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June 19, 2005

The Personal Isn't Political

David Brooks' paean to the pre-Senate Bill Frist is a puzzling piece of work.  I mean, I'm as glad as the next guy that Frist broke off his engagement, has loyal friends, and wrote an occasionally self-critical memoir, but really, who cares?  Since hitting the Senate chambers, He's been such a stunning flop, such a weak-willed opportunist, such a hapless, outmaneuvered patsy that the conversation on him is really over.  After all, good men can be great in private, but the presidency demands great men able to excel in public. 

For that reason, Frist's private persona and trail of well-wishing acquaintances is as immaterial as his favorite sandwich, the proving ground was his ability to stand firm and do right while in front of the cameras.  Unfortunately, he spent his days slavishly courting interest groups, using the Senate as a promotional vehicle, and finding himself caught hand in cookie jar each time the media turned on the lights.  Having Schiavo proved blind after Frist tele-diagnosed her as responding to visual stimuli is just the latest in a long line of embarassments all following the same trend.  As great a doctor and man as he may be in public, Frist is an equally poor physician and leader in public.  And so long as he's vying for the ultime in public positions, it's that latter judgment that matters.

--Ezra

June 19, 2005 in Election 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

I cannot believe I'm writing this. I just can't abide misinformation. There is a crucial neural distinction between "cortical blindness" and being able to respond to visual stimuli. A person incapable of translating visual input as images because of cortical insufficiency may still be able to respond (e.g., light response, pupil reactions) in ways that seem to the layman as if "vision" is occurring.

Do not take this to be a defense of Frist, who is, after all, indefensible. But, there are times we need to be precise with our language. This is one.

Posted by: Nash | Jun 19, 2005 5:57:47 PM

Yeah Ezra, if you deny the existence of light-sensitive receptors, then the creationists have already won. Er... no, really.

Also, Brooks bit about how Frist probably isn't even a true believer Republican was sort of interesting. Explains a lot.

Posted by: Brad Plumer | Jun 19, 2005 6:06:10 PM

good men can be great in private, but the presidency demands great men able to excel in public.

Wonderful description.

Posted by: Matt F | Jun 19, 2005 8:57:38 PM

He is certainly an embarassment to this Tennessean.

Posted by: ETnGuy | Jun 19, 2005 9:13:31 PM

I suppose he doesn't kick his dog either. What a guy. He knew damn well what he was doing when he made those comments in the Senate. He is a disgrace.

Posted by: Jack (CommonSenseDesk) | Jun 19, 2005 10:25:34 PM

I suppose he doesn't kick his dog either. What a guy. He knew damn well what he was doing when he made those comments in the Senate. He is a disgrace.

Posted by: Jack (CommonSenseDesk) | Jun 19, 2005 10:26:59 PM

Was not the Frist family, who own and operate a huge HMO, fined a large amount of money for ripping off social sercuity? As far as I'm concerned the whole family is a rip off to the welfare of American citizens

Posted by: the basher | Jun 19, 2005 11:33:55 PM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 9:49:58 PM

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