Monday, April 9, 2012

Republicans Need Lithium

See Cartoon Details Below.
For a long time I've been watching the intransigence between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, listening to the blame game about which party is full of the most recalcitrant, non-compromising bad guys and reading "Can't we just get along?" punditry, all the time knowing, from personal experience, that there are certain situations in life where it is impossible to compromise because one of the two warring sides is completely nuts.

Personal experience case in point: A good friend of mine here in France has a certifiably insane and increasingly dangerous ex who, while living off of his 4th girlfriend (who had just birthed his 4th child) and harassing my friend with daily threatening and insulting emails, phone calls, voicemails and texts (while still managing to play numerous World of Warcraft sessions), stalked and won the adoration of a female Parisian lawyer famous for defending abused women. As soon as he hooked up with this famous attorney, he dumped his girlfriend along with their 12-month old child and soon convinced his new attorney girlfriend that my friend had psychologically abused him and their child. (Child #3 of 4 total - I know, this is complicated.) His fearless defender of women, horrified by his invented tales of abuse, kidnapped his and my friend's child and then managed to put my friend into the Goute d'Or jail (not the best of Paris neighborhoods) for two days and then in the Medieval prison under the Palais de Justice (where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before being executed on the guillotine) for 2 more days of garde à vue (detention), where my friend was interrogated as well as sent to two psychiatric hospitals for evaluation. My friend was jailed because her crazy ex and his now wife (he didn't waste any time getting this woman to marry him) filed a criminal case against her for psychological abuse (a new law in France that was designed and promoted by... drum roll... the crazy ex's new lawyer wife).

Now... even though my friend had proof that her ex had been treated for bipolarity and alcoholism, had attempted to jump out of her 6th-floor apartment window because the Aliens were talking to him through his dental fillings, had successfully jumped off his parents' apartment balcony and broke both of his feet, had been picked up by the cops during a psychotic event where he stripped down naked in a park to play in the kiddie sandbox... the court-appointed psychiatrists and social workers said to my friend, "If you and your ex could just learn to communicate better with each other..." Can't we all just get along?

I always think of this story when I read all the ad nauseum discussions about bipartisanship.  And I can't help equating the Republican party with my friend's crazy ex. By my armchair shrink definition, bipolarity has become a Republican disease. They are so obsessed with getting that uppity black guy, his wife and their picaninny children out of the sacred White-only House, that they will forfeit the American economy and the American people to do so, even to the extent that they will stop supporting issues and legislation (i.e. healthcare mandates) that they previously supported, if our Muslim Kenyan Socialist Marxist president decides to support those issues too. It's like all of them are creatures of an up-is-down Bizarro World, recent transplants from another planet called Htrae. Religious fanatics, legislating against marriage equality, hire rent boys, wear diapers while they pay prostitutes for sex, make unwanted sexual advances on Congressional boy pages, etc. Religious/small government fanatics declare they want the government out of their healthcare but create legislation where the government requires women, against their will, to have a vaginal probe and to look at their babies on the probe screen before having an abortion. Small government fanatics claim Obama is the biggest spendthrift in the entire Bizarro World but it was George W. Bush, their hero, who spent like a drunken sailor and left Obama with gazillions in debt to clean up. Religious fanatics claim that same-sex marriage will destroy 'traditional' marriage but they rally behind a 3-time-marriage-loser like Newt Gingrich.

Like I said, they're fucking nuts.

Then this morning I read a Dailykos article that quoted a John Cole article (bold emphasis mine):

I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.
How do you succeed when the other party is insane? In my friend's case, after about $30,000 of donated money and more than a full year of not being able to work while she fought her criminal case, she finally won (the criminal case against her was dropped due to lack of evidence and her ex and his lawyer wife were given suspended sentences for kidnapping her child for 3 months), but she's still fighting to get the courts to grant her request for supervised child visitation to protect her child from this crazy guy. (Yes, even after kidnapping his child, the French courts still allow him to have his child every other weekend and during school holidays.) Luckily, just two weeks ago, the ex placed himself into a mental institution. But I'm sure it's not over yet. He's only in there for another week and he probably did it just so he could accuse my friend of making him insane. Time will tell. But hopefully something will be done to stop him before this happens. (That guy is in prison for killing his 3rd wife and his 2nd wife died when her car went over a cliff, out of which he miraculously was able to jump. Disclosure: my sister is the attorney in the custody battle for those poor kids' maternal grandfather).

Unfortunately, we can't commit the entire Republican party to a mental institution. And if you're hoping that a younger generation of Republicans will rise to replace the Old White Guys now in charge and bring the Grand Old Party back to its previous Grandness, just take a look at the douche bag to the left and you'll lose all that hopey-changey stuff real quick. But maybe a permanent Lithium fog, piped into the right side of the aisle of the hallowed halls of Congress, is in order.

Puck cartoon image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Details: Puck massaging the scalp of a deranged-looking Richard Olney who is sitting on a bench in a padded cell in the "Hopeless ward for incurables" and holding a rattle of William Jennings Bryan as a jester. On the floor are loose papers, one labeled "Olney's letter indorsing [sic] Bryan." And from the William Jennings Bryan Wiki: "The sheer volume of political propaganda cartoons featuring Bryan is a testament to the amusement and fear he caused among conservatives. ... As Keen puts it, 'The art of propaganda is to create a portrait that incarnates the idea of what we wish to destroy so we will react rather than think, and automatically focus our free-floating hostility, indistinct frustrations, and unnamed fears.' Bryan embodied these fears of the Republican Party of the time, which is clearly evident in the lengths they went to deface his character in these cartoons. ... Other cartoons can analyze overall judgments of Bryan’s continuous failure to win the Presidential Election and Bryan can be seen as some sort of puppet or smaller figure in comparison to other presidential elect opponents."