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September 08, 2005

Man of the People

Remember when Clinton's high-priced haircut allegedly (which is to say "didn't, but the right said it did") choked up traffic at LAX? Well Bush, fresh from beating Ronald Reagan's two-term record for most days spent on vacation, has easily assumed first place in the "Massive Inconveniences Caused By Presidential Whim" category as well:

The Naval Medical Center in San Diego's Balboa Park was shut down to accommodate a visit by President George W. Bush Aug. 30, RAW STORY has learned, forcing patients to cancel chemotherapy treatments and hundreds of scheduled patient visits.

"The pharmacy is closed. The emergency room is closed. Even chemotherapy patients will not be allowed on base," the daughter of one patient told RAW STORY shortly before the President's arrival. "My mother is a patient...She was contacted and told that her appointment had been canceled and would be rescheduled later…All civilian personnel and patients will not be allowed on base."

Hundreds of patient visits were cancelled as a result, she said. Patients and staff at the Naval Medical Center voiced concern over the shut-down of non-critical patient care services for a photo op that never even materialized. None were willing to go on record by name for fear of retaliation, such as loss of jobs or revocation of healthcare privileges.

Pay special attention to that last part. Clinton called Cristophe, did get a haircut, and didn't hold up air traffic. Bush called a photo-op, did not get his photo-op, and did keep sick patients from chemotherapy. Is there a single area where this guy does not demonstrate towering incompetence?

September 8, 2005 in Bush the Man | Permalink

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This takes the cake. People unable to get chemotherapy because Bush wanted a photo-op -- and then passed on it. Ezra Klein: Man of the People Remember when Clinton's high-priced haircut allegedly (which is to say "didn't, but the right... [Read More]

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Comments

I want to know what the President has to fear from chemo patients. But perhaps he has cause...

Posted by: Andrew Cory | Sep 8, 2005 2:28:37 PM

Is there a single area where this guy does not demonstrate towering incompetence?. . .

coupled with staggering callousness and the complete lack of a moral center?

No, there isn't.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 8, 2005 3:10:37 PM

If there's one thing I've figured out from this...

The current administration (and their supporters, of course) attaches more importance to press relations than the health of citizens.

And a better paragraph from the article:
"I think it's disgusting. People who are getting chemotherapy or radiation are on a very set schedule. They are not supposed to miss a session or put it off by even a day, because it's based on the life cycle of a cancer cell," the volunteer said, adding that some patients had waited weeks for appointments. "Some had to postpone for quite a while, because the radiation and chemo rooms were full on other days," she added. "They closed everything down just so he [Bush] could have his photo op in the lobby with the corpsmen."

Which is really stupid politics from the Bush camp. Why not get a picture of the President offering condolences and prayer to cancer patients? The media would eat that up with both spoons, a Silly Straw, and a forklift, pasting it across page 8 and about 3 terabytes worth of bandwidth for all that it was worth.

I'm suprised that folks (coughcoughatrioscough) have not yet come out with the standard snark about "Why does Bush hate cancer patients?"

And even more suprised that this took 10 days to come out into the light. Probably going to see a couple of the rightist bloggers pointing at that and saying "See? They can't even find a news article in 10 days, much less evacuate a few hundred thousand people!" and turn it into a rant on the uselessness of the Democratic Party. (With or without also bringing in privatization, race, or Gov. Blanco into the mix as well.)

Posted by: Off Colfax | Sep 8, 2005 3:11:01 PM

Well if you think about it I think Bush knows he is so hated and ever since that assasination attempt in Russia, I think he's running scared. This man had to BUY his elections. He bought his Presidency and knows the feel sheepish followers cant protect him from the mass numbers who hate his guts and all he stands for.
This man is a little wussy and to put out people like he has is uncalled for.
First all of he shouldnt have been in CA while New Orleans was under water. Yet another example of his uncaring attitude for people who have basic bank accounts. His discrimination of the have nots shows he cares only for "haves" and rest of us be damned.

Posted by: misty | Sep 8, 2005 3:48:02 PM

I was a hospital corpsman stationed at the National Naval Medical Center, the Bethesda Naval Hospital, from '91 to my discharge date in '95 -- during the terms of both the fraternity boy's dad, and Clinton. And I went through corpsman training at the Balboa Hospital, which is in many ways the Pacific counterpart of Bethesda (when I was there, it was calling itself "the starship of navy medicine").

Anytime a president would stop by Bethesda for examination or treatment, it'd be quite a production: Three choppers, a virtual caravan of limos and black SUV's to take him from the pad to the building, lots of stone-faced security types. But the hospital never stopped treating people.

Of course, that was before the White House sheltered a pussy still living in extended adolescence -- in his mid 50's....

