James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A few quick comments

Geraldine Ferarro is a confidante and committed supporter of Hillary Clinton, and until Wednesday a member of the Clinton campaign hierarchy.

Well, it may be that like Karl Rove, she isn't really going away, but in any case...

Ferarro made a comment she knew would be picked up by national news organizations, claiming Barak Obama wouldn't be a serious candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination if he wasn't black. It is a belittling statement.

There is no way that Ferarro made that remark without the Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, knowing of it in advance. They also knew the ensuing storm might require that Ferraro give up her official position with the campaign -– to become a freewheeling attack dog for Clinton, in all likelihood.

Clinton's smirking response, later boosted to some semblance of contriteness, is that she really does sort of wish that her supporters wouldn't make comments about the other candidate that are “rather personal” in nature.

If you know how campaigns work, and have followed the increasing nastiness of the Clinton bunch, you know it was a setup. It was the Clinton campaign's way of taking a racist shot at Obama while -– and this is most galling -– continuing to whine that Clinton is a victim of sexism.

Truth: Obama got to make his big speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention because he was black. It gave him a leg up, but almost anybody who becomes prominent in politics gets a leg up somewhere along the line. Clinton is where she is because she is a woman and the wife of the ex-president.

Fact: The woman is unscrupulous and unfit for public office.

An amazing number of terminally naïve Democrats continue to bubble about what a “dream team” Clinton and Obama would make as running mates.

That's an astonishing formulation. The two people despise each other. Should they be running mates –- which will not happen -– whichever was the vice presidential candidate, and possibly vice president, would be entirely out of the government, twiddling thumbs and launching warships, and subject to frequent humiliations from the one who was president.

As my wife said, “Why would you put those two cats in the same sack, except to drown them?”

I received an automated telephone call Tuesday morning from the American Medical Association. The docs asked me –- and no doubt many thousands of other individuals of Medicare age –- to call our senators and ask them not to approve the changes George the Impaler (OK, they didn't call him that) seeks in the Medicare payment system.

Essentially, the AMA message said, if Bush gets his way, it will be far more difficult for people covered by Medicare to get health care because many doctors will refuse to treat Medicare recipients. They simply won't be able to afford to do the work at the level of pay Bush is demanding.

Quite a few apparently objective analysts agree with the docs.

It's funny, in a way. When I was young, the AMA was a reliably ultra-conservative organization that always supported Republican candidates – and the farther right the better. Now, every doctor I've manage to get talking about politics and health care – that's six or eight over the past year or so – is adamantly a foe of the Bush administration and the right wingers in Congress.

Of course, a great majority of physicians always have cared deeply about the proper practice of medicine and the welfare of their patients. Only now it's clear who's on their side and who isn't.

Nothing like getting your own toes stepped on to cause the eyes to pop open.

Join me in wishing Adm. William J. Fallon continued good health.