I’m not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, but I’m going to indulge in a bit of armchair psychology today. When I see people on the Left talk about how dumb President Bush is, it reminds me of the way rebellious teenagers talk about their parents. Most teenagers are convinced that their parents just don’t know anything. Their parents are just so old-fashioned, so stodgy, so unhip. They just don’t understand the world of the teenager.

Like teenagers without much real-world experience, leftists today cling to their pet theories and projects. They are surprised and dismayed when real-world occurrences don’t fit with their theories. And when things don’t work out precisely according to their theories, they figure the world must change to fit the theory, not the other way around.

When leftist teachers expound the merits of socialism or Marxism, you can be assured that they have little real-world experience. Like teenagers who believe nothing is ever their fault, they tend to place blame for Marxism’s consistent failure record anywhere but on the philosophy itself. Both my wife and I have heard teachers claim that Marxism would work great if only the right people were in charge. A century of failure only means that they need to try that much harder to get it right this time. Likewise, liberals will subsidize single mothers and pay people not to work, and are then shocked and surprised to find an increase in illegitimate children and generations of people on welfare. How could this have happened? Their theories were so good! The world must be at fault somehow. Rather than doing the logical thing — pitching out a faulty theory and starting over — they cling all the harder to it, and demand that we try it again. Throw more money at the problem. That will fix it. It will work this time. Really.

And liberals, like teenagers, are the last people to whom you should give unlimited power and money. As P.J. O’Rourke put it, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

As I drove home from work today, I listened to the Randi Rhodes show for as long as I could stand it. Randi lasted about five minutes before I shut her off. She was analyzing some message she had received from Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, engaging in a fit of snark, exposing an embarrassing ignorance of history and politics, and clearly demonstrating a raging case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Whenever you hear someone say that she is more afraid of President Bush than of Iranian President and Middle-Eastern Whack Job Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rest assured that person has BDS. Tom Maguire has a fun article about how far some people take their BDS. They are capable of blaming practically everything on President Bush.

If you suspect someone is suffering from BDS, there’s a simple test. Just make an off-the-cuff statement about your cell phone cutting off unexpectedly or having problems with static, and then say that President Bush must be listening on the line. If he or she launches into a tirade about how President Bush is violating our privacy and freedom to communicate, then you’ve just pinpointed a raging case of BDS.

You don’t even need to play a psychiatrist on TV to make that accurate diagnosis.

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