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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

sour krauthammer

Monday, October 18, 2004

i hate to keep picking on charles krauthammer, but the boy clearly is losing it.

in his most recent column he goes ballistic on john edwards. because edwards, in a forward-looking statement, said something hopeful about paralysis victims regaining the ability to walk.

for this scurrilous lie, chuck says, edwards is equivalent to the worst humanity has to offer. “loathsome” and “despicable” were his spitting words-of-choice.

for the record, edwards said, "if we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when john kerry is president, people like christopher reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."

hyperbole? maybe. the pace of progress in medical research is increasing exponentially. many things are possible in the next few years. so i’d say edwards’ statement was “ambitious” or “optimistic.”

worst case, he sounds like the evangelical healers that bush and company are so fond of.

but edwards, chuck says, is guilty of the worst kind of outrage.

chuck was silent when dick cheney equated a kerry victory with guaranteed terrorist attacks. ergo, we assume, cheney’s scary hyperbole—good. edwards’ hopeful hyperbole—bad.

did you know chuck is a physician? he is! his moving and inspirational advice to patients with spinal cord injuries? “get used to it.” actually, and i quote, “…to place the possibility of cure in abeyance.”

nice bedside manner chuck. clearly you believe in doctor-assisted suicide, too.

if all of this sounds like the ranting of a man on the hairy edge, it is only the beginning. because next chuck veers off into undiscovered country, somehow concluding that edwards’ statement was an attack on bush stem cell research policy.

i almost feel sorry for charles krauthammer. he is vehement that there is no hope for paralysis victims, that stem cell research is a deception, that anyone who says otherwise is selling lies to desperate people.

there is desperation in his rhetoric, certainly, but it is wretchedly misplaced. instead of excoriating the bush administration for its medieval views of science, he defends their “record” on stem cell research.

instead of enthusing about the myriad possibilities predicted by such research, he leads the cheers for its failure.

it’s clear that chuck is better suited to the comfortable distance of column-writing, over the actual practice of medicine. his future as a doctor is sadly proscribed by his tendency to make his patients sick.