Cute, eh? Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told The Huffington Post that he plans to propose legislation as early as next week that would mandate the addition of a psychiatrist to the White House staff. Lieu went on to say that “the president — any president — should have access to a mental health professional” given the enormous pressures of the job. “We’re now in the 21st century. Mental health is just as important as physical health.” Apparently in the universe Ted Lieu inhabits, mental health wasn’t important in past centuries.
In any case, let me be the first to inform the congressman that the president — every president — already has access to a mental health professional, albeit not in a live-in capacity, which is wholly unnecessary to the treatment of emotional problems such as stress. Lieu’s concerns, which seem born of a misapprehension of how the process works, is that the president (any president) might suddenly snap and that the on-site shrink would burst onto the scene and subdue him chemically before he could launch nuclear Armageddon.
It should be noted that Lieu isn’t thinking about future presidents — or past ones, for that matter. He is thinking about the current office holder:
It is not normal for the president of the United States, within 24 hours, to write about death and destruction and fake news and evil. The most troubling aspect of this is it is very clear he has a disconnection from the truth.… The very first press conference he had in this administration, they could have talked about jobs or health care. They talked about crowd size. And then lied about it. It’s one of the most bizarre events I’ve witnessed in politics.
His disconnection from the truth is incredibly disturbing. When you add on top of that his stifling of dissent, his attacks on the free press and his attacks on the legitimacy of judiciary, that then takes us down the road toward authoritarianism. That’s why I’ve concluded he is a danger to the republic.
Hmm, sounds like Lieu is ready to take the staff shrink job himself. He’s already provided a diagnosis, even though many of the concerns he cites — lying, stifling dissent, suppression of the free press, gestures toward authoritarianism — were also exhibited by the previous president.
Maybe Rep. Lieu is the one who could use some psychiatric help. At the very least, he ought to learn to separate the facts about mental health from the myths. As luck would have it, his employer, the federal government, has compiled a handy list.