Yale psychiatrist to Pelosi: A “mental health hold” on Trump is inevitable


It is nothing new for Bandy X. Lee to sound the alarm about her opinion that President Trump is mentally ill. Lee began warning anyone who would listen about the danger she believes President Trump presents to the country even before he was elected. She finds a willing audience among Democrats and anti-Trumpers. Now, she’s upped her game and is insisting that Speaker Pelosi, as a coworker, report Trump to local authorities in order for him to be subjected to a mental evaluation. Left-leaning Salon has an eye-opening interview with Lee.

Bandy Lee says that Pelosi has not done enough, especially now that we are in the impeachment process. While Lee thinks it has been effective for Pelosi to withhold the articles of impeachment instead of delivering them to the Senate, she thinks Trump is becoming more dangerous. Trump’s six-page letter to Pelosi after the votes on the articles of impeachment seems to be the breaking point for Lee. She now advises Pelosi to do something drastic, like call 911 and report Trump as a danger to the country. Yes, really.

“As a coworker, she has the right to have him submit to an involuntary evaluation, but she has not,” Lee told Salon. “Anyone can call 911 to report someone who seems dangerous, and family members are the most typical ones to do so. But so can coworkers, and even passersby on the street. The law dictates who can determine right to treatment, or civil commitment, and in all 50 U.S. states this includes a psychiatrist.

“The advantage of a coworker starting this process is that a court can mandate a mental capacity evaluation before the dangerous person returns to work,” Lee continued. “The committing physician is preferably the patient’s treater, but does not have to be.”

Just the visual of some unhinged Democrat picking up the phone and calling 911 to report President Trump as a danger to the community and the nation, in general, is comedy gold. It would make a perfect SNL skit, wouldn’t it? This kind of suggestion makes me wonder who is the person in mental distress? It sounds like it is her.

Her obsession with the state of Trump’s mental health has moved to a new level. She now “translates” Trump’s tweets for her followers on Twitter. She explained in September that it is a public service “to promote grounding in reality and truth.”

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You probably remember a year ago, in December 2018, the fevered discussions by The Resistance in Congress and cable news pundits convinced that the 25th Amendment must be implemented immediately to remove Trump from office. At that time Bandy Lee was on Capitol Hill briefing lawmakers for two days on the clear and present danger posed by Trump, giving her professional opinion. The later it gets into the Trump presidency, the bolder Lee gets in her rhetoric against President Trump. I remember watching an interview with her and another like-minded mental health professional on CNN with Brian Stelter.

It seems to me that mental health professionals diagnosing someone without even being in the same room with that person are unethical and impossible to take seriously. They are just offering opinions, the same thing that anyone can do. It’s good fodder for cable news though to fill in some air time. Lee says the letter to Pelosi in response to the impeachment votes is like a confession from Trump, that he is projecting his own wrongdoing on her.

“I am beginning to believe that a mental health hold, which we have tried to avoid, will become inevitable,” Lee said.

First, he is highly unwell, which I am glad many finally seem to see now. More specifically, you can tell how unwell he is by the degree he cannot deviate from his defenses: mainly, denial and projection. We often say he is “doubling down.” A truly sick person will be unable to show any tolerance of ambiguity, doubt or flexibility in thinking. The letter, like his lengthy interviews or his chronic tweeting over years, is unable to show any variation from the characteristic rigidity of pathology.

Denial is when you shut out of consciousness things that are too painful to consider, such as the fact that he is incapable of serving as president. He “knows” this better than anybody, which is why he has to push down the truth by saying: “I alone can fix it,” or “I know better than anybody.” Projection is when you displace undesirable traits of yourself you are trying to deny onto others. Most people will see that he is projecting his own unacceptable thoughts and motives onto Pelosi.

She comes off as unhinged as any Democrat these days. After the Mueller Report backfired and didn’t produce the results hoped for by The Resistance, Democrats put all their hopes into the articles of impeachment. The problem is that Americans watched the process play out and realized that there is nothing to impeach the president over. Independents are moving away from them and are ready for it all to be over with, to just move on.

Lee insisting that Pelosi find a way for President Trump to have an “involuntary evaluation” is straight out of fantasy land. She did make one good point, though. When asked about Pelosi calling Trump’s letter “sick”, shouldn’t that have been enough for Pelosi to act? It goes along with the thinking that if Trump is such a danger to our democracy, why is Pelosi dragging her heels now?

She has said this a number of times, but I am not sure she is convinced of her own words. If she were, shouldn’t she be responding to it as an emergency? As a coworker, she has the right to have him submit to an involuntary evaluation, but she has not. There is also the common mistake to think that mental impairment and criminality are mutually exclusive, when they have nothing to do with each other, but happening in the same person can cause much greater danger.

The answer is simple. Trump is not a danger to democracy. The impeachment of President Trump is a purely partisan exercise. For Lee to be insisting now that Pelosi ratchet up the madness is something that only the most strident of anti-Trumpers will find appealing – like the readers of Salon. Meanwhile, Trump is still president and frankly, he’s had a very good year as far as implementing his policies and judicial appointments go. He’s on the road to re-election.

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