A Public Health Announcement
Palinosis, n. pl. palinoses. Any of several poorly differentiated disorders among Left-lurchers that involve demented social, political, and rhetorical behaviors. They are distinguished individually by special manifestations (as paralysis of the cognitive functions, frothing at the mouth, rotating eye-balls, hyperventilation, semantical seizures).
Working together with researchers in the field (that dedicated group Médecins Sans Illusions), I have been able to piece together an incomplete epidemiological portrait of the malady.
Suddenness of Onset
As Professor Frary notes, one of the signal presenting features of this malady is the suddenness of its onset. Witnesses report that victims of this cruel disease generally appear completely normal until they encounter the name "Sarah Palin." Within minutes, susceptible patients suffer a dangerous rise in blood pressure followed by acute cognitive paralysis, often accompanied by logorrheic expostulation, in some ways similar to Tourette's Syndrome. This is the acute phase, which can last for several hours. It is generally followed by a chronic phase, which can last several weeks, and is characterized by feelings of listlessness, melancholy, and a still poorly-understood inability to distinguish fact from fiction. It is not yet known whether damage to the victim's sense of humor is permanent or transitory.
Many patients complain of feelings of panic, a vague but persistent sense of paranoia, compounded by alternating emotions of rage and depression. The public is urged to employ caution when approaching sufferers of Palinoisis, especially in its acute phase. Their behavior is typically incomprehensible and can be violent. THOSE WHO HAVE NOT PASSED A LEVEL TWO PALIN REMEDIATION AND ACCLIMATIZATION TEST ARE URGED TO DIAL 911.
A large part of the population appears to be resistant if not entirely immune to the precipitating allergen, and scientists are still working to isolate predisposing factors. A demonstrated predilection towards utopian thinking appears to be one predisposing factor, as does difficulty in distinguishing between the property of your neighbor and that which belongs to the federal government. It has also been noticed that patients experience a tingling feeling running up their legs (Matthewsitisosis) when the hear the words "Barack Obama" are seriously at risk.
There is no known cure for Palinosis. But some studies indicate that a course of treatment in which patients are slowly acclimatized to the real world can help. Behavioral modification programs, including intensive study of Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom , the chapters devoted to "Democratic Despotism" in Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and a thorough examination of the United States tax system have been shown to be effective in some cases. Also promising is the model offered Alcoholics Anonymous: patients who are able publicly to acknowledge their malady--"Hello, I am John, and I suffer from Palinosis"--have been shown to do better in the long term than those who refuse to acknowledge the disease.
See also: Palin Hysteria Syndrome.