Kristol And The DSM Defense


Palin was partly Kristol's cynical ploy - so you'd expect some kind of response to further exposure of just how unqualified for any public office she is. But after an entire article detailing yet more loopy high-school lies, more derangement, more ignorance on the part of his protege, Kristol takes issue with just one fact:

Is there any real chance that "several" Alaskans independently told Purdum that they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? I don’t believe it for a moment. I’ve (for better or worse) moved in pretty well-educated circles in my life, and I’ve gone decades without “several” people telling me they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

All I can say is that the emails I've gotten making exactly this point over the past year are many. And many Alaskans, especially in the legislature, have long believed she is out of her tiny mind. I recall speaking to a very eminent physician in the campaign - among several leading obstetricians who found her pregnancy story highly implausible - who immediately noted that in his view, Palin was clinically delusional, narcissistic and unstable. I think her astonishing record of saying things that are demonstrably untrue - in small things and large - puts her into a clinical category. But Kristol cannot actually refute her absurd lies so he simply asserts that Purdum makes stuff up. Then Kristol gets his digs in on Steve Schmidt:

Meanwhile, on the day Purdum’s piece hit the web (today), a journalist who had expressed suspicions in the past that elements of the McCain campaign had undercut Palin suddenly got a friendly e-mail from top McCain-Palin campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. This journalist hadn’t heard from Schmidt in months. Perhaps Steve was nervous someone would finger him for the Purdum piece. One reason people might do so is this passage in Purdum’s article: “All the while, Palin was coping not only with the crazed life of any national candidate on the road but also with the young children traveling with her. Some top aides worried about her mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old.)” In fact, one aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin’s mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt.

Pure innuendo, of course. But if I'd been Schmidt, I would have been searching around for some way to explain why his veep candidate was such a nut-case. (A little vetting beforehand might have helped, but McCain was too mavericky for that.) In any case, it seems to me that whoever raised the post-partum depression idea, Palin did not display symptoms of it, at least as it usually occurs. Go read the main symptoms here: "Sadness, Hopelessness, Low self-esteem, Guilt, Sleep and eating disturbances, Inability to be comforted, Exhaustion, Emptiness, Social withdrawal, Low or no energy". Does that sound like Miss YouBetcha last fall to you? She sure looked as if she had finally gotten what she had always wanted and was riding a wave of euphoria.

(To read the entire bizarre story of Palin's fifth pregnancy, the Dish's exhaustive one-post summary of all the facts compiled by the New York Times and the Anchorage Daily News is here. Try and make sense of it if you can.)