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March 19, 2007

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With respect to your criticism of Krauthammer's diagnosing some journalists with Bush Derangement Syndrome, Cheney Variant, you might want to take into account a little thing we earth-people call "humor."

Aw, you are just crazy, that's YOUR problem.

You need to buy some kosher gasoline. THAT will fix you right up.

And, Rob: Krauthammer....humor? I think the test for that is this: If it is humor, it should be FUNNY. Otherwise, not.

I think that you're about 2/3 right.

First, as to the various Krauthammer analyses: They are obviously not analyses at all, either medical or psychological. Rather, they are attempts by Krauthammer to use his credentials to label and thus delegitimize those he disagrees with.

Second, the Michelle Cottle piece differs from Krauthammer's name-calling. It is not clear to me that it is totally out of bounds. After all, the public has a right to know whether a high executive officer is suffering from some organic disorder that reduces his or her cognitive or intellectual functioning. Yes, it is true that Cottle is making her diagnosis from afar (and without actual medical credentials), but there is no way that she can get close enough to her subject to make a fully informed determination.

Furthermore, we can be reasonably assured that those who are close enough to make such an informed determination will keep it a secret from the public. (See the last days of the Reagan presidency.)

Is it unfortunate that the best we have is speculation? Yes. But sometimes speculation is better than silence. There may not be an elephant in the room, but we should be able to make a measured speculative guess as to what is causing the musky odor.

The problem isn't that her diagnosis is made from a distance. It is that her diagnosis is made on evidence no better than this: She disagrees with Cheney politically. Ergo, he must have suffered brain damage. Maybe instead--she is suffering the results of brain damage.

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