Sunday, October 02, 2005

Column 52 - Gibbons (4)

In the columns and letters I’ve written for the Bonanza over the past couple of years I think I’ve demonstrated that I’m willing to change my position when the evidence warrants – for example, I’ve gone from being rabidly anti-TRPA to a position that I would call cautiously optimistic, and in my work with Independent Incline I’ve gone from being against the city option to saying we should consider it seriously. These changes were occasioned by learning new facts, changing circumstances, persuasion by sincere advocates for the other position, or most often a combination of the three.

I’ve written several columns pointing out why, based on his stated positions and actions, I think Congressman Jim Gibbons is not fit or qualified to be Governor of Nevada. Interestingly, no one has attempted to dissuade me from my opposition to “the mouth that roared,” and yet the media continue to say that Gibbons is the front-runner not only for the Republican nomination, but to win the Governor’s race in 2006. Kinda makes one wonder…

In August, the Reno Gazette-Journal ran a profile of Gibbons as part of its series on the gubernatorial candidates. That article included a short interview with the Congressman in which he was asked “What specifically would you do about health care?” His answer follows:

There are a lot of things that take need to take place. One place where the state has some nexus to it is Medicaid. We need to encourage people to have healthier lives ... . We may have to do more to assign, for example, a nurse to an individual, which would be a homecare-type nurse or doctor that will encourage that person to have a healthier lifestyle instead of using the hospital or emergency room.

OK, so this leading apostle of the party that says the Government should stay out of our lives says that we should “encourage” people to have healthier lives by assigning a watchdog to them to be sure that they have a healthy lifestyle. And to whom should we assign these monitors – to those receiving Medicaid. Medicaid is a program managed by the states and funded jointly by the states and federal government to provide health insurance for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Among the groups of people served by Medicaid are eligible low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

So, to recap, liberals and environmentalists are tree-hugging Birkenstock wearers who should be sent to Iraq, those who question donations of some $40 million to fund parties at the Bush inauguration are Communists, and we should assign nurses or doctors under Medicaid to monitor low-income individuals’ “lifestyle” choices to make sure they are healthy. And what lifestyle choices might they monitor? Diet, drinking, drug use, weight? And why stop there – after all, sexual choices have ramifications for health as does a woman’s right to choose with regard to abortion.

As is the case with the Administration in Washington’s corruption and incompetence, the Republican Party has a choice to make about Gibbons. GOP true believers may buy that it’s the media and the Left that are out to get Bush, De Lay, Frist, Libby, etc., but anyone with a brain can see that things are too far gone for this to be an unfounded conspiracy. Here in Nevada, the local true believers can continue to point to Gibbons’ military record and call him “a plain-spoken Nevadan,” but thinking Republicans should see that there is at least one other candidate who does not share Gibbons’ inanity and they should run, not walk, to distance themselves from a candidate who can’t control his mouth and whose ideas echo George Orwell’s worst nightmares.

Then again, speaking as a Democrat, maybe Gibbons is the best thing that could happen to us.

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