August 3, 2014

Manned and unmmanned, in a crouch and on a couch... and not on a couch.

Sometimes Maureen Dowd gets weirdly caught up inside her own lingual playfulness. Today's column mostly poops on George Bush's new art project — a book about his father — but let me highlight this:
Even though both Bushes protested that they didn’t want to be put on the couch, historians will spend the rest of history puzzling over the Oedipal push and pull that led America into disasters of such magnitude....

W.’s fear of being unmanned led to America actually being unmanned. We’re in a crouch now. His rebellion against and competition with Bush senior led directly to President Obama struggling at a news conference Friday on the subject of torture. After 9/11, Obama noted, people were afraid. “We tortured some folks,” he said. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”...

The Bushes did not want to be put on the couch, but the thin-skinned Obama jumped on the couch at his news conference, defensively whining about Republicans, Putin, Israel and Hamas and explaining academically and anemically how he’s trying to do the right thing but it’s all beyond his control.
Remember when it was completely the norm for elite cogitators to do Freudian analysis?

But what I to know is why Dowd — having analyzed Bush's writing a book about his father — gets to the topic of Obama and never mentions that Obama wrote a book about his father... especially when she's imposing a Freud template. Freud wrote "The Interpretation of Dreams," and Obama wrote "Dreams From My Father."

Let's be old-timey elite cogitators and crouch psychiatrically by Dowd's couch. When something so obvious is not said, that's a very meaningful statement. Why are you repressing that?

And speaking of repression, Obama's writing a book about his father is a magnificent repression of the truth of the childhood he actually lived, with his mother, not his father. That's the Oedipal dream, to have the mother all to yourself. What was missed — says the old codger cogitator dredging up Freudianisms — was the opportunity to kill the father. The father was already gone. Bush Jr., as Dowd expounds, had to develop his psyche in the shadow of a toweringly great father. (I chose tower as my image intentionally.) If you're writing a column... and, of course, column ≈ tower ≈ phallus... if you're writing a column comparing Bush to Obama, we've got a lot to talk about here. What happened to Obama, a man who began with the Oedipal dream fulfilled? He had to create his dream-book to resurrect the dead father to make something out of the nonachievement of beginning with the full possession of the mother.

If we're going to go old-school and get Freudian, let's say all the unsaid things. If you don't want to, I'll talk about your problem with repression.

And Dowd is highly attuned to language play, but I think she would have edited out the word "crouch" if she'd noticed the resonance with "couch," a word she used 3 times and which formed the concrete image of psychiatry (her central theme). I think "crouch" was an expression that slipped out, that missed the usual filter and is therefore quite telling. She uses "crouch" to signify weakness, but crouching has a closer association with a strong animal lying in wait, ready to spring:
Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
That was God — did you recognize His voice? — talking to Job.

(Freudian side note: Joe Biden calls himself Joe — not Joseph — so that you will hear the name "Job" in the spoken "Joe Biden" — Job by den — Job, crouching by the den, lurking and lying in wait.)

And why did Dowd say "jump on the couch"? The thin-skinned Obama jumped on the couch... A psychiatric patient does not jump on the couch, even when he is enthusiastic about beginning the session. It's a dog that jumps on the couch. So it slips out again, the animal imagery. Crouching. Jumping.  Why liken Obama to a dog? Why liken Obama to a dog at the precise moment when you are referring to his skin?

Oh! This Freudianism is great fun. Thank you, Maureen Dowd, for inspiring me to display these insights of mine, such as this revelation of your racism.

And thanks be to God who has put wisdom in the mind and given understanding to the heart...
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?
ADDED: "When the weather was good, my roommate and I might sit out on the fire escape to smoke cigarettes and study the dusk washing blue over the city, or watch white people from the better neighborhoods nearby walk their dogs down our block to let the animals shit on our curbs—'Scoop the poop, you bastards!' my roommate would shout with impressive rage, and we’d laugh at the faces of both master and beast, grim and unapologetic as they hunkered down to do the deed."

