Legislative response to long-standing national outcries regarding psychological testing for political leaders has finally arrived. Mental standards for holding public office have been quietly adopted on both the state and federal levels. Concerns that the word "mental" in juxtaposition with the word "health" might suggest the opposite in the public's perception had kept negotiations behind closed doors until now.
After several years of embittered dispute, the two parties along with the American Psychotrophic Association have worked through closing agreements on the depth and nature of testing procedures.
Not surprisingly, a slip-tight majority approved the bill which would delimit the more pronounced peculiarities of the nation's decision-makers. In the end, the slim-jim of public awareness decided the fate of the controversial legislation introduced by Wares DeBiefe, Redoublican senator from New Jersey.
Angry phone calls, e-mails, texts, twitters, tooters, tweets, hooters, spoots, faxes, and floots from outraged citizens nationwide so overwhelmed Capitol electronic circuits that shorts in the overloaded lines set off alerts. Congressional members rushed headlessly to the streets in blind panic.
When the smoke cleared, and reassurance came from Federal Bureau of Instigation agents disguised in French Maid outfits that the coast was clear, the panic produced by projected mental pictures of surreptition and conspiracy had left lawmakers so shaken, they took the rest of the week off.
"They're not accustomed to quick response outside immediate physical threat and the dangers to re-election occasioned by improperly stated self-concerns." an unidentified Capitol grounds worker stated to a reporter from Entertainment-For-Spite who happened to be in the vicinity amid the sirens. "Work conditions are fairly relaxed around here."
"It was the perfect storm." a Congressional aide explained after the dust settled. Congress was finally able to reconvene -- two weeks since the potential catastrophe which never happened had left the projected portent of emotional sting in the imaginations of the self-proclaimed sufferers of public servitude. He took me aside, scanning the area furtively to make sure our conversation remained private.
"Between poring over Capitol lunch menus, tension over the pending approval for thicker-quilted toilet paper and more powerful antibiotic cleansers and air fresheners in the restrooms, the inclusion of an obesity clause in Congressional health coverage; whether French Maid outfits should also be worn by male pages, ... and, uh, let's see... oh, yeah, the fiscal cliff -- all at the beginning of National Congressional Goof-Off Month -- and then this! Jeezum! And the press says we were caught napping!"
I spoke with Dr. Norm Gruupe, head of the APA commission assigned to oversee testing. "Many of the aging politicos familiar with the dated psychoanalysis of the Freudian era worried about symbolic phallic issues. What the old school conceived as a classically convoluted, compensatory clinging to a patronizing, patriarchal power-complex -- a kind of regressive, reverse weenis envy with unconscious, anxiety-induced erectile aberration accompanied by premature verbal ejaculation -- we now class as chemical causation correlated with the mediating mechanisms of adult male menopause -- age-related functional failure of the weenis itself, which today's medicines have confirmed -- and corrected." He took a breath.
"The younger members were more concerned with peer approval," he continued, "and we were forced to use that as leverage in the back and forth process of negotiation. We finally decided on the "good therapist/bad therapist" tack and separated them for individual interviews. Fortunately, clear-headed reason prevailed, and a much needed criterion for public service was approved." He confided that the last holdout, an elderly senator from South Carolina, was swayed by a check for an undisclosed amount and an "offer" from an APA lobbyist to "explain any contradistinctions to his wife if need be."
"I don't think the old trickle-down psychology ever worked." Dr. Gruupe told me. He said his recent inside look at the political process had increased his respect for corporate pharmaceutical interests intent on doing away with legislative restraints altogether and just letting each stray individual defend himself as best he can in an unregulated competitive market. He rummaged about in his head and told me confidentially that he was beginning to think the each-for-himself capitalist approach, especially in light of FDA "uber-control", might just be crazy enough to work.
"Anywhoo..." his posture stiffened, "to appraise the situation, we sent out market-test questionnaires with yes/no responses, and they all came back blank. We knew then we had a formidable task ahead."
When the required responses were amended to essay form, Dr. Gruupe elaborated, they had to be run through computerized code-breaking sequences to determine the real content of the answers. "Even our most experienced psychologists were unable to make sense of them." he said, though he added he was not surprised. "Their double-talk is such that we couldn't leave initial diagnoses to our high school psych apprentice program as we do with the general public."
Various testing procedures were applied to determine which would be the most effective in establishing criteria for service. "Our general assessment began with the IQ/Deceivement Test." Dr. Gruupe said. "High verbal acuity conflicted with low meaning-scales under comprehensive analysis. In the end, we were forced to resort to the Animal Metaphor Test to arrive at a Bell Curve for general evaluation purposes."
That particular projective test proved the only means of distinguishing motive intent in the dissociated word-groupings of the flip-flopping pols and their intentionally misleading meanderings. The Rorshach had only led to divisive and diversionary discussions which left even test administrators baffled and disoriented. Some were alarmed at the results.
Free association proved equally unproductive. "The only way I can describe it is a combination of P.T. Barnum and Nietzshe with a little Billy Graham thrown in." Dr. Gruupe recalled. "The neurocognitive functions appeared normal, but on further examination, analogical inconsistencies contrasted so starkly with any coherent parameters of organized thought, we were compelled to reject one testing procedure after another and try different, more creative approaches." He paused reflectively and then continued:
"It was the apparent neurocognitive normalcy that threw us." he revealed. "Even our assessment team began to question their sanity. Think about it. They all aced the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Semantic and episodic memory scores were off the charts. They blew the lid off the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia, yet they could not for the life of them answer a simple, direct question. We quickly canned the Ruff Figural Fluency. We began to think they were an atavistic species of weird savant tuned into an upside-down world all their own."
So contentious is the new legislation that I felt it only fair to give the nay-sayers a say for their nays. I contacted the office of Majority House Speaker, Udherin "Absolute" Bain. He was unavailable for comment. I held on the line for the Official Majority House Speaker Spokesperson, Donya Fagettitt, as I mused over the new Federal Administrative Jobs Creation Act. She was also unavailable.
I held for the Official Majority House Speaker Spokesperson Adjutant General In-House Speaker Minor, Les Douit. I heard the flush of a toilet in the background. "He's super busy right now. Can I help you?" It was In-House Majority Speaker Minor First Associate, Wier Dunn.
I heard a muffled blast in the background and then an urgent shout: "Get me another roll of toilet paper, you do-nothing idiot! And double it up for Chrissake! And bring the rest of my lunch in with it! What's that stink? Is it you? Gimme another air freshener! And where's that goddamn French Maid outfit I personally financed from the tax-derived fiscal-cliff mad-money fund available to every Congressman regardless of idealogy or party affiliation? I swear to God, I'm gonna fire you and hire a dumb-ass!"
I felt embarrassed for both of them, as well as myself; yet I needed the story for my own emblazoned, overcompensating power-identification which is deeply associated with my substitutive need for self-enhancement.
What's next? Accountability?