Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dan Patrick: suicidal tendencies

I suppose the good thing is that this is all coming out now, so that Republicans can cast their ballots (early voting beginning Monday) with a clear conscience.

Insisting he was not there for psychiatric or emotional problems but "for rest," Patrick said in the deposition that he "slept, basically, for two weeks." He also said he had been hospitalized at another facility, Memorial City, in the early 1980s for "fatigue, exhaustion."

Other records show Patrick was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen for "severe depression" after reporting "feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness and marked decrease of self-esteem."

That admission was directly related to a suicide attempt on Jan. 14, 1986, according to the records, in which he tried to overdose on an antidepressant medication and slash his right wrist before collapsing and being taken to a local emergency clinic. According to the records, Patrick reported "business and marital problems and difficulties in personal relationships."

Patrick "feels the solution of separation would be a failure and prior to his suicide attempts saw his death as a preferable solution," Dr. Stephen Kramer wrote in the document.

Patrick was discharged five days after being admitted, and his depression "decreased considerably and there was no evidence of suicidal preoccupations upon discharge," records said.

The documents also provide details on Patrick's stay at Memorial City, which lasted several weeks and was the product of "acute exhaustion" brought on by "feeling extreme pressure from his work as a tele­vision sports broadcaster."

Then, doctors determined his anxiety had decreased "to the point that it was felt he could return to his full-time work and be followed on an outpatient basis."

Good ol' boy Mark Jones at Rice, sticking up for his man.

"If anything, David Dew­hurst is only ensuring that Dan Patrick will win by a larger margin than he might have otherwise," said Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor who has been following the increasingly ugly race. "This information humanizes Dan Patrick. I think the blowback against David Dewhurst over this will be pretty significant."

How do you feel about his chances in the fall, Dr. Jones? Will it be another Republican sweep? Or will you be trepidatious about his prospects among the general electorate?

Let's at least note that Jones is probably going to be right about the runoff outcome: hard-charging Patrick supporters will mobilize.  I don't think there will be all that much switching of votes among Dewhurst and Patrick, so the widest the margin will likely be is in the 60-40 range, Patrick over Dew, in line with the lite gov's defeat at the hands of Ted Cruz in the 2012 US Senate primary runoff (57-43).  Anything greater than that and Patrick can get enthused about the fall.  Even if the result is in the 55-45 range or closer, Patrick will (outwardly, at least) project humility in the righteousness of God and confidence of -- and gratitude to -- the GOP base, yaddayadda.

Oh, one more thing.

On May 30, 1987, Paul Harasim was a columnist for the Houston Post and Dan Patrick, between successful stints as a TV sportscaster and radio station owner/radio talk host, was the co-owner of several Houston sports bars, which didn’t prove to be very successful.

It was a little before midnight when Harasim and his wife, Maria Teresa Espinoza Harasim, arrived at one of these bars  - the Nice-n~E.Z Club. They had been invited guests to the grand opening and they were comped at the door – a courtesy befitting what they thought was their good standing with Patrick. But, when they arrived, they were confronted by Patrick, who, it seems, hadn’t liked some things that Harasim had written about him, and told the Harasims hat they were not welcome and needed to leave.

What happened next ended up the subject of a criminal trial and civil suit, and ultimately the release – courtesy Harasim’s attorney - and the distribution last night to a number of Texas reporters - courtesy Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson – of documents from those proceedings that offer a window into Patrick’s past mental health struggles. 

Go on over to Jon Tilove's piece in the Statesman for the rest.  It's entertaining reading.

Since I'm serving again on the Early Voting Ballot Board, and am now sworn for the remainder of the cycle not to influence any voters in any way about any candidates in either party's primary runoffs, I can't say how I interpret this news.

You be the judge, in other words.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

My interpretation would be in a dream May 28 newspaper headline, or maybe a real blogging headline: "GOP nutbars nominate true-blue nutbar"