So-called psychoanalysis is the occupation of lustful rationalists who trace everything in the world to sexual causes - with the exception of their occupation
-- Karl Kraus
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, of Connecticut, has invited Prof. Bandy Lee, M.D., a Yale psychiatrist, to address “a gathering of fellow Democrats” at her lavish digs in Washington. D.C. The subject of the gathering will be President Trump’s alleged mental imbalance.
As do many Democrats, Dr. Lee thinks that Trump is batty, according to an item in CTMirror: Recently Lee and two professors from Columbia – a university named, unfortunately, after Columbus – released a statement signed by 100 psychiatrists that said, “We believe that (Trump) is now further unraveling in ways that contribute to his belligerent nuclear threat.”
The Trump threat was a Twitter taunt in response to a statement from batty North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un that said, in effect, my nuclear weapons are bigger than yours. Sigmund Freud is reported to have said about cigars, “Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar,” meaning: try not to over-Freudenize everything. Sometimes a threat is only a threat.
The DeLauro salon no doubt will be full of like-minded folk. DeLauro is not in the habit of inviting discussion during her regular Wednesday salons; solidarity, not discussion, is mandatory for attendance. The 14-term congresswoman is unused to political opposition. Connecticut’s Third District, centered in New Haven and its suburbs, is a solid Democrat fortress. Since 1933, Democrats have held the district for all but six terms. DeLauro, one of the 50 richest members of Congress, is also one of the most progressive members of Congress.
Based on financial disclosures filed by members of Congress in 2014, the Center for Responsive Politics calculated DeLauro’s net worth at $15.2 million, 14 times more than the average member of Congress and 18 times more than the average representative. DeLauro is a feminist, a hipster and a fashion-forward one-percenter.
Of course, it would be foolhardy to deduce politics from personal wealth. Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt was redundantly wealthy and a progressive; Abe Lincoln started out poor, though he became a prosperous lawyer, and was a Republican. Is it not equally foolhardy to deduce mental stability from Tweets, or from what may appear to be an aggressive foreign-policy posture? Theodore Roosevelt, the first progressive president and a Republican – until he bolted a Republican convention that declined to choose him as a presidential nominee in the 1912 election and, like Lowell Weicker, started a party of his own, the Progressive Party – sent The Great White Fleet around the globe to display America’s new naval power to the world.
Mark Twain, among others, thought he was batty. Twain was quite serious when he wrote to his friend Joseph Twitchel in 1905, “We are insane, each in our own way, and with insanity goes irresponsibility. Theodore the man is sane; in fairness we ought to keep in mind that Theodore, as statesman and politician, is insane and irresponsible.”
To be sure, Twain was not a psychiatrist from Yale, and no one seriously attempted to impeach TR while he was declaiming progressivism from his bully pulpit. The attempt would have failed, because speaking softly – TR did not always do this – while brandishing a big stick was regarded at the time as a successful foreign-policy gambit. And it worked.
Why have the Democrats been attempting to hang a batty label around Trump’s neck?
It’s a long story. Democrats began with a failed attempt – so far – to show collusion between presidential candidate Trump and subversive Russians whose chief ambition was to spoil the campaign of Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Actually, the Putinistas were doing what Putinistas usually do – sowing discord to try to delegitimize American democracy, and in this the Russians have been, and are, alarmingly successful.
Conspiracy is a crime, collusion is not. When an elected president opens discussions with Russian diplomats – nearly always former KGB spooks -- he is practicing diplomacy, not collusion. The collusion charge was supported by an opposition research “dossier” assembled by a dirt digger whose work was useful to Democrats, whose presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, was a disastrous candidate, overconfident and, as Trump once said of one of his Twitter victims, a low-voltage campaigner. When Democrat fingerprints began to appear on collusion theories, battiness raised its ugly head.
Why go the batty route? Because you can impeach batty presidents, and the anti-Trump effort all along has pointed to impeachment. Hillary Clinton is not batty. And if she were, she is not president, by the grace of God and the wisdom of the American public, and therefore cannot be removed from office, which is the only outcome of an impeachment proceeding.
The bottom line is this: If you can’t win an election, you can always steal one. Rosa DeLauro has now put her fashion-forward shoulder to the effort.
Don Pesci is a Vernon, Conn.-based columnist.