Palin Derangement Syndrome

I, along with many others, have observed a disturbing trend over the past 8 years in the partisan nature of politics: Bush Derangement Syndrome. It started with Democrats who were quite upset at George W. Bush winning1 the 2000 election. Their anger at losing a very close battle not only made it difficult for Bush to govern, but it made conservatives and Republicans rally to the President’s defense.

There are many things that George W. Bush has done wrong: Medicare Part D, the Agriculture and Energy bills, the response to Katrina, postwar planning in Iraq, and never vetoing a bill while the GOP held the majority. Due to the left’s constant frivolous attacks, conservatives felt they had to stand by their man. So Bush got a pass from the donors and activists who helped get him elected. Republicans weren’t going criticize their President, while the left was calling him “dumb” or a “retard”.

We don’t see the same level of insipidness in Georgia Politics1.1. There are no massive sufferers of Sonny Derangement Syndrome. As a result, you see much harsher internal criticism of the Georgia Republican leadership from among those on the right.

I’m worried that BDS is morphing into PDS or Palin Derangement Syndrome. As soon as Senator McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running-mate the derangement began. The worst example was the DailyKos posting accusing Bristol of being Trig’s mother. But other examples abound: that she tried to have books like Harry Potter banned at the Wasila library2, she was a member of a secessionist party3, she’s a snake handling creationist, etc.

These accusations, tossed out either by the Obama campaign, surrogates, or less than well meaning supporters4, have caused Republicans to circle the wagons and defend Palin against any and all attack. But there are legitimate questions that should be looked at. Was the departure of the public safety commissioner the legitimate prerogative of the Governor or a strong-armed attempt to have someone fired? Sonny can fire department heads till the cows come home. Bush can fire cabinet secretaries all day. Its not abnormal for political appointees to change when a new boss is elected. This could be trouble, it could be nothing.

But its not going to be addressed while people are throwing around baseless and meaningless accusations involving her being an anti-Semite, or that her kid is pregnant because she supports abstinence only education5.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that many Republicans6 suffer from various derangement syndromes. Sean Hannity used to start all his radio shows by calling it “The Stop Hillary Express”7. I think I’d much rather have seen McCain/Palin face Hillary than Obama. Anyone who puts the emphasis on Barak Obama’s middle name has issues.

As we saw this week in 2001, the issues that are part of a campaign aren’t necessarily the issues a President will face once in office. Issues are important, but so is character, and so is experience. Not just political experience8, but life experience. We should be looking at serious issues of character and policy. Not if the plane was sold on E-Bay or via a private broker9.

1 Sorry BDS sufferers, Bush did win in 2000. The final recount of the entire state of Georgia has Bush winning those 25 electoral votes.
1.1 So shuddup.
2 Harry Potter had not yet been published in 1996 when Palin was allegedly trying to ban books. The Wasillia Library has said that they have no record of any books being banned.
3 The only evidence I’ve heard to back this up was the verbal claim, later recounted, of the former chairwoman of the AIP.
4 I fully believe that no one in the Obama campaign was behind the DailyKos accusations against Bristol.
5 “In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself “pro-contraception” and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence. “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues,” she said during a debate in Juneau.”
6 Libertarians, Greens and minor-party supporters are just deranged.
7 That usually as far as I can get into that windbag’s show before switching to the FM Band.
8 Having seen how Congress works, I’d say political experience counts negatively.
9 McCain’s (or his speechwriter’s) scew-up. Palin said she “put it on E-Bay”, which she did, not that she sold it on E-Bay.


  1. Bill Simon says:

    9 McCain’s (or his speechwriter’s) scew-up. Palin said she “put it on E-Bay”, which she did, not that she sold it on E-Bay.

    Are you saying it didn’t sell?

  2. odinseye2k says:

    I think the BDS / PDS come from those of us that are professionals and expect things to be run professionally. You get the feeling that Bush and Palin aren’t merely incompetent, but that they just don’t care. They don’t care about the job being done right, they just care about looking bad in front of the cameras. And so you get called a filthy Communist or terrorist or whatever if you decide to point out just how crappy their administrations have been.

    Guys like Purdue, Chambliss, McCain, and so on have policies that aren’t so great, but you get the sense that they are at least showing up to attempt an honest day’s work.

    Bush Derangement Syndrome isn’t about losing. It’s about losing to such an out-and-out schmuck. It would be like watching UGA lose this year to Central Michigan. At some point, you’d almost have to be sure someone cheated.

