The Suicidal Doctor's "Conservative" Impulses

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Suicidal Doctor's "Conservative" Impulses

National Review's John Derbyshire has called attention to this story in today's New York Post. The story quotes a patient of Nicholas Bartha, the physician who apparently committed suicide Tuesday by setting off an explosion inside his New York City townhouse. Derbyshire writes:
This story about the Manhattan doctor who blew up his town house is fascinating. The guy seems to have had some conservative impulses:

"If I felt anything remotely wrong, I'd drop in. But before I could get a word in about my health concerns, he'd sit me down and go on about Hillary Clinton and lawyers being the scourge of the United States. ... America was the best place on Earth -- the land of opportunity -- [Bartha] always said, and he really was convinced that liberals had a plan to undermine the future success of the United States, that Hillary Clinton was going to bring down the country."

However, [these impulses] were mixed with more peculiar stuff, as is often the case with unbalanced personalities:

"He praised Hitler while slicing me with a scalpel, but I thought he was just an interesting character."
Far be it from me to defend conservatives, but what Derbyshire describes as "conservative impulses" seems to do a disservice to conservatives.

Sure, the vast majority of self-identified conservatives don't like Hillary Clinton and wouldn't vote for her in 2008. Still, I doubt that most of them would be strange enough to tell business clients or customers "that Hillary Clinton was going to bring down the country."

That seems to go well beyond the mere status of "conservative" and enter the realm of irrational, conspiracy-buff alarmist. And the fact that Derbyshire describes the Hitler statements as "more peculiar" suggests that even he believes that the Hillary-will-destroy-America views are somewhat peculiar.

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