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I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.

But is she crazy enough?

This may be old news to some of you but it turns out that our greatest presidents may have been a little bit “tetched”, if you know what I mean.  In the book, A First-Rate Madness, author Nassir Ghaemi argues that hard and unusual times call for hard and unusual characters, preferably depressive pessimists:

the very qualities that mark those with mood disorders—realism, empathy, resilience, and creativity—also make for the best leaders in times of crisis. By combining astute analysis of the historical evidence with the latest psychiatric research, Ghaemi demonstrates how these qualities have produced brilliant leadership under the toughest circumstances.

Take realism, for instance: study after study has shown that those suffering depression are better than “normal” people at assessing current threats and predicting future outcomes. Looking at Lincoln and Churchill among others, Ghaemi shows how depressive realism helped these men tackle challenges both personal and national. Or consider creativity, a quality psychiatrists have studied extensively in relation to bipolar disorder.
A First-Rate Madness shows how mania inspired General Sherman and Ted Turner to design and execute their most creative—and successful—strategies.

Ghaemi’s thesis is both robust and expansive; he even explains why eminently sane men like Neville Chamberlain and George W. Bush made such poor leaders. Though sane people are better shepherds in good times, sanity can be a severe liability in moments of crisis. A lifetime without the cyclical torment of mood disorders, Ghaemi explains, can leave one ill equipped to endure dire straits.

I suppose that being a  legend in your own mind is not outside the bounds of normal behavior, so Barack Obama is not unhinged enough to rank among the greats. The Nobel committee and the DNC didn’t help the situation by protecting Obama from the stress of actually trying and failing at something.  Obama was spared those character building exercises.  Barack Obama is a bland, uninspiring guy who might have made an OK president back in 1956.  Well, he could hardly screw up the fifties.

But for the present set of circumstances, he’s the wrong guy and we knew that back when the DesMoines Register endorsed Hillary for president in 2008*.  The difficult terrain of the times ahead was the specific reason why DesMoines rejected Obama’s (incredibly) naive (clueless) optimism in 2008.  That doesn’t mean that Hillary is nuts enough to be a great president but her resilience after 15 years of right wing hysteria and persistence after so many people in her own party turned on her does suggest a degree of pessimistic realism and masochism that would have been assets during the struggle with the bats@#$ crazy right wing fanatics and testosterone poisoned finance industry.

In the past week, I’ve been seeing quite a few columnists and former Obama supporters post their mea culpas, saying they were dazzled by the brilliance of Obama’s marketing campaign like magpies drawn to some shiny object.  {{rolling eyes}} OK, I will accept that but I think the fault lies with the magpies and not David Plouffe’s Liberace-esque staging.  Anyway, the latest person to turn and apologize for foolishly rejecting Hillary is Margery Eagan in the Boston Herald today.  There have been others.  The number of people calling for Obama to step down and spend more time with his kids grows with every stomach lurching drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Yes, the Tea Party Republicans were responsible for setting fire to a fragile economy but Obama lent them the match.  He’s a disaster of boutique governance, first appeasing one group of electoral voters, then another, making it up as he goes along, reactively tailoring policy to the interest group du jour.  It’s driving the rest of us crazy.

Speaking of crazy, *we’re* the ones that keep getting described as “delusional” because we still think the most logical thing the Democratic party could do right now is have Hillary Clinton primary Obama.   I still have no idea why this idea is delusional but I feel honored to be wearing that label since 2008.  Can I do pessimistic realism or what??  Obama is wrecking the party.  He’s a poor president.  The man refuses to learn his job.  He can’t negotiate with a bunch of nutcases in the Republican House and he’s helping to kill the middle class.  He doesn’t even realize how many of us who used to have really good, high paying, technical jobs are now out of work and living on subsistence wages and our savings.  He is utterly unsuited to his task.  I knew he was going to be bad but not even my pessimistic realism could fathom just how incredibly bad he turned out to be.  And now the party loyalists say we must suffer through another four years of this nonsense because he’s the incumbent?  And *I’m* the delusional one?