Do you recognize the voice? It's Barack Obama, in that book about his father.

AND: "Rising ground, and on it something like an open-air latrine; a very long bench, at the end of which is a wide aperture. The whole of the back edge is thickly covered with little heaps of excrement of all sizes and degrees of freshness. A thicket behind the bench. I urinate upon the bench; a long stream of urine rinses everything clean, the patches of excrement come off easily and fall into the opening. Nevertheless, it seems as though something remained at the end. Why did I experience no disgust in this dream? Because, as the analysis shows, the most pleasant and gratifying thoughts have cooperated in the formation of this dream...."

Do you recognize the voice? It's Sigmund Freud in his book about dreams, pouring out the bottles of heaven.

68 comments:

madAsHell said...

Do you really think that Dowd puts that much nuance in her writing?

surfed said...

"Column = tower = phallus" ? For women maybe. I'm not sure men think that way. Would any man ever even write that? Give me a moment to call a gay friend and ask his opinion. Back. He said only grain silos in Wisconsin remind him of dicks. I'll take that with a grain of wry comedic salt.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse states "Why liken Obama to a dog at the precise moment when you are referring to his skin?" The professor does not even realize she is hearing the dog whistle, not the dog. We are supposed to subliminally react to the racism so as to provide a Freudian window into ourselves, of the black Oedipal father that every white child must kill. Thus, when the Professor implies that white children must kill black fathers she is obviously not considering the dialectic of black fathers killing white children. Althouse, you should be more subtle in your subtext.

rhhardin said...

Column = tower = phallus is the theme of Derrida "Dissemination" II.8 in _Dissemination_

Nice lines :

Do you know that according to Aristotle a person who dies crushed by a column does not die a tragic death? And yet here is that nontragic death hanging over you.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse quotes Obama in the following: "...watch white people from the better neighborhoods nearby walk their dogs down our block ..." After stating "Why liken Obama to a dog at the precise moment when you are referring to his skin?" is she not trying to establish the mental image of the white people walking their 'dogs' as white people on the street below leading black people by chains and -- as such -- slavery is still on our ground level? Are we to believe that Althouse thinks black people know no better than to poop in the street? For a writer with a "racial consciousness" tag the Professor doesn't seem to exhibit any.

clarice said...

Crouch, couch, what about crotch? She's such a silly, is it worth doing an a Freudian analysis of her pseudo analysis?

Jupiter said...

1 - Obama did not write Dreams From My Father. Bill Ayers did. Dowd may well be aware of that fact.

2 - Obama Sr. was not the father of the One. He was a beard for Frank Marshall Davis. He agreed to pretend to be the father so he could stay in the US, but he took zero interest in his supposed "son". Who, in turn, takes only the most perfunctory interest in his supposed "family".

donald said...

There is no George Bush junior, speaking of linguistics, nuance and accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

When Althouse states that black people don't even know how to use a couch properly -- "The thin-skinned Obama jumped on the couch..." -- does she not realize that -- just because her white friends all know how to use couches -- that many people might not be able to afford a couch at all? Does she really think all black people have seen a couch, or is that just white insensitivity? The Professor used to be much sharper on these things.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse, referring to herself in the third person, states "She uses "crouch" to signify weakness, but crouching has a closer association with a strong animal lying in wait, ready to spring." Notice how she ignores the black author "Stanley Crouch" even though she is talking about blacks and is using his very name: is she that oblivious?. Or is it on purpose, with the Professor implying that Stanley Crouch signifies "weakness"? Is Stanley Crouch just another of the animals lying in wait? From the slave-house to the kennel, it would seem: Althouse is not showing her better side here.

Terry said...

Obama tortures me every time he opens his word-hole.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse states the following: "if you're writing a column comparing Bush to Obama, we've got a lot to talk about here." Does she really mean to subliminally equate Obama with the African Bush? C'mon, Professor: do you really believe that Obama was born in Kenya? Speaking of dog whistles...sheesh.

m stone said...

