This was pretty good from Charlie Cook’s National Journal column today …
“Driving in to work Tuesday morning while listening to WTOP, Washington’s excellent all-news radio station, I heard my friend, the extremely able congressional reporter Dave McConnell, relate a conversation he had with a Republican House member. This member told McConnell that allowing the debt ceiling to be breached might “get the leadership’s attention.” That sounded like a kid saying if he threw his mother’s priceless vase against the wall, she might start letting him do what he wants. Political judgment this bad, coming from members of Congress, is a dangerous thing for a party. When it comes to dealing with something with enormous consequences, such as intentionally creating a situation that could lead to default on our national debt, we are no longer quibbling about minor differences of opinion.
The combination of redistricting; population-sorting; and media-viewing, listening, and reading habits has created ideological and partisan culs-de-sac and incestuous thinking that are causing astonishing miscalculations on hugely consequential matters.
I consulted a psychiatrist and a psychologist on this question. Both said there is no formal term for the behavior some Republicans are exhibiting, but one described the groupthink as “hysterical delusional affirmation,” and the other named it “delusional synergy.” One said, “It entails suspension of logical intellectual processes with a selective consideration of only confirmatory input. Paranoid people typically experience ideas of influence and control where they believe that they see things that others cannot. This process is often propelled by delusions of grandeur, quite often messianic in nature.”
Certainly, delusion is not new. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, the hatred and contempt for the Arkansan among many Republicans and conservatives was so great it led prominent GOP members to do some pretty outrageous things—up to and including then-Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana shooting a melon in his backyard to try to prove some harebrained conspiracy theory about the late White House counsel Vince Foster’s death. And that’s not to mention the impeachment fiasco. When hatred turns into obsession, it spawns some pretty erratic and destructive behavior.”
Oh, and a bonus Rowdy Crowd pop quiz …
Who said this … ?
“I think that remark is one of his more out of touch remarks that we’ve heard in recent days. No. What emboldened our enemies and what empowered our competitors was his promise to fundamentally transform America from being a solvent, free, exceptional country into something we’re not gonna recognize. Also, what has emboldened enemies is that he with doubling of our debt since he’s been elected, putting us on a path towards bankruptcy, and then locking up pipelines and resources that will result in us being more reliant on foreign imports for energy, and then of course he, having left behind, his administration having left behind our brave men in Benghazi to be murdered, and then of course there’s Syria, where he promised to bomb Syria because in that civil war, Syria was going to bomb Syria, and then we never heard another word again about his threat to bomb in a foreign civil war, and then of course, most recently … he, uh, using our military, those who would fight against our enemies. Our military. Our vets. Shutting down their memorials. And holding them hostage in terms of budget deals. Uh, threatening to withhold paychecks for our brave men and women. As for economic—
Interviewer: Listen, but let me ask you — let me jump in
AS FOR ECONOMIC COMPETITORS! Corporate tax rate, the second highest in the industrialized world. Now that empowers our competitors.