One really cool thing about blogging is that we bloggers are free to pontificate on any subject we want, regardless of whether we have the slightest clue as to what we’re talking about. This expertise-neutral attribute is, of course, particularly valuable to certain conservative bloggers, who, obviously, would otherwise be condemned to eternal silence.
Still, we liberal bloggers take our fair advantage as well. And speaking of which, why not apply the principle to psychiatry?
Speaking as a layperson, I believe that when the American Psychiatric Association finally gets around to publishing the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, they need to seriously consider adding a new disorder — Chronic Moderate Republican Denial Syndrome (CMRDS).
The Axis I diagnostic criteria for CMRDS will be as follows:
A. A person holding relatively moderate views on political and social issues;
B. Who is a long term member of the Republican Party;
C. Who has cognitive recognition that the so-called moderate wing of the party no longer exists and that today’s Republican leaders are almost exclusively far-right extremists;
D. But who, nevertheless (and this one clinches the diagnosis), ignores this information and continues to wholeheartedly support the Republican Party.
By definition, the diagnosis of CMRDS does not apply to people who remain Republicans for selfish reasons, as, for example, in the case of wealthy individuals who stick with the party despite discomfort with the Religious Right because they like the tax cuts.
Such thinking may be ugly, but it isn’t an irrational denial of objective fact. Thus, the diagnosis doesn’t apply. In all such cases, consideration should be given to entering the alternative diagnosis of SRBS (Selfish Rich Bastard Syndrome).
Other Characteristics of CMRDS:
True CMRDS victims, on the other hand, are anything but rational in their political leanings: They cling to a party that has not only long since stopped representing their political viewpoints, but in which they as individuals are routinely treated with utter contempt.
In this sense, moderate Republicans suffering from CMRDS are a lot like a man who keeps calling a woman for a date, even after she’s turned him down a dozen times because of various far-fetched sounding conflicts. After awhile, a person needs to catch a clue. CMRDS sufferers never do.
They are very easy to pick out at Republican Party functions, by the way. They’re the ones standing in the corner by themselves staring at their coffee cups. Somehow they just can’t seem to get into the fun of an event spent running down Barbara Streisand, making fun of poor people and joyously accusing every liberal Democrat in the country of being gay.
When asked to defend their party as currently constituted, CMRDS sufferers generally resist giving direct answers (they can think of little to say that isn’t embarrassing). Instead, they’re apt to ferociously attack Democrats, generally in fairly non-responsive ways:
“Bush has really screwed things up in Iraq,” you say to one.
“Yeah, like Gore or Kerry would have done better,” he laughs derisively in response.
Sadly, it’s all he has.
The only known complete cure for CMRDS involves a drastic seven step process known as derepublicanization.
For those unwilling or unable to complete the process, given that spontaneous human combustion remains a constant risk, symptomatic treatment is strongly recommended, including keeping the victim away from possible combustion triggers such as Fox News, Ann Coulter and any megachurch big enough to have its own dry cleaning facilities