are the Party of the People?

Dems had better start acting like it (more 'Populous') ... if ever things are to really change.  And the real clowns of inaction, are ever to be held to their well-earned, blame-worthy account.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Whoever controls the media controls the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, blueyedace2

    message. Just today I saw an article on Mitt Romney where he supports raising the minimum wage. Reading the article you see multiple mentions of "a growing number of Republicans" yet no mention of the Democrats who started the push. By November I'm sure the narrative will be something like "A Republican plan to raise the minimum wage was torpedo by overreaching Democrats who wanted more than $8.50/hr."

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:46:42 PM PDT

  •  It's a collective outgrowth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    of the very real, but mostly subconsciously felt, fact that the president's constituents are not the vast majority of the citizenry.  And every time a president speaks, it's an unending stream of bullshit.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:33:59 PM PDT

    •  Assigning it a syndrome (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess

      does exactly this:

      They lead to oppositional, divided government. They prevent the nation from moving forward, and pro-actively addressing the many complex problems, that any complex, modern society will inevitably face....many of those social-banding advantages ... will end up transforming into simply trying to endure 'the government we got' ...
      How many conversations are effectively torpedoed by someone coming along and yelling "ODS!! ODS!!!"

      If you're going to do something to move forward with real fixes to real problems, you have to talk about it first.

      "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

      by lunachickie on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not quite sure what to think of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    I'm going to have to reread it again a bit later when I have the time to.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Fri May 09, 2014 at 04:29:25 PM PDT

    •  one of the points here, (0+ / 0-)

      is to point out the practicality of Populism,

      for Dems looking for a few planks to stand on.


      Sooner or later were going to have to: Trade in those Carbon Footprints ...

      by jamess on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:21:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think your assumption is wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        You assume that dems want to get something done and  that they represent the people.  They don't, nor are they interested in doing so.  They've simply blown too many opportunities to be credible as representatives of 'the people.'

        Additionally, BDS was every bit as bad as ODS is.  It's just the usual bias in favor of dems that causes dems to think otherwise.

        If you truly believe the following, then I don't know where you were during the bush years.  

        Obama Derangement Syndrome is different [from Bush Derangement Syndrome] because it’s all-consuming. Nothing that he does can be credited. Everything he does must be deligitimized. He has to be shown as an empty suit, a buffoon, a clown, an incompetent, someone good at entertaining with speeches but completely out of his depth at governing. The more success he racks up, the greater the volume of this banshee wailing. The Republican Party and the Right in general have ceased standing for anything positive; they merely exist to oppose Obama in everything, no matter the damage it will do to the state. The Right’s only purpose is to conduct a scorched-earth campaign against the president.

        It's only correct that BO faces stiffer opposition, but only because dems were not an opposition party for GWB like the repubs are for BO.  The dems are too wimpy and/or compromised to be an opposition party.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:45:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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