Charles Pierce: Obama Dazed and Confused By GOP’s ‘Empowered Unreason and Weaponized Ignorance’

President Obama never saw battle or even served in the military, but according to Esquire political blogger Charles Pierce, Obama and his administration now suffer from something akin to shell shock, the result of "constant bombardment" from the Republican forces of “unreason,” “illogic,” and “fantasy.”

Pierce argued in a Tuesday post that dealing with torqued-up craziness like that of the GOP is especially disabling for highly reasonable persons such as Obama. “This administration,” he wrote, “is slug-nutty because it is so rational. It is afflicted with the blind staggers because all of its senses are functioning ‘with painful efficiency.’ It has figured out all too well -- and far too late -- the source of the bombardment that has been laid down upon it daily for the past six years.” From Pierce’s post (emphasis added): 


By the end of [World War I], the British army doctors estimated that they had treated 80,000 cases of shell-shock in their army alone. But there was something else that startled them as well: shell-shock was a disease of the higher functions. It infected the imagination. It crippled reason. It had its worst effects on the more rational soldiers…

For the past four years, it seems to me, at least since the American people in their infinite wisdom elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic, the current administration has been functioning on many issues at a level approximating shell-shock…[T]his administration has been under constant bombardment almost since the president took his hand off the Bible in 2009. It now lurches from one place to the next, hoping to find five minutes' respite from the assault on its policies, and on the very legitimacy of a twice-elected president. In this, I think, the president and his administration are very much in the place described by those researchers who studied those afflicted soldiers. This administration is slug-nutty because it is so rational. It is afflicted with the blind staggers because all of its senses are functioning "with painful efficiency." It has figured out all too well -- and far too late -- the source of the bombardment that has been laid down upon it daily for the past six years.

…[T]his president believed in nothing more than he believed in the power of cool reason...I don't believe it ever occurred to him that reason would be met with unreason, that logic would be met with illogic, and that facts would be met with fantasy. I don't believe it ever fully occurred to him that action on the crisis of climate change would be met, not with a debate over the best way to limit carbon emissions while not demolishing the economy, but with a fervent denial that the crisis even exists. I don't believe it ever fully occurred to him that adopting a health care reform that (at the very least) had gestated on the Republican side of things would be recast for the masses as one step short of the Nuremberg Laws.

I don't believe it ever fully occurred to him that, instead of engaging in substantive debate, he would be confronted with empowered unreason and weaponized ignorance, or that a substantial number of Americans would believe that he was born in Kenya, or deliberately let American diplomats die in Libya, or now is proposing his own impeachment to raise money for the midterm elections…

…From the start of his presidency, he has labored under the weight of too much reason, and now he is where he is, trying to get through every day while even the most basic prerogatives of his office are converted by the alchemy of unreason into weapons of tyranny…Small wonder, then, that his administration's mind is not clear, that it seems to be fogged, and its synapses misfiring. People who want him to "lead" are assuming that there is a rational nation to be led. He believed that for a while himself, and maybe he even believes it today, somewhere in his heart and his soul, but he is laboring under the weight of too much reason to believe it in his mind…

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters