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Raised by wolves

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From a reader: “My grandfather used to say ‘There'll be more doctors in hell than anybody.' Is there any truth to this?”

Maybe not more than anybody. The lawyers have to be considered, and radio talk-show hosts. Texas Longhorn fans can't be overlooked. But it's safe to say the docs will be well represented. Consider Dr. Jack Cassell, a Florida urologist. He posted a sign on his office door that said, “If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years.”

What is the correct response to such a brute? “Changes to the shape of your nose begin right now, not in four years,” might be appropriate, or “Changes to the length of your neck begin right now, not in four years.” But most Americans will not respond in such a fashion. They are not so selfish as Jack Cassell, not so eaten up with hatred of their fellow man, and they understand and appreciate American democracy. Cassell seems to want the same kind of America as the Hutarees. Perhaps they have a medical corps he can join.

It was not so long ago that the women's auxiliary of the medical profession was conducting itself disgracefully in a Little Rock restaurant. A group of women, including at least one rich doctor's wife, took turns leaving their table — no telling how many martini glasses were on it — to hector U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder and his wife, who were trying to enjoy a quiet dinner. They told Snyder that he should not have voted for the health-care bill, that they would do their utmost to defeat him at the next election. They did not spit in his face, so far as we know, though some probably considered it. Snyder accepted their abuse graciously. His wife was open-mouthed with shock, as would be any person who treats others civilly and expects the same in return.

It was a truly disgraceful exhibition, and the doctor's wife, resourceful soul, managed to make it worse. She sent an e-mail to friends bragging about what had been done. Bragging, for God's sake. The e-mail circulated widely, and well-bred Little Rock folks found themselves trying to convince outsiders that these women were no more representative of their city than the mobs outside Central High had been.

Not all doctors are like Jack Cassell and the harpy's husband, either, we're forced to admit, confronted with unshakeable evidence. Vic Snyder, the perfect gentleman and near-perfect representative, a man who believes that even people who can't go to fancy restaurants are entitled to health care, is himself a physician. Pray they didn't break the mold.

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