In September, Senator Obama said the following to a crowd in Elko, Nevada:

“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” he said.

I initially thought this comment was rather thuggish on Obama’s part. After all, the mainstream media is firmly in his camp, so getting his philosophy out there shouldn’t be that big of a concern for him. But I didn’t think that Obama supporters would really do it.

Then my wife pointed out something she noticed on a craft-related site — posts about hand-crafted pro-Obama or anti-Bush items usually get at least polite responses, even if they’re along the lines of “Love the idea. But he’s not who I’m voting for.” But when someone posts a hand-crafted McCain/Palin shirt, the responses were certainly “in their face,” enough that a moderator had to jump in several times and remove abrasive comments.

Is this proof that Obama fans are meaner than McCain fans? No. These are merely three samples, and the plural of anecdote is not data. What we have here are polite responses from people who disagree politically on the one hand, and on the other hand enough seething rage to require moderator intervention. It’s not proof, just a few points of data. One of the points of data is a political candidate asking for his supporters to “get in their face.” But I’m sure this rage is merely a coincidence.

Coincidence or not, enough people have spotted this rage on the part of leftists that it has a name, “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” and its recent viral twin, “Palin Derangement Syndrome.” It’s odd that I don’t see this seething anger on the conservative side. Even during the worst of President Clinton’s scandals, I didn’t hear many conservatives boiling over in rage. It’s true that many conservatives disapproved of his behavior or the policies he proposed, but those dislikes didn’t, for the most part, translate into a personal hatred of Bill Clinton the man. But I have observed a visceral hatred of conservatives in general and President Bush in specific from numerous people on the left.

Not everyone sees it that way. Paul Krugman says he is frightened by the specter of rage on the right: “Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.” Really? What rage is that? Can you show me pictures or video to demonstrate this rage? At most there are people shouting out words like “traitor” and “terrorist” at Senator Obama at rallies for the McCain/Palin ticket. But where is the rage?

If you want to see graphic examples of rage, Michelle Malkin has compiled some on her site. (Warning: some are profanity-rich and graphic.) Malkin also nails this idea of rage from the right in a recent syndicated editorial:

Are a few activists on the Right getting out of hand? Probably. Between massive ACORN voter fraud, Bill Ayers’ and Jeremiah Wright’s unrepentant hatred of America, and John McCain’s inability to nail Barack Obama on his longtime alliances with all of the above, conservatives have plenty to shout about these days.

But a couple of random catcallers do not a “mob” make. And there’s an overflowing abundance of electoral rage on the Left that won’t make it onto your newspaper’s front page.

She then goes on to list some of the rage from the left — not that you’re likely to hear about it in the nightly news or read it in newspaper because it’s not news. After all, the news media knows that leftist rage is justified because many of them share that rage. Besides, if they don’t report it, it’s not news, right?

“I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” said Senator Obama. The order has been heard and is being obeyed. So which group is filled with rage? My guess is that they’ll be getting in your face very soon.

It doesn’t matter what the results are in the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election — President Bush will not hand over the presidency to the next elected President on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009. That’s what my co-worker told me this week. If he’s able to swallow that idea whole, I’m sure he is equally convinced that the Twin Towers collapsed due to controlled demolitions. His basic argument relies on President Bush being an evil power-hungry megalomaniac intent on gaining control of the entire government. You can tell this is so by the number of high-ranking Democrats he has had arrested and executed.

If you can’t tell from my sarcasm, I’m not a big believer in this theory. I do believe that, come Jan. 20, 2009, someone other than George W. Bush will be standing there with one hand on the Bible, swearing to defend the Constitution. I remember that some conservatives were likewise worried that President Clinton might use some legal pretext to invalidate the inauguration of 2001, but the reins of power were handed over.

What prevents President Bush from being elected to a third term? Well, for one thing, the 22nd Amendment — which limits any given President to two elected terms of office. I can hear ‘em now: “Yeah, but Bush was selected, not elected in 2000, so he can still be elected in 2008!” Oh, puh-lease! Comments like that make me want to check for the presence of tinfoil under your hat.

