|This is about how qualified I am for the job.|
Dr. J.’s lefty Facebook friends have been going apoplectic regarding the fact that anyone would have objections to President Obama’s moderate, even-tempered and exceptionally qualified, albeit young Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy.
What they find so problematic about the conservative opposition to the nomination is that it largely revolves around gun rights.
The typical response is, “Why should the NRA be involved in a Surgeon General nomination?!?”
Given the recent attempts to add gun safety screening as part of primary prevention screening, something discussed by Dr. J. in this very forum, you can understand that such a strident opponent of the second amendment would be a problematic Surgeon General nominee as he will have been given a powerful bully pulpit. C. Everett Koop quite effectively went after cigarettes, and tobacco is not protected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (unless you count pursuit of happiness). Joycelyn Elders made the case for onanism. So you can see, the Surgeon General can be an influential position. Given President Obama’s full throated use of executive power to implement his agenda, it stands to reason that besides being a ‘thank you gift’ for leading Doctors for
Obama America, that Obama wanted a champion of gun control to help effectively argue the cause. Who better than the Surgeon General, one of the last trusted government posts in America to lead the charge?
Nevertheless, Dr. J. agrees with the NRA and a number of the senators tasked with providing advice and consent. His reasons however are not necessarily based on ideology.
- Dr. J.’s not a fan of patronage for ambassadorships. This is a more important job than ambassador, so picking someone who was an instrumental campaigner leaves a Dr. J. with dysgeusia.
- He hasn’t paid his dues. For all of his ‘accomplishments’ he is an over educated hospitalist and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. J. can see that the Instructor-In-Chief therefore would like his bonafides, but there are plenty of full Professor lefty public health experts at Harvard Medical School who would be far more qualified and equally ideological. Obama should have gone for one of Dr. Murthy’s teachers.
- He hasn’t paid his dues. The Surgeon General is in charge of the United States Public Health Service. Dr. Elders worked in the public health services. Dr. Satcher worked for the CDC. Dr. Koop had a distinguished academic career before becoming an assistant secretary of health prior to his nomination. Dr. Lushniak, the current Surgeon General spent 16 years working in the CDC, however his predecessor, Dr. Benjamin had a more extensive track record as a champion of public health, however she was a bit of an outsider to Washington and civil service.
- He hasn’t paid his dues. Dr. J. can’t figure out Dr. Murthy’s publication track record due to the large number of V. Murthy’s in Pubmed, but he only lists seven at this website. Dr. J. has significantly more publications within a similar time frame.
- We do not need another lightning rod nominee. It’s the Surgeon General for crying out loud! Seriously. If President Cruz nominated Dr. J. for Surgeon General, he would be a fantastic nominee given his bonafides which he will not get into here. That being said, NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood would be keening like banshees and shrieking like harpies such that the NRA’s measured concerns would look like silent assent. Furthermore, a digital avatar who has dabbled in the Dark Side of the Force as Surgeon General; Dr. J. thinks the voting public would be a tad disturbed.
- Oh, and gun control is low priority from a public health standpoint.