  3. gt7348b says:

    Perdue wants to do an honest days work? A man that took 5 years to hire a transportation adviser when the state’s top three economic pillars (agriculture, logistics, and hospitality/tourism) depend on an efficient transport network? I like Perdue’s focus on management procedures, but isn’t that more of a job for a chief of staff rather than a CEO who lays out a vision?

    Sorry to get off track, but anyone who thinks Perdue is a visionary, progressive governor is more in the Palin/Bush camp.

  4. Amazing. You guys spend years talking about how earmarks and federal spending and “betraying core Republican principles” cost Republicans Congress (you are wrong, it was the war in Iraq) and then do the following:

    1. Anybody but McCain in the Republican primary even though he’s the only guy running (besides Ron Paul perhaps) who has consistently been fighting government spending, which you guys had previously claimed was the solution to Republicans losing on the national level and then…

    2. Cheer when he picks a champion earmark mayor/governor who supported, among other things $3.2 million in federal money for studying seal DNA.

    Sounds like some people suffer from Reality Derangement Syndrome. And I don’t think conservatives flocked to Bush because liberals were so critical. If anything, they flocked to Bush (especially after 9/11) because they thought they had a long-term winning coalition and lead figure ala FDR.

    I remember Eric Johnson giving a speech from the well of the Senate where he said “party of Lincoln, Reagan and Bush.” If anything, Democrats and liberals hate Bush more than ever (as do moderates and independents) so if your theory was truly operative he’d be more popular than ever among Republicans and conservatives because of the “rally to the leader” reaction. He is not. Bush also no longer represents anyone’s political future which is why Republicans and conservatives no longer identify with him.

    It really is as simple as that. But I suppose when you are looking back and trying to absolve yourself for hitching your wagon to a failure, it is easier to blame us for hating him and “making” you like him than it is to just admit that it was politically convenient at the time (and seemed like a good long term political play).

  5. Arctic Ghetto says:

    It is a pity your memory has stalled at 8 years Chris. The Republican controlled congress barring Democrats from committee meetings beginning in the 90s and the stonewalling of Federal judge hirings by Clinton come to mind. I am sure the Republicans had their rea$on$. Bush had the green light with both the House and Senate so there is no need to blame the the liberals for the Bush administration governing problems other than blaming others for one’s own failings. Your list of his apparent mis-plays is short but then again that list would take up pages. Bush is not “stupid” or “retarded”.(It took me a while to come to that conclusion on the former. I never thought the latter.) He is a smart, loyal man, much to the profit of his friends and the cost to our country, not to mention the gain to our enemies. This is just a from the hip political guess Chris but I think Sarah Palin is a budding political beast. Those on the right should not worry about her. They should worry on how to get close to her. The mud slinging is shocking but I have muddy hands and I look around to see all concerned making mud balls. It is that political time when even loved ones say some pretty mean things about each others heros.

  6. debbie0040 says:

    The state plan was sold but not on Ebay…

    Palin terrifies the Democrats and Liberals. They thought the election was sewn up for Obama, then McCain makes a brilliant choice for VP.
    The tables turn..

    Today is the anniversay of 9-11. I think more time should be spent investigating Obama’s ties to terrorist William Ayers…

    There is a double standard in the press. Look what they did to Sen Trent Lott because he said kind words about Strom Thurmond. Yet, the press gives a pass to the fact that Obama attended a racist church for 20 years and took his children. He sat in the pew for 20 years and listened to Rev. Wright spew hate toward America and whites, yet offer support for Louis Farrakhan an avowed hater of Jews. Obama insulted the voters intelligence by saying that he never heard Rev. Wright’s sermons, yet an audio tape he made when he was selling one of his books show otherwise..

    Double Standard!!

    False Internet claims and rumors fly about McCain’s running mate.

    Bush won both times because the majority of voters do not support the liberal viewpoint. Gore and Kerry were liberals. Barack Obama is so liberal, he makes Hillary Clinton look like a right wing conservative.

  7. Holly says:

    Fwiw, my first six months up here, I lived with a far left, Bush-hating liberal. (We’re talking from the “flick your television set off during the SOTU” and “believe the Pope is a secret Nazi” clan; not a normal-minded Democrat.) She was also part of the oversight team dispatched to New Orleans right after Katrina. Her assessment of the situation really surprised me, since she seems to relate most problems in America to the president.