The latest party propaganda on the subject comes from Joan Walsh at Salon.  Joan acknowledges that the party may have made a mistake in 2008 but you won’t hear Joan upset the weenie tray at the cocktail party.  No, indeed.  Joan is ready to commit the country to another four years of Obama just so she doesn’t get associated with the delusional Hillary diehards.  And you know who Joan has been swilling margaritas with by the content of her posts.  By their memes ye shall know them.  These posts have become so predictable that even I could write one.  Does the meaningless word “triangulating” show up?  Check.  Does she mention race as the primary reason why (stressed and panicky unemployed) voters are rejecting Obama? Check.  Is Sarah Palin’s name invoked to frighten the backslider?  And why are Obama’s defenders always comparing him to Sarah Palin anyway?  But whatever.  Does a standard Republican boogieman make an appearance?  Check.  So, the reasons we must vote for Obama, who exemplifies everything that makes the modern Democratic party is that he doesn’t know how to do politics, is African American and therefore above criticism and that a Republican would be sooooo much worse.  How does this take Hillary Clinton out of the running?  I don’t get it.  Joan probably saw all of this coming but she isn’t crazy enough to actually say it out loud, which is why we refer to her stuff as “conventional wisdom”.

No, Joan, what we really need is a taste of the unpredictable.  We need to get a little crazy.  We need to take the system up to a new energy level from the local minimum rut it’s in now.  The system needs to be perturbed.  I’m not sure that even Hillary is crazy enough but the idea that she could unseat an incumbent would be so unprecedented that it just might work to energize the voters.  Yes, I think she would have been a better president and still could be.  We saw her develop as a candidate in the last months of the campaign and if the Obots weren’t so blinded by the reflected light of Barry O, they would have been amazed and inspired at the woman who would “keep going” no matter what.  If the fires of adversity shape the unbalanced to become great leaders, we might just have one in Hillary.

Poor Obama just keeps on melting.

* That DesMoines Register of Hillary is oddly missing from the record books.  You might be able to find references to it and what looks like an edited version of it but you won’t find it at the Register’s site.  It’s almost as if someone was trying to bury this little piece of prophetic history.  “D’OH!  We can’t leave that out there or they’ll think that someone knew in advance that Obama would be a f%&*up.”

Crash this party, Hillary

39 Responses

  1. terrific post

    By their memes ye shall know them.


    all the current mea culpas are simply set ups for the : ” but we gotta vote for him “down the road .

    My feeling is even if she wished to, Hillary will simply not be allowed to run.They didn’t block her from the WH for nothing…and those 08 road blocks haven’t been removed.

    The vote in WI just emboldened the austerity crowd…( as it was meant to) and they frankly like the generally crumbling their policies are causing since that’s the idea behind them.

    I’m only pointing how it is now. Events can change it, and sadly will have to…the top 1% are too idiotic to know when enough is enough.

    Just to keep her job, I’m sure Hill tells Obie on a regular basis she is not running….and Hill has this thing about her word…

    actually I think it more likely if Hillary gets to 1600 PA Ave., she will somehow be appointed to the position rather than run in the usual way.( being the VP for a day? ) After 3 stolen Presidential elections in a row , it’s hard to see how she could fight the corruption that stopped her the first time. Those in DC would much. much rather lose than say no to the mobster billionaires.

    If things get bad enough, she may indeed be called. But they have to get worse than the top #1 plan on and that’s pretty bad .

    • Pish tosh! What do the unhinged care about being allowed to do anything? “it is better to ask forgiveness than permission”
      If she really wanted to run, who is the Democratic party to stop her? She could run as an independent or a Democratic Reform candidate or Bitter Knitters candidate.
      As for it getting bad, I think that is the Republican plan. This was predicted at DailyKos and even Corrente I think back in 2007-2008. The idea was to starve the government at a time when the average American needed it most, thus provoking a backlash against the Democrats. Who knew they’d play their part so brilliantly?

      • She really wanted to be President didn’t she? You’ll notice she’s not at 1600.