Posted by: sglover | Sep 8, 2005 4:01:58 PM

Every day brings another wonderful tale of George Bush goodness, doesn't it?

Personally, I don't feel the least bit sorry for Clinton. For a guy who is often praised by the left for his so-called political skills, he sure did fail to deflect an awful lot of GOP spin. Now he trots out and backs Bush up wrt Katrina. Amazing. He gets his ass handed to him for 8 years then he turns around and trashes his own reputation by failing to point out how much better FEMA was on his watch. I guess playing golf with Poppy bush is more important than supporting the Democratic Party.

Posted by: space | Sep 8, 2005 5:18:43 PM

Personally, I don't feel the least bit sorry for Clinton. For a guy who is often praised by the left for his so-called political skills, he sure did fail to deflect an awful lot of GOP spin. Now he trots out and backs Bush up wrt Katrina. Amazing. He gets his ass handed to him for 8 years then he turns around and trashes his own reputation by failing to point out how much better FEMA was on his watch. I guess playing golf with Poppy bush is more important than supporting the Democratic Party.

Slick Willy sure isn't my fave politician, but c'mon -- when you're an ex-prez enlisted to help in charity work after an immense national disaster, you help. Just because the guy who asked you is a worthless nobody doesn't mean you turn down the opportunity for service. And I can't think of anything that'd rev up the GOP disinfo machine more than having Clinton point out the obvious realities of the situation.

Posted by: sglover | Sep 8, 2005 5:46:01 PM

Is there a single area where this guy does not demonstrate towering incompetence?

Keeping his party in line? Delivering to his base? There are of course plenty.

I wish the Democrats would boycott this Republican-led "investigation" into the Katrina relief disaster. Have any of them come out against the news blackout?

Posted by: Allen K. | Sep 8, 2005 6:22:09 PM

I agree with the Clinton pan. If ever there was a time for a well placed blast, this is it. Bill, Hillary, and the brass of the Democratic leadership has been AWOL in voicing opposition. It is time these folks grew a spine and stood up to the Worst President Ever.

Posted by: debunker | Sep 8, 2005 6:32:34 PM

My mother is one of those patients who had her nuclear medicine appointment cancelled. She received a call two days later with another appointment. Fortunately, this was not a critical visit, but it appears that many people who needed critical care were spurned.

Posted by: gina | Sep 8, 2005 7:59:53 PM

Here's the official press release from NMCSD on the visit:

http://www.nmcsd.med.navy.mil/news/news_view.cfm?nrid=133

The facility was locked down tighter than a tick - all vehicles were removed from the base after 6:00 PM the previous day, staff and patients had to park a quarter to a half mile away. Some appointments were kept, but precious few. The details are in another press release on the site:

http://www.nmcsd.med.navy.mil/news/news_view.cfm?nrid=131

This was pointed out to me by a friend who works at the center, but doesn't want to be identified.

Posted by: fercryinoutloud | Sep 8, 2005 8:47:10 PM

Well the thing is that Bush is not safe in publc. Not anywhere, especially not in America. And he will have to hide and dodge people for the rest of his wicked life.

Posted by: Super Stevens | Sep 8, 2005 9:34:21 PM

The Preznit knew next to nothing about the security arrangements, I'm sure. Likely he's aware in a vague fashion that everywhere he goes in public there's a huge swath of interrupted business of all kinds. But it's silly to blame him personally for the cancelled appointments - that's the responsibility of his staff and the medical center.

What is worthwhile is pointing out the media difference between the famous haircut and Shrub's photo op (that didn't happen? Where did the photos in the press release come from?). Without a political noise machine pimping the story from here to next week, it just fades out.

By the way, it is nice that Bush will sometimes take the trouble to meet some of the people his war has wounded.

Posted by: jackd | Sep 8, 2005 10:00:08 PM

Have we ever had a bigger coward as president than chicken george bush? The man ran away on 9/11 and has been scared ever since. So much for the tough guy party.

Posted by: merlallen | Sep 8, 2005 11:36:31 PM

Blaming Bush for disrupting the Hospital is like blaming kermit th e frog for humping miss piggy.
We all know it was really Frank Oz.
In Bush's case the puppet master would be the traitor* Rove.

*This storm is just what the Traitor Rove needed to take the heat/attention off his treason. As if the press was really pursuing it anyway, but still....

Posted by: Tach | Sep 9, 2005 12:33:48 AM

"Is there a single area where this guy does not demonstrate towering incompetence? "

Yes, Bush has been very successful in redistributing income upward from the poor and working people to his rich cronies. The combination of tax cuts for the rich and cuts in programs that benefit the poor and working people have done their job.

