Friday, May 16, 2014

Dan Patrick: pysche ward

Let's be candid; who among us was NOT a little depressed during the Reagan years?

Reports of a state senator’s 1980s treatment for depression and exhaustion became an issue in the lieutenant governor’s race late Thursday, when the Quorum Report, a political newsletter, unearthed court papers detailing Dan Patrick's medical history.

In his deposition in a lawsuit, Patrick, whose legal name at the time was Dannie Scott Goeb, said he was diagnosed as having a chemical imbalance in the early 1980s and said he was hospitalized at Spring Shadows Glen in “late ’84 or early ’85, possibly.” He also said the treatment consisted entirely of rest. “I absolutely did nada,” he said in the deposition. “You know, there may have been something I don’t remember. But, you know, I did nothing but sleep, sleep, sleep.”

He was asked in the deposition, related to a lawsuit over an altercation with a newspaper reporter, whether he had suffered a nervous breakdown, and said, “No.” He also said he had not told any doctors he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Later in the deposition, Patrick said he was admitted into Memorial City Hospital in June 1982 for “a week, two weeks” of rest. Asked if he considered that “a significant event in his life,” he answered, “no.” And he said that the diagnosis of a chemical imbalance was made after tests taken during that stay.

This has been an inappropriate line of attack going back well before Reagan (Thomas Eagleton, anyone?).  Karl Rove just advanced a similar smear against Hillary Clinton earlier this week.  And it's not far removed from our local merchants of slime -- some holding Bibles aloft, mind you -- who would attempt to classify transgendered people as sexual predators.  Classless acts, all.

The only difference I can see is that moderate Texas Republicans (sic) like David Dewhurst and Jerry Patterson -- uncontent with the "liberalism is a mental disorder" gambit -- have turned their fire inward, waging war on the extremists in their own ranks.  Which is something of a role switch.

Lesser of two evils, anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Update: Mental health concerns from the past are off limits... unless you're Wendy Davis, of course.

It’s good to see Patrick supporters—and Republican state senators—speaking out about the stigma of mental illness, and the unfairness of this as an attack line in a campaign. But for those of us with memories that reach back to November, it’s a bit odd, because of what many conservatives in the state were saying about state Sen. Wendy Davis.


Gadfly said...

I didn't realize Bob Deuell, who I would have put in the Dew wing, had endorsed Patrick. Boy, he just went down in my book.

Greg said...

I'm not a big fan of using this matter against Dan -- but I'm going to disagree with you regarding Rove and Hillary.

As a presidential candidate, we the people have every right to full disclosure on relevant health matters. And this includes, like it or not, questions about that fall at the end of 2012, its cause, and whether or not there are lasting neurological issues. After all, we now know from the mouth of Bill Clinton that what was described as a 30 day recovery actually was a six-month recuperation period.

And I'll say it -- I believed the same thing regarding John McCain in 2008. In 20/20 hindsight, such questions should have been asked regarding Reagan in 1984. And if Chief Justice John Roberts were to run for president, I would expect a serious inquiry regarding his history of seizures.

Is it a question of discrimination? No -- it is a question of due diligence regarding an individual who will have unique responsibilities for an extended period of time.

Gadfly said...

Greg, it's a good point on Reagan. By Iran-Contra time, Alzheimer's onset was clearly there.

But, that's far different than Hillary Clinton and a mild concussion. Plain wrong there. (And Perry knows I'm no fan of hers.)

Greg said...

The problem, Gadfly, is that now that we have her spouse saying there was a six-month recovery, it sounds like something other than a mild concussion. And to be honest, even the fact that there was an extended hospitalization for it raises that question.

Don't get me wrong -- I hope that there is less than meets the eye on this. But don't we have a right to know -- especially after she served in the least transparent administration in history.