Monday, August 29, 2005

Where are the Dems on bird flu?

EM frequent commenter (and indefatigable contributor to the Flu Wiki) Monotreme has asked several times, "Where are the Dems on bird flu?" A pertinent question.

Monotreme points out that even Bill Frist has commented on the importance of the threat, for which Monotreme believes he deserves some recognition. Our feeling was that if Doctor Bill, who after all is the Majority Leader of the Senate, thought it important he could make something happen, which obviously he hasn't. But that still leaves Monotreme's original question, "Where are the Dems?"

Democratic Senator Barak Obama writing with his Republican colleague Richard Lugar had a decent (for the time) Op Ed some months ago, but except for that we have heard almost nothing. We remind everyone that the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee is also a physician. Where is Doctor Dean? In fact, where is anyone in the Opposition Party? In other countries (e.g., Australia) the political opposition has made it a point to criticize the lack of preparation for a pandemic by the right wing government of John Howard. In the US, the opposition is apparently only interested in subjects they think will win some political points, and since no one else has made preparation for a pandemic a political issue, they won't either. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one. But even if there were so obvious political points here, there is some obligation to call attention to a major failing of the Bush Administration, just as a matter of principle.

So maybe that explains it. The only thing this has going for it is that it is a matter of principle. Apparently not a salient fact for the DNC. These guys make me retch. I vote democrat because the alternatives are almost always even more odious. But if they want me to respect them, they have to do it the old fashioned way: they have to earn it.