Posted by: Captain Video | Sep 9, 2005 2:59:42 AM

"This storm is just what the Traitor Rove needed to take the heat/attention off his treason."

Maybe Rove had Pat Robertson pray that God send this storm to get the heat off him. :-)

Posted by: Captain Video | Sep 9, 2005 3:02:01 AM

personally, i actually think rove must be off the job... they are usually a lot slicker about giving W political and PR cover on stuff like this.

word is W also tied up hundreds of _imported_ rescue workers from doing hurricane relief just so he could have a photo op surrounded by hundreds of rescue workers.

Posted by: madbard | Sep 9, 2005 3:03:24 AM

I'm at a bit of a loss. Which are you saying should not have happened:

(1) The Secret Service should not secure areas where the President (whomever the POTUS is) is to visit, or...

(2) The President should not visit wounded soldiers/sailors in the hospital?

Posted by: Jon Henke | Sep 9, 2005 12:01:58 PM

I'm at a bit of a loss. Which are you saying should not have happened:

(1) The Secret Service should not secure areas where the President (whomever the POTUS is) is to visit, or...

Well, I was saying, from experience, that his predecessors didn't feel the need to shut down hospitals and inconvenience patients seeking treatment.

But, ah, I get it -- it's all the Secret Service! Once again, it's nothing Bush has any control over. Funny how it always works that way....

Posted by: sglover | Sep 9, 2005 1:35:34 PM

Well, the hospital didn't stop treating people when Bush was there. They simply cancelled non-urgent appointments that could be put off till a bit later.

I do think the Secret Service, to a large degree, sets the security parameters for the President. I don't think the President is approving his security measures personally. In 1999, I knew a woman who was a Secret Service agent. She didn't guard the President -- I don't think females are/were allowed to provide personal protection at the time -- but she did participate in the preemptive checks of an area before a President came in.

She told of one Houston (iirc) trip in which they invited to an area hotel a number of people who'd written, ah, belligerent letters to the President. The people showed up, and were treated to a nice lunch...and were detained inside the hotel for the duration of the Presidents visit. No charges...just security.

If you think that kind of over-the-top security is new or unique to this President, I think you'll find you're mistaken. Had Kerry been elected, he'd have the same kind of treatment.

Posted by: Jon Henke | Sep 9, 2005 3:11:16 PM

"But, ah, I get it -- it's all the Secret Service! Once again, it's nothing Bush has any control over. Funny how it always works that way...."

Remember, it was the

Posted by: Off Colfax | Sep 9, 2005 3:15:46 PM

"But, ah, I get it -- it's all the Secret Service! Once again, it's nothing Bush has any control over. Funny how it always works that way...."

Remember, it was the Secret Service and their regulations regarding presidential visits that was given some of the blame for all those hospitalizations at the Boy Scout Jamboree this year too.

"Well, the hospital didn't stop treating people when Bush was there. They simply cancelled non-urgent appointments that could be put off till a bit later."

Right. Tightly scheduled chemotherapy regimes are non-urgent... Anyone who has has family members going through chemotherapy can tell you that those things are more controlled time-wise than any presidential schedule.

Try again.

Posted by: Off Colfax | Sep 9, 2005 3:20:13 PM

What I think is pathetic is that the President ISN'T more aware of the disruptions he is causing. If he was, would he tone it down?

And why is it that everything is so easily explained away by blaming handlers. Maybe he should play a more proactive role then, huh? It is my personal opinion that the standard of the responsibilities of the figurehead of the United States has diminished.

Posted by: Adrock | Sep 9, 2005 4:46:39 PM

Well, at least Clinton beat Bush in how much he increased the war on marijuana. It doubled under Clinton to about 725,000 arrests a year. Then after he left power, he said he change his mind.

As well, Bush hasnt yet created as many new muhajeddins training grounds like Clinton who we have to thank for Bosnia and Kosovo. With Bosnian links to 9-11, Madrid and a few others, not to mention that the past 3 al Qaueda leaders in Saudi Arabia were active there *the last one came back with his bosnian wife" and that we culled about a dozen of them post 9=11 and are now in Gitmo, we can honestly say that not even the dunce in charge now could have done as much to spread terrorism worldwide. He might incite more to violence but Clinton allowed them two footholde in Europe.
Bush is a danger, Clinton will be worse because we are all oblivious to Doctor Strangelove Wesley Clark who wanted to start a war with Russia, Hillary and all the Clintonites that still infest the scene like a herpes.

The choice for america is between getting raped by Jack the ripper or finger-f***ed by Capt. Hook.

Posted by: zeke | Sep 13, 2005 5:05:43 PM

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