Very thoughtful post.

campy said...

MoDo repressed her memory of Zero's awful books.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse states the following: "When something so obvious is not said, that's a very meaningful statement. Why are you repressing that?" Professor, see thyself. Listening to Sade with a glass of wine does not gift you with the black experience.

YoungHegelian said...

Remember when it was completely the norm for elite cogitators to do Freudian analysis?

Yeah, that was until the identity-lefties took over & they were all pissed at Freud because he bad-mouthed women & gays. So, they wrote him out of history just like the the Stalinists did with Trotsky.

A nice Freudian doodle, though, Professor. It does bring back memories. But, to be a bit more au courant, it could be a deconstructive reading. But, even that it is now a bit long in the tooth. I'm not sure how far a cis-gender, straight, female POV reading will get you, but it's what you've got to work with.

I actually think Freudian/deconstructive "thought doodles" are perfect for blogs, the place where the ephemera of the day get sublated into digital immortality. Whole books of said "doodles", as was done in the past? Oy gevalt!

EDH said...

So now, symbolically washing his hands, W.’s putting out this cute little disingenuous book about his father that won’t mention that he bollixed up the globe...

Help me here, W:

- prosecuted a more difficult than expected invasion and occupation of Iraq that ended better than his critics ever imagined, ending a more than 10 year strangulation of that country by the US with a dictatorship replaced by fledgling democracy -- a victory squandered not militarily but in a diplomatic failure by his successor in office, one of his harshest critics, Nobel peace laureate, and exponent of diplomacy;

- an Iraq invasion that prompted Gaddafi to surrender his WMD program, only to have him actively deposed by Obama and the country of Libya left to its own devices, a failed state that would eventually unravel into chaos;

- Afghanistan, where U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010 after Obama took office and changed the rules of engagement, who has now delayed full abandonment of that country so as to leave the consequences to his successor.

The list continues: Ukraine, Syria, Israel, Europe, Asia.

Bush Derangement Syndrome lives on?

What am I missing?

Sebastian said...

Freudian dream analysis depends on honest reporting.

Like everything else about his public persona, Obama's dream was fake and phony.

He is a man so empty that the only thing he had to repress was that he had nothing to repress.

With one caveat: he also had to repress the fact (in crafting his persona, anyway) that his father was the stuff of nightmares, not dreams.

Brent said...

Maureen Dowd is a waste of a human life. And THAT is because she has never written a truthful column in her life. So many words that have not lead to even ONE good thing for society. Only selfish reassurance for the hateful elite that she so wants to be considered part of. Not ever one column inspirational to the human spirit or condition. Only hatred disguised as irony, mocking "wit".

So, so sad. File under "A worthless life".

Sam L. said...

You have expended far more time, effort, and thought to MoDo than she deserves.

sydney said...

Whoo boy. All of those stream of consciousness associations. Almost as bad as Dowd's columns.

CWJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"Crouch, couch, what about crotch? She's such a silly, is it worth doing an a Freudian analysis of her pseudo analysis?"

I know.

Also: cooch.

Would go well with the pooch theme of the post.

There is no end to the insights once you start going with the Freudian flow.

Kieth Nissen said...

I agree with Sam L…. more than Dowd deserves but, on the other hand, since I never read Dowd it was interesting. I am glad Althouse does these careful reads. As far as I know no one else does it.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

My understanding is Obama's mom abandoned him to Hawaii instead of raise him herself.

He cramped her style.

David said...

"Do you recognize the voice? It's Barack Obama, in that book about his father."

Maybe. I am not a conspiracy theory type of person, but what have you heard from Obama in the last six plus years that is close to being as vivid as the paragraph you quote?

That does not mean that Bill Ayers (a vivid and skilled writer) wrote the book, but it tells me that someone was helping out in a significant way.