    She firmly believes that the majority of fault lies with the city of New Orleans for not properly equipping the city for a disaster and for the governor for not declaring the area in need of federal assistance in a reasonable amount of time. Though she’s quick to say that FEMA did some things wrong, she believes that much of the blame doesn’t lie on the federal agencies or the president.

    Now, were she a Republican (or even a moderate), I’d expect her to think that. Because she’s a far leftie, I think that’s telling.

    The topic of attacking Sarah Palin is interesting. I’m not sure she’s been attacked any more viciously than other candidates. (John Kerry’s military service comes to mind. John McCain’s “black baby,” anyone? What about making fun of Chelsea Clinton’s acne and hair when she was, what, thirteen? She never ran for office. . .) Agreed, the Trigg issue was over the top. As a partisan Republican, I was pretty surprised at the stretch to tie the “lipstick on a pig” remark to Palin. Obama’s said the exact same thing in his speeches before, so it appeared to be a reiteration. Those of us who think political correctness has gone too far are still willing to police it, and I’m going to cry foul on the McCain camp for that one. There are so many legitimate things to hit Barack Obama on because they have differing views on many subjects. Why manufacture something so silly?

  8. bowersville says:


    The entire cable MSM tuned into Obama’s speech on education because it had been announced he would address lipstick which he did. Afterwards talking lipstick, he began to speak about McCain/Palin not focusing on the issues.

    Then the MSM cut away and talked about lipstick. After lipstick ad nauseum, all the MSM went to the McCain/Palin event expecting Palin to address lipstick, instead she talked issues. MSM stayed with the event for another 15-20 minutes for McCain on issues until they finally cut away as lipstick wasn’t being discussed.

    Why manufacture something silly? It works. Obama off message talking lipstick. McCain/Palin on message talking issues.

    In the following weeks we’ll be discussing legal per diem at home, legally dismissed department head for personal reasons, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, etc.

    Plus, the maiden kept in hiding will morph into crowd drawing American Idol lustre for McCain.

    The election will go to the wire and I guess it will boil down to the winner didn’t have a sister that was a thespian.

  9. Icarus says:

    I leave you people alone for two days and you put Palin back on the front page? WTF?

    …and who let Holly get out of town? Where is “up here”, and was living in Augusta under Paul Broun really that bad?

  10. Holly says:

    Ah yes, bowersville, but it became a big deal because the McCain camp put out the ad. The mainstream media did eat it up, and why not? They love sexism and racism because it makes people watch (or read). But since it’s been John McCain saying we needed to focus on the issues. . . we need to focus on the issue.

    (For Icarus, I work in DC now.)

  11. bird says:

    bowersville–that’s extremely cynical. I think the idea of a democracy is that ideas are debated and candidates qualifications are discussed. You seem to hope your candidate can sling enough unfounded and absurd accusations so the voting public is overwhelmed and can’t make a decision based on the issues or qualifications.

    I know that’s how the game is played to some degree, but if it’s a pig, I’m going to call it a pig. I think a cavalier attitude towards gutter politics further harms our country. I don’t think Obama has been hurt by the pig/lipstick fiasco. I think it has hurt the credibility of the McCain camp, but I’m an optimist.

    Chris, this is an interesting post, but I think this intense partisanship stems from talk radio. Remember when Clinton got elected and Rush started an America Under Siege countdown immediately. After a President is elected, we are suppose to rally behind him or her. There were hard feelings after 2000, but most Dems rallied behind Bush after 9/11, and we had our trust betrayed.

  12. Chris says:

    bird, harcore, and others….

    I’ll admit I only started following politics around 2000. But you are right, there was a form of Clinton derangement syndrome in 1992/1993.

    I don’t think the hyper-partisanship stems from talk-radio. You’re giving windbags more credit than they deserve.

  13. bowersville says:

    Bird, stand by. The mud is going to go both ways until Obama can figure a way to get off the subject of Palin.

    As I recall, a smear campaign started against Palin as soon as she was announced. Now Obama has even taken Palin up directly and he can’t seem to shake it. So who is promoting the Palin story? Obama or Palin? Or both?

    If Obama wants to get back on the issues, then he can take it there. But he sent opposition researchers to AK which is legitimate, but all we’re going to hear is per diem, seal blubber, dismissing a department head, yada, yada, yada…

    None of that is in Obama’s favor if Obama wants to get back on the issues, but he will continue. Plus the McCain campaign will counter with airborne assault timber wolf ads. Don’t kid yourself, both campaigns are equally guilty of taking the campaign for the highest office in the country into the gutter.

