Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Not Good Enough

sorry, but something is terribly wrong with this appointment: I am just copying Avedon, who says what I think today.

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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not for nuthin', but Michelle Obama was all about marketing and messaging in her hospital-based role. That's a sore point with me. I feel that every hospital marketing dollar is one robbed from direct nursing care and patient education, for which professional nurses are responsible.

I have an intuitive feeling that the Gupta appointment comes from Michelle's frame of reference - make the message look and sound pretty.

Otherwise, I've been traveling around the intertubes today waxing mournful about this.

I think that Rich Carmona would have been a good pick because he was so angry and betrayed by what Bush had done to him. He testified that he had volunteered to serve as a first responder in New Orleans (He is trained as an emergency responder trauma doc at mass casualties) and was refused. He knows where the Bush appointee burrowers are, and he has the support of the other former Surgeons General.

I stopped blogging a few weeks ago because I have given up on people reading substantive posts about health policy (I had written quite a bit about Carmona, the Surgeon General Role and about the acting Army Surgeon General, Gale Pollock, serving in the aftermath of the Walter Reed fiasco. I have also been writing about the use of USPHS nurses and physicians as agents of abuse and torture on immigrant detainees. The only response I got was crickets. I got tired of mumbling to myself.).

I shouldn't even have read about this issue because seeing Obama roll out Eisenhower redux policies and programs and watching the progressive b'sphere react in surprise and disbelief is so depressing. The one thing he is is consistent and predictable.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Begging your pardon to disagree slightly with you, Ruth my friend, but obama has certainly learned alot in the last 8 years: he's learned to say what the left will believe while leaving the slightest wiggle-room in his legalistic statements, so he can turn his back on the left and say he was never lying, much like gwb claimed he never lied about the Iraq war. He's learned to say pleasing things to the left, while always intending to do what his real ($$) backers wanted him to do. Much like 'compassionate conservative' and 'the one you'd raather have a beer with' were used to give gwb the veneer of harmlessness. Obama's learned all too well how to give lip service to people wanting a new direction for this country, while actually only serving the people who paid his tab. It's not 'who would you rather have a beer with?', It's 'with whom would he rather have a cocktail? (or a line)'.

7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home