Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Insanity Defense: Who's Really Insane?

Lisa Marie Nowak, the astronaut accused of harassing her alleged boyfriend’s alleged other woman, is said to be preparing an insanity defense based on having driven from Houston to Orlando in a diaper so as not to waste time stopping to use bathrooms. Nobody’s mentioned if that might be a holdover from space travel, which seems plausible as I can’t imagine there are Mobil stations along the way. This would mitigate her being crazy, making "forgot where I was heading" a reasonable explanation.

This Lisa Marie doesn’t seem all that crazy to me, not nearly as nuts as the one who married Michael Jackson. That’s one crazy Lisa Marie! Marrying Michael Jackson is a brilliant move if you plan on invoking the insanity defense. But wearing diapers to avoid using a public bathroom may be less crazy than using them. Not only are they generally filthy, but if you're a man, you're at risk of being in a stall next to Larry Craig, the Idaho senator accused of conducting an outreach program with other men in public bathrooms. He, too, may be crazy if only because he opened his press conference with the statement, “Thank you for coming out” before insisting he's not gay. Given the circumstances, that was a crazy choice of words.

The legal criteria to determine sanity are whether you know what you’re doing and understand that it's wrong, which brings us to our administration. If impeachment hearings were held, my fear is they’d reach for the insanity defense and would have no problem supporting it.