Not Good Enough
I gotta agree with Krugman about the appointment of Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General. Anyone who can utter that many conservative lies and talking points about single-payer/"socialized" medicine is, to put it generously, the wrong choice - and looks an awful lot like a signal from Obama that he doesn't give a damn about one of the most vital issues facing us. It's not bad enough that he said before that he doesn't support single-payer, but he clearly hasn't learned anything of value in his long period of running for president. Another "Up yours!" to the people who voted for him thinking he had to be better than this.
And, much as I love Steve Benen, I gotta say that when you've got thousands of doctors to choose from, it's not good enough to be satisfied if a nominee for Surgeon General has real medical qualifications. I realize that eight years of Bush appointees may have made people forget this, but there are actually many, many qualified people out there for these jobs, and it's reasonable to expect that you can find among them someone who is actually really good.
I don't consider Gupta an honest voice in the healthcare discussion, and I don't think anyone should. As a medical journalist, he's not really that good - he's on TV because he says things The Villagers like, which means conservative bull.
This is the thing that always worries me about Obama - he seems very much a part of that subgroup of people in his age group who fell hook, line, and sinker for the "libertarian" excuses to oppose liberalism, because he doesn't know any better. And unlike a lot of other people in that group, he hasn't learned anything from the last eight years. I have a friend who seems convinced that Obama is the Real Deal because he spoke to him back during his Senate race and learned that Obama really doesn't like Bush - but, really, despising Bush is a pretty low threshold. Not many people ever really liked Bush, anyway. What's important is understanding why the policies are bad, and listening to Obama talk about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, I get the feeling he doesn't really know what was wrong with Iraq, either. Same with healthcare.
Labels: Health Care