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Dr. Dean and Dr. Freud

Thursday, 21 April 2005 12:00 AM

Off to a splendid start, Freud thought, subliminally. "Get to the point, young fellow. It's almost my nap time. If I hurry I can probably catch the concluding episode of my last nightmare."

"I'm here," confided Howard, settling onto a lumpy, black-leather, horse-hair couch, "because I'm in desperate need of help ..."

"Hurrah!" interrupted Freud. "Recognizing reality means you're half-way to sanity already. This session should be a no-brainer."

"What my problem is ...," Howard began again.

"I'm the one who says whose problem is what," Freud admonished.

"You want to hear me out? I can always go

"No, thanks. Please continue."

"My greatest fear is that ... do you mind if I call you Siggy?"

"Doctor will do."

"Maybe Sigmund?"

"Doctor, sonny," Freud scowled in distaste.

"Thank you, thank you. I love tough hatred."

"The clock is running," Freud observed.

"All right. As I was saying, my greatest fear, now that I'm the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is that I will fail to succeed in achieving what is my greatest ambition."

"Which is?"

"Which is, obviously, not to succeed. To fail. To botch everything. To fall flat on my face. To take the Democratic Party into oblivion with me. To go down in American political history as a total flop."

"Let me see if I get this right," mulled Freud, puffing on a mythical meerschaum. "You want like crazy to succeed at failing, but are scared witless you are failing to succeed ... and here I'm not too clear ... by failing to fail?"

"Bingo! I couldn't have put it more clearly myself."

"In my line of work," Freud sighed, "we had a clinical name for that, but ... whatever. It sort of reminds me of that four-in-hand tie knot, the one the Royal Air Force made so popular in World War II and the American pilots adopted as their Air Corps knot. You know, the inverted perfect isosceles triangle with the little politically unmentionable ... let's just call it a dimple ... down below. I believe the proper name of that knot is the double-reverse half-Windsor."

"Makes sense to me," smiled Howard.

"I was afraid it would," replied Freud through a cloud of nonexistent second-hand smoke. "So why don't you tell me what you've been doing that causes you such double-reverse half-Windsor insecurity?"

"Okey-dokey. For a while there, I thought I was doing everything right, everything that anyone in his right mind would consider political suicide. Beginning with my patented Dean Scream during the 2004 Democratic primaries."


"Takes practice," Dean advised. "Trust me."

"I'm trusting, I'm trusting," Freud nodded, crossing his fingers inside his id.

"Then I worked like crazy to get the DNC chairmanship, scaring the pee-doodley out of the Clintons and pissing off Kerry and the missus."

"Please," beseeched Freud, "let's keep our language clinical, shall we? Continue."

"Made everyone in the Beltway Democratic Establishment sore as boiled owls at me. Promised not to go mucking around in policy, then straightaway began mucking around in policy. Promised to raise grass-roots money like nobody's ever seen before, only to see the Republican National Committee raise twice as much in the same period. Announced the DNC is going to carry the party's message to the red states, where it keeps going over like a lead balloon. Threatened to make Terri Schiavo a whopping-big campaign issue in 2006 and 2008. I figure most Americans can't wait to slow-torture their loved ones to death and get ready for the same treatment at the hands of what's left of their family."

"What about a Democratic Party agenda?" Freud asked, knowing better, but for a patient to get shrunk he first has to get questioned. "Why not tell the people what you stand for, what your programs are?"

"You really are out of touch. First, we don't got no programs. Haven't had since the FDR New Deal, unless you want to call LBJ's give-away-the-ranch Great Society such a great idea. Second, I figure the surest way to succeed at failing is standing for nothing while at the same time standing in opposition to anything and everything the Republicans propose. Any pack of fools can do that without half trying. Right down our job-skills alley. Makes for great politics of failure. One thing the American people can't stand are politicians always whining and bitching and blaming the other fellow. You gotta admit, it really works."

"Sounds to me," interjected Freud, "that you've laid out an almost sure-fire agenda for defeat."

"We have, we have!" exclaimed Howard.

"Then why do you have such a buzzard up your nose?"

"Because," Howard hung his head, "this fellow George Soros comes along and steals my show. That alone is bad enough, but what really gets my goat is he's hell-bent on the Democratic Party's winning. What kind of crazy idea is that? How can anyone lose by winning? I ask you."

"What makes you think Soros's approach will succeed, which means losing, or, that is to say, the kind of losing you want to succeed at ... or not? Now you've got me all mixed up in the head."

"I know that feeling, Sig," said Dean, empathetically.

"Keep it doctor, junior."

"Well, to answer your question why I'm so upset over Soros, he thinks he can buy elections, when what you really end up buying is losing elections. I should know. And he's ready to pony up a lot more than the quarter of a billion bucks of his own dough he poured into the 2004 Democratic campaign. Where does he get this kind of money!"

"Don't ask," Freud shook his head. "Above all, don't tell."

"I can't keep up with moola like that," Howard moaned.

"Didn't work for him last time around, did it?"

"No, but ..."

"Your idea of success for the Democratic Party is failure in elections? Right?"


"Why wouldn't you want your party to be in control of the White House and both houses of Congress?"

"You out of your gourd? Get elected, you've gotta be responsible for what happens on your watch. Get defeated, you're free as a bird to poop all over your opponents."

"I thought I asked you to be more careful with how you say what you say."

"Who, me? I wouldn't be me. I gotta be me. I gotta be me."

"Then you should succeed at failing to succeed."

"You really think so, doc?"


"But what about this Soros creep? Sorry ... uh, foreigner ... oops, sorry again."

"My analysis," Freud continued, "is that the only difference between you and him ... since you both obviously believe in the same loony-left, warmed-over, Trotskyite brand of hush-hush, old-European style Marxism ... is that he has more money than you can possibly collect shaking a tambourine in the United States. Live with it. He's peddling the same hooey you're peddling. Just like you, he wants to try to sell this nonsense to most of America, which isn't buying such snake oil. The more that the American people ... most of whom don't need the services of my colleagues ... hear your and Soros's message, the more they will be inclined to vote Republican. They're not really too interested in political parties' names, but they do feel strongly about certain truths they hold to be self-evident ... and worth sticking up for. That has to spell nothing but defeat for you, your party and Soros's ego. And, believe me, he has a whopper."

"You really believe that, doctor?"

"Absolutely. You think I've lost all my marbles?"

"Then I'm right in continuing doing what I'm doing ... and George Soros, too ... if we are to succeed in failing to succeed?"

"You got that right."

"Then say it, Sigmund! Say those words that you say so well!"

"You gotta be nuts."


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Off to a splendid start, Freud thought, subliminally. "Get to the point, young fellow. It's almost my nap time. If I hurry I can probably catch the concluding episode of my last nightmare." "I'm here," confided Howard, settling onto a lumpy, black-leather, horse-hair...
Thursday, 21 April 2005 12:00 AM
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