        • That hasn’t escaped my notice but not all presidents stick with their party to get (or stay) to the White House. Take Lincoln, for example:

          Lincoln was a master politician, bringing together—and holding together—all the main factions of the Republican Party, and bringing in War Democrats such as Edwin M. Stanton and Andrew Johnson as well. Lincoln spent many hours a week talking to politicians from across the land and using his patronage powers—greatly expanded over peacetime—to hold the factions of his party together, build support for his own policies, and fend off efforts by Radicals to drop him from the 1864 ticket.[206][207] At its 1864 convention, the Republican Party selected Andrew Johnson, a War Democrat from the Southern state of Tennessee, as his running mate. To broaden his coalition to include War Democrats as well as Republicans, Lincoln ran under the label of the new Union Party.[208]

      • RD, I so agree with this post. Thanks. I just have to ask, did you get this quote “it is better to ask forgiveness than permission” from “The Closer”, Brenda Leigh Johnson’s father when she wanted to go back to work, season 2? Or maybe it’s a just a quote I haven’t heard. No matter, I agree.

        • No, that was the BFF’s motto. It worked really well until IT decided to take over control of the unix environment.

          • Actually the original quote was:If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
            from Admiral Grace Hopper

    • Oddly enough, I think you might be right about an appointment but the Republicans would scream bloody murder like nobody’s business. They might take to the streets. And then, how would you get around Biden?

  2. Swedish man arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen. No that is not from The Onion. Hillarious and horrifying at the same time. (Are those German majors still working on a word for hilarious and horrifying?)

  3. Am I the only one annoyed that the presidential campaigning for 2012 has started before I’ve even voted in the 2011 elections (county executive – Rich “Frackwater” Fitzgerald versus D. “Underpaid Workers” Raja” – can you guess which one belongs to which party)? As usual, Obama is sucking all the air out of the room…while just generally sucking.

    Hillary Clinton for president: I wanted that in 2008 and would vote for her again if she decided to buck conventional wisdom and take the leap. However, I accept that this may never happen, down heartening as that may be.

    At this point a squirrel could mount a primary challenge against Obama and I’ve vote for the squirrel. As for the general election, if Obama is my only “Democratic” choice, I’m writing in “None of the Above.” I encourage others to do the same as it is better to leave a mark than to stay home.

    • Ahhh, that’s where you and I differ. I never accept inequality, injustice or conventional wisdom. Where does that get you? As long as you talk yourself out of the possibilities, you will always be disappointed.

      Do the Steve Jobs thing and Think Different(ly). What is your alternative but acceptance of bad behavior.

  4. Hey, remember this? This was early in the primary season but I remember towards the end she got a bit manic.

    Do you know who I met in Harrisburg who was stumping for her? Sean Astin, Mr. “I’m Going to Keep on Going, Mr. Frodo” himself. The thing about Samwise Gamgee was not that he was too optimistic. It’s that in the face of so much adversity, he never gave up because someone had to do it no matter how crazy or lost the cause.
    We were so stupid, stupid, stupid. But it’s not too late. It’s never too late.

    • Damn WordPress. Here’s her speech clip from rhode island. She had Obama nailed. We should have paid attention.

      • So sad people could be blinded by Obama’s retoric. I guess experienc doesn’t matter any more. All people saw in Hillary was a woman who was older, who wore pants suits, and who didn”t fall into the category of “COOL”. Unfortunately for our country those people never really heard what she was saying..they were too busy critisizing the things that were unimportant. TOO BAD WE ALL HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR MISTAKE

  5. Though I agree with your sentiments, it ain’t going to happen.

    Hillary is too smart a politician to ever want to be branded as a “spoiler”, particularly within the AA community itself for starters. No matter how disappointed they may be with Obama and may privately wish for him to resign, they will stick with him to the end out of a sense of loyalty to the first AA to ever hold that office. She will have to face the Black Congressional Caucus and she won’t walk away with their blessing.

    The DNC backed the wrong candidate in 2008. That much is a certainty. But Hillary is a party loyalist and would not wish to be responsible for the schism her candidacy may very well ensure should she run.

    The best alternative – and this is not going to happen either – would be for Obama to cleanly step aside. His ego and his belief that whoever he must face in 2012 will be seen as “weak” come the general election which will guarantee him another 4 years.

    Romney, as dull as dishwater as he is and as possibly as “weird” as they assume, is perhaps the best bet the GOP has right now to overcome Obama. The other challengers are much too radical for a general election and the Tea Party itself may be on the wane if recent events hold any truth.

