Obama Derangement Syndrome Roundup – Part 1

This is the first of what I expect will become an irregular series here at Windypundit.

Conservatives have been using the term Bush Derangement Syndrome as a tongue-in-cheek psychiatric diagnosis used to poke fun at liberals who hated President George Bush so much that they attributed sinister intent to everything he did. I believe I have identified a related malady that has just begun to surface in the U.S. population. I’m speaking, of course, of ODS: Obama Derangement Syndrome.

It seems likely that the first cases of ODS appeared earlier in the ’08 presidential campaign. However, the general prevalence of derangement during any political campaign is so great that it becomes difficult isolate specific variants. I therefore have chosen to define ODS as encompassing only incidents occuring on or after election day.

(This necessarily sacrifices completeness for a “bright line” rule, as it excludes a few incidents that are otherwise clearly ODS, such as Fox News’s “terrorist fist jab“.)

Red And Black

At Illinois Review, editor Fran Eaton wonders about the message behind the Obama family’s choice of clothing colors:

Well, there’s buzz on the Internet about Michelle Obama’s dress and their choice of victory colors.  Was Barack and Michelle sending a message to the whole world with black and red?  Do those colors point back to their core beliefs?  Do they point to their religious value system?

Let’s write the color choice off for now to basic social naivete and suggest that the Obamas had no idea that their black and red attire choice would suggest to some a deeper, hidden meaning.  Let’s not fall for those rightwing conspiracy theories tying W.E.B DuBois’ socialistic teachings, Gerald Horne’s book about DuBois entitled “Black and Red,” anarcho-syndicalism flag colors and the Obamas’ victory appearance.

Okay? Really, folks.  Please.  Don’t go there.

It’s like Eaton recognizes that she’s not thinking clearly, but can’t stop herself. I think this may be either the initial onset of ODS or some stage of its remission.

Obama On Wall Street

A second incident at Illinois Review is contributor Mark Rhoads’ attempt to tie the ups and downs of the stock market to the election results:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended trading today off 486 points and wiping out all of yesterday’s gain and some of the gain from the previous day. Business shows blamed other factors but even as they did so commentators worried all day about how many new taxes the Obama Administration will impose, which ones will be raised and by how much…The only major news of the day on Wall Street was the Obama victory.  But that is not a reason for the sell off?  Please.

This may not be ODS, but simply a misunderstanding of how the stock market works. By Wall Street standards, Obama’s win was not news. It had been the most likely outcome for weeks. Wall Street only reacts to news that is surprising.

In an attempt to refine my diagnosis, I explained this in a comment to Rhoads’ post, and he responded this way:

The prospect that something is probably going to happen might be factored into a forward-looking market but when the reality sets in that it actually has happened then investors really pay attention.

Since this is clearly not true—the managers of multi-billion-dollar investment funds are motivated, equipped, and staffed to analyze the market and plan ahead—it strongly suggests that Rhoads is projecting his own personal reaction onto Wall Street at large. Such projection is one of the signs of ODS.

(Here’s a tip: Billions of shares of stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange every business day, reflecting the individual investment decisions of millions of people. In the absense of significant and surprising events, anybody who claims to know—before the day is even over—why those millions of people did what they did should be regarded as deranged. Yes, that includes those financial reporters who pretend to explain what’s going on using voodoo phrases such as “profit taking” or “hunting for bargains.”)

Rhoads had a second incident the next day when stocks went down again, but was strangely silent on Friday when stocks went up. On that day he posted a rant in which he accused Obama of making up the Office of the President-Elect, which Michelle Malkin explains was created by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963.

Race War in the Comments

Finally, right here at Windypundit, a commenter just left a note on an 18-month-old post:

When, not if, we are under martial law,{ esp since Obama became president, there’s talk of Race Wars” in the US, troops being deployed back to America to handle “civil unrest, etc.”}just where do ours rights stand?

Sounds unlikely to me, but you know, “there’s talk.”

One Response to Obama Derangement Syndrome Roundup – Part 1

  1. I didn’t care for Michelle Obama’s dress. I thought it made her look fat. But not a fat anarcho-syndicalist, because anarcho-syndicalists do not wear dresses, which would be clearly too bourgeoisie.

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