The final argument I was given to support the idea of President Bush staying in office suggested that, because we are at war or due to emergency, there might be some exercise of the War Powers Act. I don’t buy this either. We have changed Presidents in the middle of war before. We did it in 1945 near the end of World War II and in 1963 during the Vietnam War. Granted, both of these changes occurred because of the death of the previous President. But President Eisenhower was elected during the Korean War, and President Nixon was elected in the middle of the Vietnam War.

So what, other than an advanced case of BDS, makes you believe that President Bush won’t hand over the Presidency in 2009?

[The only way a Bush could be sworn into office in 2009 is if someone else with that surname were to run for President. At the moment, I can think of only one potential 2008 candidate related to someone who was previously a President of the United States. Hint: it ain't Laura.] –TPK

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other explosives, died at the end of the 19th century. His final will and testament set aside his amassed fortune to the establishment of the Nobel Prizes. There are Nobel Prizes in the categories of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics, although the economics prize is not part of Nobel’s original will and was established in 1969.

I vow to never again be impressed by the Nobel Prize for Peace, knowing that it has been given to a known terrorist, a useless organization and its corrupt leader, and a mediocre President whose Agreed Framework was revealed to be a farce in the same week the prize was announced.

And here is the most recent Nobel Prize laureate to join my list of shame: Betty Williams. She is reported in The Australian as expressing her “peaceful” nature thus:

“I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence’, because I don’t believe that I am non-violent,” said Ms Williams, 64.

“Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.

It’s a good thing she gave this speech in Australia, because making a comment like that is a crime here in the States — freedom of speech notwithstanding. I think Ms. Williams should be denied entry if she ever tries to visit the United States. We don’t need any additional sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome here.

It all started with a set of new federal guidelines, and a particularly unfortunate title choice in a Washington Post news article. Under the title of “Forever Pregnant,” the article begins:

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves — and to be treated by the health care system — as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.

While most of these recommendations are well known to women who are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant, experts say it’s important that women follow this advice throughout their reproductive lives, because about half of pregnancies are unplanned and so much damage can be done to a fetus between conception and the time the pregnancy is confirmed.

This article was posted on Tuesday, May 16th, 2006, and within the day people were ranting about the horrible government telling women how to care for their bodies. Here are a few examples of the choicer comments generated this week in response to the WaPo article. I’ll go ahead and [expurgate] the swearing in these posts:

The future is coming, and it is really, really ugly. It won’t be long before they put this [expurgate] into law or something. Got a uterus? You are nothing more than a potential baby incubator. (MySpace)

Sometimes I just MUST take refuge in sarcastic cynicism

Great news for all you women between the ages of 11 and 55 or so – Congratulations! You are no longer a lonely individual, you are now pre-pregnant. It is now your duty, as a walking incubator, to prepare yourself for pregnancy through “pre-conception care” whether or not you intend to ever have a child. If you think this is ridiculous your doctor will make a note on your file that you are troublesome and non-compliant. So take your pre-natal vitamins, avoid anything that could possibly be dangerous to a fetus until you are about 60, and stay in shape so you can pop out those healthy babies who are so much more important that you! And BTW, your name is now “Of (insert husband or father’s name here, whichever is most appropriate)”. Incubators don’t need names, freedom, or any of that pro-death terrorist crap.

/sarcasm

What else can I say, really?

How much more obvious can the patriarchy’s utter disregard for women become? (WordPress)

Oh man, this article just gets under my skin like no other.

Washington Post: Guidelines – Treat Nearly All Women as Prepregnant

I am not just a baby factory. I am an individual capable of deciding what I do to MY body. It’s MY body, not whatever possible life I could hold’s body. [expurgate] off.

*lights up a cigarette* (LiveJournal)

But the first comment on the above LiveJournal post really caught my eye:

[expurgate] THIS [expurgate] PISSES ME OFF. Especially THIS sentence:

“Women should also make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with lead-based paints and cat feces, Biermann said.”