Have you seen Obama's early poetry? It's prototypically bad, which means it was like most bad poetry of young men.

Obama's Poem "Underground"

Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue.


Some dancing ape is chomping on his figs. His figs bite back and turn the apes into musty wet pelts.

Musty wet pelts? Something is going on here. Are you sure he felt triumphant over his father?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Sam L. said: "You have expended far more time, effort, and thought to MoDo than she deserves."

Shakespeare said: "Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping?"

Sebastian said...

EDH: BDS is alive and well, impervious to Freudian analysis.

dave in boca said...

Anne and Clarice have MoDo's number, which is zero.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Because Obama is black.

Ann Althouse said...

I've looked at apes from both sides now
From figs and fangs
And still somehow
It's ape illusions I recall
I really don't know apes
At all

Paco Wové said...

I have to agree with EDH here. GWB did some things to bollix up the globe – in the end, I don't know that future generations of Iraqis, what's left of them, will ever praise his memory – but the overall state of global FUBAR-ness is considerably greater now than when Obama took office. I suppose Obama's defenders will say that letting things slide into chaos through inaction is better than causing chaos by action, but ... chaos is still chaos.

Anonymous said...

"Let's be old-timey elite cogitators and crouch psychiatrically by Dowd's couch. When something so obvious is not said, that's a very meaningful statement. Why are you repressing that?"

I'm pretty sure repression doesn't exist. But maybe here you mean it in a different way than I'm used to hearing it.

Repression tends to mean unconsciously suppressing a memory. Here is the definition I found:

"the action or process of suppressing a thought or desire in oneself so that it remains unconscious."

Now suppression does exist. We do it all the time. Something horrible happens to us and we try our hardest not to remember it, because it causes us pain.

Repression became really popular in the 80's when lawyers found they could make lot's of money. Suddenly, a bunch of adults were remembering sexual abuse as children that they'd forgotten.

What was left unmentioned during that time is those same adults were also remembering alien abductions, dinosaurs, and being a part of events that they couldn't possibly have been a part of.

The biggest problem for repression is, there has never been a single provable instance of it. Memory loss, yes, due to a traumatic brain injury, but never repression.

Jews surviving the holocaust? They remember it. Surviving a terrible car crash? Always remembered. Plane crashes and train wrecks and anything else that has documented, second hand evidence of actually having happened? Suppressed but never repressed.

The only time, mysteriously, memories are ever repressed is when we can't know for sure it actually happened.

"He raped me 30 years ago when I was 7!!"

"Why didn't you come forward before now?"

"My memory was repressed!"

It's pseudoscience.

Jupiter said...

"I suppose Obama's defenders will say that letting things slide into chaos through inaction is better than causing chaos by action, but ... chaos is still chaos."

It pains me to find myself among Obama's defenders, but I think enough Americans have died trying to force crazy foreigners to act like Americans. It worked on Germany and Japan because they already had their shit together, they just needed to be pointed in a different direction. But that is not a typical situation. So, yeah, letting things slide into chaos is better than sticking your dick in a rattrap.

Drago said...

Wow.

People still actually spend time reading modo.

Why? She's been phoning in the same column for about 20 years now. The only thing that changes are the most recent popcult references.

cokaygne said...

The US is crouched over getting bum-blasted by Putin, Hamas, ISIS, and the Honduran Coyotes, to name a few.

Do be careful about using "ape" in a post about Obama.

David said...

Eric, repressed memory isn't a myth. It may be unreliable evidence but not a myth. Unrepressed memory is also unreliable. Strange thing, memory. It's untrustworthy but we have to rely on it. I guess that's not so uncommon, come to think of it.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Obama eats dog.

Lem said...

Do you recognize the voice? It's Sigmund Freud in his book about dreams, pouring out the bottles of heaven.

"Lester you are going to spill beer on the couch"

At the beginning of the clip a tune Don't Rain On My Parade was ending.