    But Obama will be it for the Dems, like it or not, and as much as I would love to be able to see Hillary step in I just am unable to see that happening.

    I will be more than happy to eat my words but I’m pretty sure the Dems are stuck with President Indifferent in 2012. The only solution I can as a result would be the House gaining back the majority along with the Senate able to beef up their numbers with a positive slate of New Dealers who stand to block any more of the hateful legislation that Obama seems more than willing to accept.

    • Um, yeah, I’m kind of tired of hearing “it ain’t going to happen”. It has a learned helplessness feel about it. We don’t do that here and you know it, Pat.
      The country is teetering. I don’t think we can last thru another four years of incompetence from this president or a Republican. The DNC must be more than a little concerned. I suspect that Obama has extremely short coattails. His second campaign may not generate the kind of enthusiasm the party needs.
      But, as I said, it ain’t over until the balloons drop and for all we know, there is a politician girding his/her loins right now who is willing to primary obama.
      I might add that the seeming impossibility of such a run isn’t working anymore. An awful lot of people are writing about having Hillary primary Obama. Those columns are increasing day by day. So, as far fetched as you may think it is, it isn’t far fetched enough. Expect the usual suspects to write dirty little pieces about Hillaryland at the State Department or something equally obnoxious. I expect the WH will get quite nasty about it, making it look like another source, of course. You’ll see.

  6. Hillary yes, Ghaemi no.

    This “mad leaders are a good thing” meme smacks to me of trendiness, so I am surprised to find it here.

    Perhaps it would not put me off so much if Ghaemi had called it something other than “madness”. I think he was trying too hard to be colorful. 🙄

    What’s-his-name the new guy over at the Hullabazoo was promoting it a few days ago. If he thinks something is a good idea… 😈

    Also, DUBYA BUSH was “eminently sane”? In what parallel universe? 😆

    • I’m reading the book and he’s more specific about the attributes of craziness that result in good leadership under difficult circumstances. He also relies on historical evidence and first hand accounts. General Sherman’s bizarre behavior was thoroughly documented by eyewitnesses and is very detailed. It’s detailed enough to a make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder unambiguously. it should have got him discharged. But by a weird twist of fate, Abraham Lincoln understood Sherman’s depressive episode, because he’d been through it, and ordered Sherman back to work when he started to feel better. It’s hard to see how that would work these days. If you’re a creative dervish in your manic state and bust your nuts for your company even thou you’re a bit irritable and have a temper, you get cited for personality problems and get put on the layoff list for the next round.

  7. General William Tecumsah Sherman, the original Conan the Barbarian:

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

  8. The Nobel committee and the DNC didn’t help the situation by protecting Obama from the stress of actually trying and failing at something.

    While I don’t blame Obama for receiving the NPP – though I’ll argue that had he been more mature and self critical and less selfcentered he’d have turned it down – I do blame the Nobel committee not only for awarding the prize to him, but also for thereby ruining any longlasting effect Obama’s first significant failure could have had: Losing the bid to get the Olympics to Chicago in 2016.

    He’d left it up to the Ms., Oprah and the delegation to do the campaigning and networking all week, then flew in on Friday to make a speech (sic!) – “the first time a current US president had addressed the IOC in an attempt to win the Games” – left before the votes were in … and lost.

    Only a week later the Nobel Committee made their announcement … and the Olympics failure was completely forgotten in the ensuing jubilant brouhaha.

  9. This might sound funny, but one of the reasons I always appreciated Hillary Clinton was that she seemed on some level to be an introvert. I like that as she’s said, it doesn’t come naturally for her to be a “show horse,” especially despite her stature and fame. To me that suggests a fundamentally thoughtful compassionate person.

  10. One of the few things Ronald Reagan got right was you don’t trash your primary opponents because if they win it’s ammo for the opposition in the general election.

    In all the lies and slander the Kossholes threw at Hillary there is a treasure trove of negative ad material. Add that to the stuff the “journalists” in the print and broadcast media threw on orders from their corporate masters along with the lunatic ravings of the Christo-republicans (murder tapes, anyone?) and there is no way Hillary gets to the White House.