For [expurgate], the only way you can hurt a fetus with cat [expurgate] is to EAT THE CAT [expurgate] (and only THEN if it’s infected!). Changing a litter box, picking up cat [expurgate] with your BARE HANDS, using it as a [expurgating] CRAYON, any of that will not harm a fetus! Burns me up when I hear women say they have to get rid of their cats because they’re pregnant. I’d rather get rid of the baby, myself.

If that is truly the attitude she harbors toward cats and babies, I sincerely hope she never breeds.

As to the problem of cat [expurgate], the poster is referring to the problem of toxoplasmosis — although she appears to be embarrassingly unaware of the facts. As the Wiki article puts it, “The cyst form of the parasite is extremely hardy, capable of surviving exposure to cooling down to subzero temperatures and chemical disinfectants such as bleach, and can survive in the environment for over a year. It is, however, susceptible to high temperatures, and is killed by cooking.” So picking up cat [expurgate] and using it as a [expurgate] crayon, as our dainty friend put it, won’t harm the baby if you are careful to make sure that all oocysts are completely removed from your hands before you touch any food or your mouth. Remember, bleach isn’t guaranteed to kill the parasites, so be sure to autoclave your hands for a while after doing some cat [expurgate] art. (Oh, and don’t forget to apply for that NEA grant.)

I really don’t understand the intense vitriol in response to what is essentially a set of health care suggestions, unless these people are having some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the idea that these suggestions were made public during the Bush administration. Judging by the comments these ranters have made about the federal guidelines, they could be labeled as either “liberal” or “super-uber-liberal with a cherry on top.” But why are they so upset by the government giving them health guidelines, when these same people would most likely cheer to see a universal health care plan implemented by the government? And rest assured that with government-funded universal health care, the government would get to determine exactly what we should or shouldn’t do with our bodies. After all, the entity footing the bill gets to call the shots. If liberals don’t even like the suggestion of government entities being so intimately involved with their bodies and their life choices, maybe they should rethink their support of universal health care. Yeah, like that’ll happen.

I think Florida Cracker has the best, most level-headed take on the issue I’ve read this week:

Some of the reactions I’ve read on the Internet are amazing. When the CDC developed a school lesson plan which asks students the pros and cons of imparting to the public the simple message “If all women who could get pregnant consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, 50%-70% of neural tube defects could be prevented,” they hadn’t counted on the fools of the blogosphere. They had assumed the cons would be things like “Changing eating habits is hard,” or “It costs a lot of money to teach people to change habits;” not “The Religious Right is trying to make me a baby factory.”

Yep, it’s the Religious Right forcing all the women of the U.S. to be baby factories by telling them they should take a multi-vitamin. Oh, the trauma! The horrors! Quick, go watch The Handmaid’s Tale and then lash out some more against the Religious Right. They just want you to MAKE BABIES!

Sheesh.

No one is forcing women to take folic acid or have babies. These are merely guidelines to keep women — and, yes, any theoretical children — as healthy as possible. You can take ‘em or leave ‘em. If you are not sexually active, you don’t have to worry about taking folic acid to prevent birth defects. But if you ignore the guidelines and have a child with spina bifida because your diet was poor in folic acid, or your child is born with fetal alcohol syndrome because you couldn’t give up that third cocktail every night, then you can’t say you weren’t warned.

Likewise, if you have unprotected sex with multiple partners in the age of AIDS, you can reasonably expect to contract HIV after a while. At least that’s what we’ve been told over and over again in numerous public service announcements on TV and radio, in the newspapers, and at school. The latest set of PSAs about AIDS are titled Apathy Is Lethal, and they focus on the terrible toll exacted by the spread of AIDS. I’m sure the same people who rail against the federal guidelines regarding pre-pregnancy health care have no problem with making sure everyone in our society, from chaste virgins to little grade-schoolers, know all the statistics and health suggestions about condom use, intravenous drugs, HIV and AIDS. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making life choices to reduce or eliminate your exposure to HIV disease vectors; society’s needs are deemed more important than an individual’s desire not to be barraged with unwanted messages about AIDS.

But heaven forbid anyone suggest that a woman take folic acid, because “I am an individual capable of deciding what I do to MY body.”

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.