    I’m not cynical, it’s reality.

  14. bird says:

    Classic. More of the same Bowersville. When your horse steps in crap, try to point to the other horse. The McCain campaign is acting despicably, and there’s no excuse.

    And it’s clear that the campaigns aren’t “equally” in the gutter. Thanks to rugby fan’s clarification of just one piece of McCain’s misinformation campaign. The following is what McCain is made of, and it’s crap:

    “The McCain campaign seized on the remark, saying that Obama was alluding to Palin’s characterization of herself as a pit bull in lipstick. The Internet ad skips over the introductory words from Obama, juxtaposing Palin’s line from her nomination acceptance speech last Wednesday — “They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: lipstick” — with Obama’s lipstick-on-a-pig phrase, a phrase that McCain also has used, to describe Clinton’s health-care plan.

    “‘Ready to lead? No,’ the ad concludes. ‘Ready to smear? Yes.'”

  15. bowersville says:

    “not a single person from DC or Chicago has traveled to Alaska”

    We know from from where they are not from.

    “not a single Obama staffer, not a DNC staffer, not a single hired gun”

    We know who they are not.

    “local Democrats operatives are helping us out”

    Plausible deniability as the Palin smear continues to intensify. … but you can prove me wrong when the Palin smear stops at 8:00 am Monday morning and we hear nothing about per diem, seal blubber and firing of Department heads…..

    we know who they are not

  16. Icarus says:

    I don’t even know what we’re arguing about here anymore.

    If Obama isn’t sending ops researchers, then his campaign managers are guilty of malpractice.

    I’d be willing to bet that McCain and/or the RNC has them there, too. It’s just good business.

    Now can we please get back to thinking of The Children.

  17. Doug Deal says:

    I agree with Ic,

    Anyone who campaigns without opposition research should not be elected due to incompetence.

    However, the spreading of malicious rumors and lies is not opposition research. This is one area that too many politicos are confused about.

  18. Romegaguy says:

    I enjoyed this quote from failed presidential candidate Phuckabee…

    “John McCain didn’t even vet me,” Huckabee said. “But he didn’t vet Sara Palin either.”

  19. rugby fan says:

    Here she is last year:

    “I’m not a doom and gloom environmentalist like Al Gore blaming the changes in our climate on human activity.”

    Here she is this morning:

    “I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change.”

    Was she lying then or lying now?

    Or is she just desperately saying whatever gets her through the next news cycle and hoping we don’t have Google? I mean: seriously. She is in meltdown.

    And one more thing: do you think the McCain campagn, running on the surge and for urgent action on climate change ever knew that she was once against the surge and denied that humans had any impact on the climate? Did no one vet her at all?


    No serious, alert candidate could be caught in an obvious untruth like this:

    Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Friday running mate Sarah Palin has never asked for money for lawmakers’ pet projects as Alaska governor when in fact she has sought nearly $200 million in earmarks this year.

    There are two possibilities. 1. He’s lying, regardless of the consequences. 2. He really hasn’t been briefed or cannot retain the briefing or is simply in denial about the facts. Are his staff telling him? Are they afraid because they didn’t vet the candidate and are now allowing him to say things about her in public that are debunkable by one Google search? Even the Fournier-controlled AP cannot deny it:

    “When pressed about Palin’s record of requesting and accepting such money for Alaska, McCain ignored the record and said: “Not as governor she didn’t.”

    If I had to guess, I have enough residual shreds of fondness for the old McCain to believe 2. You can draw whatever conclusions you may.

  20. rugby fan says:

    “Forget about Trooper-gate and creationism. Forget about the truly low, cynical people who think that being the target of “liberal ridicule” necessarily means you’re qualified to lead the country. Forget about moose-hunting and pipelines. You simply can’t be a credible VP nominee and have no idea what the Bush doctrine is. Watch this clip. And then think about the people who say Andrew has lost his mind over Palin’s nomination. I admit, for a while I wondered why he was going so hard. Now I know. And now I know who, truly, must be out their minds,”

  21. Icarus says:

    Mark Steyn, responding to a Howard Kurtz column about the media being “angry”:

    Howie feels the press is being “manipulated” by the McCain campaign.
    Maybe it is. A conventional launch strategy for a little-known vice-presidential nominee might have involved “manipulating” the media into running umpteen front-pagers on Sarah Palin’s amazing primary challenge of a sitting governor and getting the sob-sisters to slough off a ton of heartwarming stories about her son shipping out to Iraq.