I'm gonna live and live now
Get what I want, I know how
One roll for the whole she-bang
One throw, that bell will go clang
Eye on the target and wham
One shot, one gun shot, and bam
Hey, Mister Arnstein, here I am


There is a lot there.

Humperdink said...

Jupiter said: "It pains me to find myself among Obama's defenders, but I think enough Americans have died trying to force crazy foreigners to act like Americans. It worked on Germany and Japan because they already had their shit together, they just needed to be pointed in a different direction. But that is not a typical situation. So, yeah, letting things slide into chaos is better than sticking your dick in a rattrap."

Jupiter. On Ozero's watch, the world has slipped into to chaos. Witness the US's southern border, Ukraine, Libya (Khadafi was at heel,had returned his nukes to the library), the Syrian red line/green light, Iran (nuke construction full steam ahead), Israel has set up shop in Gaza with the daily rocket show.

Yep, the One has not stuck his Johnson into a rattrap. It just might be because there are no balls to back it it up.

You might be right, but I disagree. This will not end well for the US.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The common answer to all your questions about Dowd's writing motivations and style is this: She is an intellectual lightweight, writing for intellectual lightweights.
Your post probably set some kind of record for the ratio of analysis to content-worth-analyzing.
Since you are going to continue to force :-) us to read this stuff, take pity on us and at least make it more worthwhile: go after Douthat, Yglesias or Coates.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Does Maureen live in NYC? Its going to be ground zero for a WMD. Either nuclear, bio or chem. Probably led by one of the five peaceful muslims we traded for a desserter.

I wonder if, as Maureen chokes to death on her own vomit, she will die screaming "Bush! Koch Brothers!"

Lem said...

MoDo misses the Bushes.

donald said...

Does Maureen live in NYC? Its going to be ground zero for a WMD. Either nuclear, bio or chem. Probably led by one of the five peaceful muslims we traded for a desserter.

I wonder if, as Maureen chokes to death on her own vomit, she will die screaming "Bush! Koch Brothers!"

That would be pretty awesome.

Terry said...

Bush's argument, post-9/11, was that our national security demands that rogue, terrorist-sponsoring regimes must be eliminated. Diplomacy and police work could only do so much to combat the threat, at times regime change, by warfare will be necessary. The WMD shtick was needed to get UNSC approval -- WMD is one of the very few reasons that are acceptable reasons to endorse invasion and occupation by the UNSC.
The argument is just as powerful as it was before Iraq.
Obama thinks the problem can be solved by diplomacy, police work, and assassination.
Bush never ruled out the use of diplomacy and police work to combat terrorism.
I can'thelp but wonder what vast pool of knowledge and experience Obama drew on when he ruled out boots-on-the-ground regime change as a tool to fight terrorism.

Lem said...

"Like his whimsical paintings and post-presidency discretion, this sweet book will no doubt help reset his image in a more positive way.

But MoDo is here to remind everyone of the official party/parade line - Iraq was, is and forever will be a disaster.

Bush... Don't rain on my parade

Yohanes Sulaiman said...

This begs a comparison with Tom Cruise jumping on the couch.

lee said...

I recall that baloney from O's book, and it was baloney. Lived in NYC around the same time, and people from nicer neighborhoods would NEVER go to words neighborhoods--unless it was for a great club or a good restaurant. But to risk a mugging just so your dog can poop? I call "horse hockey."

The Godfather said...

If it's allowed, Althouse at 1:43pm ought to win the thread.

The Godfather said...

Dowd takes me back to 1964. Do you remember that some magazine or newspaper sent a questionnaire around to a whole bunch of psychiatrists asking them whether Barry Goldwater suffered from a psychiatric illness, and if so what was it? Some small fraction of the psychiatrists who got the survey answered it, and naturally they were the ones who thought Barry was nuts (but, of course, they used Greek words for "nuts", because they were highly educated professionals).

