Sunday, June 19, 2005

Republicans eating their own 

Watch winger operative David "I'm Writing as Bad as I Can" Brooks, more in sorrow than in anger, gently slip the stilletto in. He makes an ugly sight look almost pretty:

[In High School, Frist] dated the head cheerleader, and while he was in med school they were engaged to be married.

But while interning in Boston, he met another woman, spent a dinner and a night with her, and fell in love. Two days before his wedding, he flew back to Nashville and broke off his engagement. "Everyone listened carefully to what I said, all the lame explanations I had that were and were not the truth," Frist later wrote, "and they nodded and dealt with it and I went on my way."

I've always admired that anecdote. It took guts to break off the grand wedding that was in the works - to risk alienating everyone he had grown up with for the sake of the woman he had suddenly come to love. Furthermore here was a Bill Frist who knew his own heart.
(via NY Times)

Except, apparently, when he didn't. But hey, maybe Frist can get a TV deal, like Jennifer Wilbanks, that White Woman somewhere out there in Bobo's world, who staged her own kidnapping to escape her weddding.... Bet the theocrats really go for dumping a bride at the altar, eh?

These days he seems not so much the leader of the Senate conservatives, [nor, apparently, of the moderate Republicans] but someone who is playing the role. And because he is behaving in ways that don't seem entirely authentic, he is often trying just a bit too hard, striking the notes more forcefully than they need to be struck.

That is what happened during the Terri Schiavo affair. It's not quite fair to say that Frist diagnosed Schiavo from a TV screen, but he did put himself on the wrong side of the autopsy that came out last week. He did betray his medical training, which is the core of his being, to please a key constituency group.

So much for "Dr." Frist, as the Times persists in calling him. "Betray his medical training" is pretty strong stuff, though of course it doesn't rise to level of a blow job.

And now comes the hagiographical setup:

His memoir, "Transplant," is one of the most laceratingly honest books you could ever hope to read. As a boy, he wrote, his mother "worked hard to protect my sense of self-worth. If Woodmont Grammar School conducted a paper drive, she motored me about afternoon after afternoon, making sure I collected more newspapers than anyone else."

"Laceratingly honest" enough to betray his medical training. Par for the course, for a Republican. But I love the way Brooks carefully slips in the "motored" quote. Hey, did your Mom "motor" you? Or did she "drive" you? "Motored" isn't exactly a NASCAR word, now is it? So much for the authenticity...

And now comes the coup de grace:

Since 1961, more than 50 senators have run for president and they have all lost.

Frist too appears to have been gradually altered. Many who've known him say it's hard to square the current on-message leader with the honest young man of "Transplant," the stiff, ideological politician with the beloved community leader who made such a mark on Nashville.

Sometimes in their quests to perform greater acts of service, people lose contact with their animating passion. And the irony is that the earlier Frist, the Tennessee Republican, the brilliant and passionate health care expert, is exactly the person the country could use.

Translation: Frist's a loser. And the beauty part of Brook's indictment? He condemns Frist catapulting propaganda; for repeating the talking points of the Republican Noise Machine in which Brooks is such an essential cog.

'S beautiful [sob].

Yep, Frist should have delivered on all those winger judges. Instead, he got outmaneuvered by Harry Reid. So much for Frist's presidential ambitions, though of course he'll be the last to figure it out. Hopefully he'll keep fighting long enoug to weaken the Republicans significantly. Too bad, so sad....

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