    But, if you were really savvy, you’d “manipulate” the media into a stampede of lurid drivel deriding her as a Stepford wife and a dominatrix, comparing her to Islamic fundamentalists, Pontius Pilate and porn stars, and dismissing her as a dysfunctional brood mare who can’t possibly be the biological mother of the kid she was too dumb to abort. Who knows? It’s a long shot, but if you could pull it off, a really cunning media manipulator might succeed in manipulating Howie’s buddies into spending the month after Labor Day outbidding each other in some insane Who Wants To Be An Effete Condescending Media Snob? death-match. You’d not only make the press look like bozos, but that in turn might tarnish just a little the fellow these geniuses have chosen to anoint.

  22. rugby fan says:

    So are you implying that the Obama campaign is manipulating the media? I would argue that hiding your VP choice from the press is a much better way of manipulating the media. All they can write about you is what you give them.

  23. Doug Deal says:


    The Bush doctrine is a manufactured construct that really has no meaning. Bush’s policy on anything is so incoherent and poorly executed who knows that in the heck he stands for?

    Answering yes or no to an ill defined press label is a good way of letting the very same press change the meaning of that label when it suits them.

  24. Icarus says:

    “All they can write about you is what you give them.”

    Rugby, really now. I’m going to let you rethink that one. It’s a reporters job to write what you give them?

  25. rugby fan says:

    What else will reporters write if there are no interviews to give? She can’t even handle an interview with a spineless media and you think she can be Vice President?

    It is amazing to think how far the Republican Party has fallen.

    Put it this way Icarus. Why was she chosen? There was no vetting on McCain’s part, she has no significant accomplishments as Governor or mayor, she seems woefully out of step and uninformed by her running mate which leads to one conclusion, she was chosen for either identity politics or for charisma. Not for intellectual rigor or accomplishments. Think of all the Republicans McCain passed over for Palin. The Republicans are nothing but a joke right now and if they win, this election will enable their delusion that they represent any ideals. And the best part about it–they will continue to make excuses and lie to themselves to make themselves believe whatever it is they want to think about themselves.

    I am incredibly glad I am not a part of your party.

  26. rugby fan says:

    Wow, I am double posting all over the place.

    Allow me to put this pick in perspective for you.

    Imagine Biden ran and hid from the media for weeks (longer than any other VP pick in decades) and then showed complete incompetence and a basic lack of understanding about world affairs. Imagine if it was discovered a that 20 months ago Biden was calling for all kinds of pork, earmarks, government funding, &c. for Delaware, then when running for a different office, suddenly strikes a different chord when the political winds change. Now imagine, he also wanted to tax profits from any type of a corporation.

    Republicans would howl and label a weak, know-nothing, flip-flopping socialist at best. And if you think anything else, heaven help you.

  27. Doug Deal says:


    Feel free to create your own form of reality to hide you naked partisanship.

    She has been hiding for weeks, has she? It’s September 12, and the RNC only started on Sept 2. She has already give a major multi-part interview and has been visciously put in her place by you and your chorts on the left.

    If you would stop get your “facts” from DailyKos and, perhaps you would have better arguments.

    But, what should we expect from the side whose best attacks against the Rep ticket are insulting comments about women, old age, and disabilities cause by years of torture that prevent one from using a computer.

  28. bowersville says:

    Before I start, I disclose I did not read any comments from “Are you paranoid?”


    It doesn’t matter at this point about troopergate. The real simple answer, “Yes it was my 10 year old nephew this out of control trooper put the taser to. Had it been your nephew, I’d fire him. You would demand it of me. Something’s the matter with the system when a trooper that tases a 10 year old can’t be fired.”

    Now as for the airdrop, pay attention to Charlie Gibson. It doesn’t matter at this point. Gibson=BAD, Palin=GOOD.

  29. bowersville says:


    After the attack ad on MCain for not being up to date and not able to use a computer. Four choices.

    1. Obama opposition research is to stupid to do computer search engine research, or

    2. It doesn’t matter that McCain’s handicap was documented in 2000 verifying his physical inability to use a keyboard due to the North Vietnamese torture, or

    3. It doesn’t matter that McCain has a war related injury, better yet, a disability that is actually related to war torture, unlike that puke John sKerry, or

    4. I wouldn’t send that DNC crap opposition research team from DC or Chicago to Alaska either, they ain’t worth a [email protected]

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