My father was a psychiatrist, he got the questionnaire, and threw it out. When the results were published, he was incensed that any psychiatrist would so abuse his professional responsibility as to purport to diagnose someone they had never met. (My father, by the way, was no fan of Goldwater, but I was.)

Now Dowd has no professional standing as a psychiatrist, so she can't be accused of that kind of misconduct. But she is guilty of using a body of knowledge (Freudianism) about which she knows nothing, to score political points.

Personally, I think Bush 41 made a reasonable judgment not to press Desert Storm to Baghdad. There was good reason to think that Saddam could be contained by the peace terms. By the time Bush 43 came along, and 9/11 made us all conscious of what state support of terrorism could lead to, I think he made a reasonable decision to take Saddam out. I also think that if the surge had been launched a year earlier, Bush 43 would have left office with a clear victory in Iraq and a status of forces agreement that would have left little opportunity for Obama to have thrown away the victory.

But those are political judgments, which are nowhere near as much fun as speculating about whether G.W. wanted to screw his mother.

David said...

Did I give Obama's poem too little credit?

From Wiktionary:

To "show the fig" was an ancient vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, itself symbolic of a cunt (sykon also meant "vulva"). The story goes that prominent politicians in ancient Greece held aloof from such inflammatory gestures, but privately urged their followers to taunt their opponents with them.

The resemblance seems to be in the way a ripe fig looks when it is split open; in Italian the word for "fig" also was used for "cunt," and the Shakespearean dismissive phrase a fig for ... probably reflects this. "Giving the fig" (French faire la figue, Spanish dar la higa) was an insult for many centuries. A variant in which the thumb was placed in the mouth may underlie the opening scene of "Romeo and Juliet."


"Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive."

--Often Misattributed to Shakespeare

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Regarding the Jews, let me be the first to say, here, that Taki is a dumb jerk.

People write for him because they get paid.

No problem with any of it.

But Taki is a jerk.

Look at this shit, if you want to be vomiting:

But why are the missiles raining down? (And they are Stone Age missiles that have yet to hit a target after two weeks of being fired.) Because Gaza is a refugee camp without the basic human needs of electricity and medical supplies, a hellhole that in reality is a siege that has turned Gaza into a prison for the last eight years. The Nazis lasted 12 years. Israel has been oppressing the Palestinians since 1967.

Please share this article by using the link below. When you cut and paste an article, Taki's Magazine misses out on traffic, and our writers don't get paid for their work. Email editors@takimag.com to buy additional rights. http://takimag.com/article/two_wrongs_make_a_mess_taki/print#ixzz39MzyQBep

richard mcenroe said...

"I'm not sure men think that way."

Well, I did look up at the Washington Monument and say, "that's F***ing Awesome!"

Of course, Saturn Five launches are more awesome. (We don't talk about the Minuteman...)

NotquiteunBuckley said...

You assholes and cunts out there know why we need Buckley back?

We got Mark Steyn endorsing Kathy Shaidle who shit on none other that one of Steyn's employers at the time, National Review(or The National Review if your knowledge-gaps never amend per factual decency like Bartin over at nalert.blogspot.com)'s founder William Frank Buckley Junior.

His father, William Frank Buckley, you can attempt to understand more if you recognize This is a link.

David said...

Humperdink said...

Jupiter. On Ozero's watch, the world has slipped into to chaos.


Now come on. You can think that Obama has done a poor job, which I do, but the world has "slipped into chaos" on his watch?

When has the world not been in chaos? The chaos did not begin with Obama and will not end with him. His job is to manage our nation's interest amid the chaos. You can fault him for poor management of this, but he's hardly the cause of world chaos.

Anonymous said...

"Eric, repressed memory isn't a myth."

You're correct, it's not a myth. It's bad science, or not science at all. It's fiction, not fact.

Titus said...

I and all gays love Dowd and miss Frank Rich so much. But now he is writing for Veep!

tits.

Ipso Fatso said...

