Back when Richard Carmona’s name was first announced as Surgeon General, I had conversations with two people who had worked with him: one was a county official, the other a former sheriff’s deputy. One liked him, one didn’t, but they both agreed: the guy could be a major pain in the ass. And they meant that in the best way.
The guy was appointed largely on the strength of his biography: a high school dropout who is a decorated Viet-Nam veteran. In addition to being a physician, he was a member of a SWAT team whose exploits would be worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. For some reason, the administration thought that a guy with this background would be perfectly happy as a partisan functionary whose only job was to stump for second tier congressional candidates.
Carmona was quietly shown the door last year. It was a weird way for him to go, especially given some of the hype that came with his appointment. He was still playing good soldier, until yesterday when he testified in front of the House Government Reform Commitee.
The politicization of every thought, deed and external organ of this administration fails to shock me, or anyone else anymore for that matter. But I am taken aback by their blocking his doing an event for the Special Olympics. Why could be wrong with the Special Olympics? Apparently, this was because it is a favorite charity of the Kennedys. I suppose Carmona could have argued that the Special Olympics are actually run by Kennedy inlaws, who are also Schwartzenegger inlaws…
I could argue that since the American Red Cross has been run by Republican aparatchiks for years, that Democrats should refuse to volunteer with them. That would be enormously petty and just darned silly though, wouldn’t it?