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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

An Ill Wind Blows for the Good Doctor

The announcement likely today that Bill Frist won't run for President is some evidence that Frist may be more aware of reality than was apparent. Frist's slow, grinding, public descent into POTUS-possibility irrelevance was the mirror image of George Allen's shockingly fast fall from possible frontrunner to Senator-un-elect.

Watching Frist, all I could think was, does this guy really think he has a shot at the nomination? Any dumbfool can see he doesn't have a chance -- his woodenness makes you think Al Gore got it from something in the Tennessee water, and why would the religious right support Frist when they'll have so actual true-believers available (even with Allen and frothy Santorum gone, think Brownback, and so on). Yet off he would go to the Senate floor, day-after-other-day, to do their bidding. He did stand up on the bill to provide federal financing of embryonic stem-cell research, but that was the exception that so glaringly proved the rule.

For me, the twin confirmations of Frist's venal 2008-oriented self-sale to the religious right were
  • the spectacle of this highly trained surgeon refusing, in a televised interview with George Stephanopoulos, to debunk the claim that AIDS can be spread via sweat and tears, and, of course

  • his preposterous diagnosis-by-videotape of a neurology patient (imagine a neurologist performing a heart transplant!) in the service of enacting a federal law to force judicial intervention in a family-law dispute.

Dr. Frist, indeed.

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