Althouse you missed the obvious, this column is actually about MODO's father who she is viewing through the lens of Obama & Bush and projecting her own unresolved daddy issues on. Remember, MODO has never been able to successfully "get" a man; as far as I know she is still a spinster. So any man, even one with such promise to her as Obama, will in the end be disappointing to our beloved MODO, again reflecting her own relationship with daddy MODO. Now there is some Freudan analysis for you!!! (Also MODO needs to update her PHOTO!!!).

John said...

What "torture" was he talking about? Waterboarding? As far as I know, we waterboarded 3 people.

I have a very hard time thinking of waterboarding as torture. Something that:

1) We have done to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of US troops since at least the early 60s

2) That has been used in motivational sales training sessions.

3) A reporter (Hitchens) voluntarily underwent so he could write about it.

Is not torture.

John Henry

John said...

Godfather,

Goldwater was not the first, something similar was tried with Nixon. In the early 70's, I think.

I used to have a book "Inside Nixon's Brain" written by a shrink who proved that Nixon was insane. I think it was written around 1972 or so.

John Henry

William said...

I'm pretty sure Obama has more Daddy issues than Bush......If Bush had actively sought and followed his father's advice, Dowd would have found Oedipal significance in that. Bush did distance himself from Rumsfeld and Cheney later in his second term. Whatever the merits of Bush's decisions or of his advisers, they were not a function of Oedipal issues........I have lived in the Yorkville/Carnegie Hill section that Obama describes in his book. The idea that rich white people walked their dogs downhill to shit among the poor is preposterous. He has, admittedly, several composite characters in his book. These are composite dogs.......The anecdote is more illustrative of his distrust of white people than of the actual behavior of white people.

Terry said...

William wrote:
"I'm pretty sure Obama has more Daddy issues than Bush"
Obama has stated, over and over, that his father left his mother when Obama was two years old.
Nonsense. It isn't true. Obama's mother began attending U Washington shortly after she gave birth to him, while BO Senior continued his studies at UH Manoa.
It's simply a lie that Obama's mother and father ever lived together as husband and wife. He keeps repeating it, no one asks "hey, wasn't your mom attending classes at U Washington a month after you were born?"

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

That "both sides now" parody was awesome.

If Obama could have shown us something like that, perhaps it would be easier to credit his authorship of the books bearing his byline.

Ann Althouse said...

"That "both sides now" parody was awesome."

It was inspired by Meade, who sang the original poem, "Underground," to the tune of Joni's "Both Sides Now." Something about the beginning made it fit: "Under water grottos, caverns…"

"Rows and flows of angel hair/And ice cream castles in the air/And feather canyons everywhere…"

Grottos… caverns… evoked: castles… canyons…

I wish you could have heard it. We laughed a lot.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's pseudoscience."

Well, yeah, but that's kind of my point. Are we allowed to talk the old-style Freudian talk or not? If Maureen Dowd is going to talk Freudian, I want to play too. Either we do it or we don't. Fair's fair.

Humperdink said...

David responded: "Now come on. You can think that Obama has done a poor job, which I do, but the world has "slipped into chaos" on his watch?

When has the world not been in chaos? The chaos did not begin with Obama and will not end with him. His job is to manage our nation's interest amid the chaos. You can fault him for poor management of this, but he's hardly the cause of world chaos."

The world has always been in chaos? To certain degree, yes. To this level in recent years? Hardly.

Do you think The Vladiator would have annexed Crimea with anyone else but zero in office? (BTW you do know Russian troops are amassing at the Ukrainian border?)

Do you think the invasion from the Central America would have occurred with anyone but the O as pres? I sure don't.

Every terrorist group in the middle east knows they will not face American troops for the next 2 1/2 years. I am not suggesting in any way we send troops, but you never let the bad guys know that. Obama has telegraphed that.

When Baghdad falls and the Caliphate is installed, we may long for for the former chaos.