Friday, May 01, 2009

Speaker Pelosi, the Democratic Party, and hysterical amnesia

Speaker Pelosi has been claiming that she doesn't remember being briefed on waterboarding and other "torture" of Al Qaeda operatives. DrSanity, an M.D. in Psychiatry/Aerospace Medicine), suggests (see her post for the full diagnosis):
[M]aybe the hapless and forgetful Democrats are suffering from... hysterical amnesia.

Hysteria is a concept characterized by a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms that result from dissociating one's cognitive functioning from one's emotions and/or behavior. The psychological defense that makes this happen is known as dissociation.

For the hysteric, emotions are primary and are not subject to objective reality.

When we speak of someone becoming "hysterical" (a more recent term is "histrionic"), we are talking about behavior that exhibits overwhelming or unmanageable emotional excess.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Feelings, nothing more than feelings (cue music); where there really is nothing more than feelings at play. This is a world where there is no objective reality or truth; a world where, if you believe something is true, then it is. A world where it is always acceptable to "forget" what you said or did yesterday, because that was then and this is now; and consistency, honesty, or integrity are for losers who believe in reason, truth and reality.
After eight years of bizarre non-stop BDS, the diagnosis of hysteria seems apt.  The amnesia part is also interesting. Amnesia, whether induced by hysteria or otherwise, has some consequences.  For one:
Another general effect of amnesia (of any etiology) is the inability to imagine the future.
The explanation for this seems to be that our imagination uses our memories of the past.  Any memories that amnesiacs lack can therefore not be used to help imagine new experiences.  This seems, to me, to explain many of Obama's policies.  For one, Pres. Obama's foreign policy is based on the idea that other countries will respect us and grant us concessions if we adopt a posture of weakness.  This has not worked in the past but amnesiacs would not know that.  For another, consider his and the left's enthusiastic advocacy of socialized ("single-payer") medicine.  History, whether of the USSR or of Canada, shows that government-rationed health care can be quite cruel.  But, an amnesiac, of course, would not know that.  DrSanity may be on to something here.

PREVIOUSLY: Rep. Barney Frank suffers amnesia regarding housing policy.

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