    For Hillary to have an even chance all the bloggers that piled on, all the cable “news” anchors that smeared her, all the op-ed columnists at the major papers would have to admit they were wrong. Don’t hold your breath because if they had the moral fortitude to do it they would be sacked and silenced.

    Recovering from all the damage done by corporate America and Wall Street with the help of their media toadies will take longer than Hillary being at an age where running for the presidency is realistic.

    Ten years from now most of the public will know just how badly the Democrat party screwed up installing Obama over the person that won the primary election. The Kossholes will still be in denial.

    • Yep.

      Here’s another mea culpa from Truth-Out:

      I got beat up in comments for defending HRC – boyz who thought she was “creepy”. They still want some perfect candidate to come save them.

    • The media didn’t do Hillary in. Her party did it. She’d be president now if it weren’t for the DNC selling itself to the highest bidders.

      • You’re right RD – She had the votes for the nomination – Et. tu Nancy stole it – That book NEEDS to be written – many think that O actually won the nomination. 😕

        • Krugman wrote in his blog post last week that Obama didn’t have a tough campaign in 2008. It’s about time the Obot contingent comes to terms with this. Obama did not run a better campaign. If he had, he would have won CA, NJ, NY, MA, TX, OH, PA etc. etc. He didn’t get those states because most Democratic voters preferred that he take an old cold tater and wait.
          Sometimes voters are wise and should be listened to.

      • I beg to differ. The print and broadcast media gave Obama a free ride just like they did with Bush the Lesser. At the same time they joined in the “Get Out of the Way” chorus the kossholes were singing. Remember the Keith Olbermann threat that somebody better take Hillary in a room and beat the snot out of her.

        I know, it’s hard to use the names Olbermann and Matthews in the same sentence as the word journalist.

        What the print and broadcast media did was the equivalent of selling out your mother to the Black and Tans for a Shilling or wearing an orange sash on March 17.

  11. Congratulations on 11 million hits.

  12. “I guess liberals are gleeful over the generally nutty display at last night’s GOP shindig, but I will say this for the Republicans–as a matter of pure aesthetics, they have produced once again a genuine bestiary of real American types, whereas every time I see a gathering of Democrats, they seem to have beamed straight from some nearby planet, speak through slightly glitchy universal translators, learned human mannerisms from watching distant television broadcasts that have at long last diffused through space. You may think that Mitt Romney is a huge fake, and you’re right; but even he is recognizably homo americanus: the hair, the smile, the “my friend,” the gladhanding–he’s a classic bonhommian businesstype; Bachman is no nuttier than any other PTA or Little League lady I’ve had the displeasure to know; Ron Paul is as affable and futilely beloved as any barroom political crank; even the crackpot pizzabaron is comfortably of the same species as you and me. Barack Obama on the other hand seems like a holodeck beta test.” IOZ

    So I second your call for an actual human Democrat to enter the race. Cheers!

  13. RD, don’t know if *crazy* is what is needed, but we definitely need someone who desires & is willing to buck the trend. Most of the recent articles from those authors regretting their vote for Obama are laments about how the man is not matching up to how they envisioned him during the primaries. One author that particularly incensed me said he saw Obama in the image of Kerouac’s Dean Moriarty/Neal Cassady — a forlorn somewhat naive character who the journalist felt compelled to feel a special pity for. When people are THAT disillusioned they usually veer into the opposite direction when the disillusionment wears off. And people ARE that disillusioned because they were able to ascribe whatever description to the Obama blank slate they could come up with, and they put all their faith into that nebulous character; an image that never existed. How could Obama possibly live up to that? Obama set himself up for his own failure with his shortcomings, pursuing a job he clearly was unqualified for, and the resulting disillusionment from his supporters once the hopium wore off.

    IMO, the settling in of this disillusionment was the main aspect that made me realize that once the illusion wore off, people were gonna come down hard and fast. They would be looking for reasons as to why their illusion was incorrect (i.e., searching for facts), and there existed too many facts about Obama that his supporters would enrage them once they actually sought the facts out (as they should have done in the first place). Then the party would be over and they’d be looking for the grown-ups to take over. The person perceived as doing the grown-up work is the new “trend-bucker.”

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