Let me be clear: right now, I wouldn't want State Senator Jim Marzilli within 100 feet of any female family members or friend.
Having said that, I'm struck by the fact that there's almost no media discussion of the fact that Marzilli's ongoing implosion could be linked to a serious mental problem. Jim Braude alluded to this possibility on his WTKK show today; Howie Carr mocked it in today's column; and there's an ongoing discussion at Blue Mass. Group. But as far as I know, that's about it.
The thing is, it's such an obvious angle to explore. Here, for example, is a relevant section of the Merck Manual's description of mania, which usually occurs as a symptom of manic depression:
The person may believe he is being assisted or persecuted by others or
have hallucinations, hearing and seeing things that are not there. The
need for sleep decreases. A manic person is inexhaustibly, excessively,
and impulsively involved in various activities (such as risky business
endeavors, gambling, or perilous sexual behavior) without recognizing
the inherent social dangers. In extreme cases, mental and physical
activity is so frenzied that any clear link between mood and behavior
is lost in a kind of senseless agitation (delirious mania). Immediate
treatment is then required, because the person may die of sheer
physical exhaustion. In less severe mania, hospitalization may be
needed during periods of overactivity to protect the person and his
family from ruinous financial or sexual behavior. [emph. added]
It's possible, of course, that Marzilli is simply a loutish jerk. But his behavior--which is indefensible, period--could also stem from a genuine, serious psychological condition. And this bears mentioning.
P.S.--Before any conservative readers ask the question: yes, I'd be making this same point if Marzilli weren't a lefty.