Doctors Who Don’t Read What They Sign are Scary

In a later post I will explain why, ‘Is Ron Paul a racist?’ is the wrong question to ask. Who knows what’s in his soul? And how much do we need to care? We’re talking about a politician here.

A more useful question is why Ron Paul’s politics attract support from activists and groups that are proudly racist, and why they think a Ron Paul presidency would advance their agenda.

Today I want to point to a statement Rep.Paul made in an interview December 21st with CNN correspondent, Gloria Borger. That interview ended when Paul walked out of the studio.

From, (appropriately enough),Crooks and Liars. Ms.Borger asks Rep.Paul about racist newsletters published under his name…

[Ron Paul:] I didn’t write them. I disavow them. That’s it.

BORGER: But you made money off of them?

PAUL: I was still practicing medicine. That was probably why I wasn’t a very good publisher, because I had to make a living.

BORGER: But there are reports that you made almost a million dollars off of them in — in 1993.

PAUL: No. Who — I’d like to share — see that money.

BORGER: So you read them, but you didn’t do anything about it at the time?

PAUL: I never read that stuff. I never — I’ve never read it. I came — I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written. And it’s been going on 20 years, that people have pestered me about this. And CNN does it every single time.

“I was still practicing medicine.” Congressman Doctor Paul likes to refer to his MD when promising a cure for our national malaise. That’s one reason his statement raises a red flag.

As a nurse, I’ve had the misfortune to have to work with doctors who signed things they didn’t read. I’ve faxed notes asking for a simple ‘yes or no’ answer to a question about a patient– returned with signature, without answer. Makes a nurse want to get a job in a florist shop.

This is not how most doctors practice–most are concerned and mindful that their patients and other medical professionals depend on them to write clear and appropriate orders. Good doctors take responsibility for what they sign. Doctors have reams of papers coming at them, but most take the time to read and correct important things like med lists and orders.

So if Dr.Paul didn’t take time to read the newsletters he published and signed his name to, how does he prioritize? Some of what was published in ‘The Ron Paul Political Report’ was truly vile, and he disowns it today. If you believe his explanation that he signs off on views he doesn’t share, what does that say about him? If you believe that he never noticed what went out under his name for about a decade, what does that say about Doctor Paul’s attention to his political movement? What does that say about his integrity? Was he really that unaware? Or is he lying?

I once worked with a doctor who said that his lousy handwriting gave him cover. Anyone who wanted to sue him would never be able to read his notes. I hope it was a joke, but it’s not too far-fetched that sloppiness hides incompetence. It’s also possible that a very smart man might plead carelessness to dodge the big question. Not whether he is a racist, but why racists believe he is on their side.

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6 responses

  1. Good post. I don’t etirely understand why Ron Paul has gotten such a pass on this, even from Jewish groups incensed by Obama’s past trelationship with a Reverend Wright, though Obama never had anything inflammatory under his own name.

    I always thought libertarianism (which I think as a concept is a healthy idea to balance out community pressuresI as a political moevment is largely about about people who have their wealth and don’t want to share any of it with the rest of the community.

    1. I think the idea that wealth is the reward of hard work and virtue would only be generally true if we abolished inherited wealth and let everyone compete on an equal basis, and I’m not hearing the Libertarians campaign for that.
      Another unspoken assumption is that money is the only measure of worth. So much of the work that keeps society together is not paid, or even acknowledged.
      We may have reached the peak of an economy based on buying things, and have to turn our energy to repairing what we have, and bringing our infrastructure into the 21st Century.

    2. Unfortunately, libertarianism is not a viable working arrangement. If the big daddy fed gov’t isn’t looking after things, then corporations, corrupt local political machines, and other assorted groups are left to run the show as they see fit.

      You see, libertarianism got its big impetus after the fed started sticking its nose into local affairs and insisting that states actually, you know, allow minorities to vote. Before that, Uncle Sam left the locals to run their own show.

      But once Uncle Sam got involved, stuff like states’ rights and libertarianism tried to put lipstick on the pig and claim what sounds like high ground in the fight for white supremacy.

      1. Yes, anger at strong government intervention in the Civil Rights movement is the fuel for much of the anger against the government. Danielle Mc Guire’s book, ‘On the Dark End of the Street’ describes how civil rights organizers in Alabama engaged the national press and Federal Government in their petitions and protests for justice.
        Many nameless Americans died before and after, their local authorities were not willing, sometimes not able, to defend their rights.

  2. A good friend of mine is a retired surgeon, one of the best. You see, he got his first, and most important experience in VietNam. He patched up our young men, and when he couldn’t…well, he took it personal. It affected him terribly. He eventually became alcoholic while still working. He’s been sober many years now, but the point of my story?….when drinking, he would give orders over the phone when called at his home. He never hurt anybody, luckily, but what sobered him up was reading orders he didn’t remember. He couldn’t live that way.

    I don’t find it credible that Mr. Paul did not know, and accept, the “tone and tenor” of these writings. He may not remember the exact wordings, but really, he knew.
    He could still help make positive changes in government. If only he would “sober up” and do the next right thing. I’m hoping his popularity will help moderate the right wing; They desperately need to sober up!

    1. I think a lot of the people I know who like Ron Paul for stands he’s taken against war and for civil liberties are turning a blind eye to other parts of his philosophy that would keep the government from protecting individuals from abuse of power by states or big employers and polluters.
      Also, I saw that he has an ad with a man testifying that Dr. Paul took care of his wife when the hospital wouldn’t accept her as a patient. The family is black, which is supposed to prove that Ron Paul can’t be a racist.
      This is a shallow reading of human nature. Charity can be a form of social dominance, if it’s not tempered by an understanding that we all need charity sometimes. And getting a grateful recipient of charity to vouch for you more than repays it.
      I question the ethics of this display.

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