Saturday :: Dec 4, 2004

Republicans Seeking Redemption - Part Two


by Steve

Another day, another Republican seeking redemption for something they themselves were involved in and had the opportunity and responsibility to fix. Several days ago, Ken Starr voiced a mea culpa for going after Clintonís sex life. Yesterday, it was outgoing HHS Secretary Tommy Thompsonís turn for an out-of-body experience wherein he acted like he wasnít responsible for the things he was in effect apologizing for.

Mr. Thompson, freed from the constraints of administration policy, gave candid, unexpected answers to questions posed to him at a news conference at his department.

He said he wished Congress had given him the power to negotiate with drug manufacturers to secure lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries.

Mr. Secretary, if you were convinced that drug price controls and having the authority to use the federal governmentís enormous clout to negotiate best prices for drugs were essential to make the Medicare drug benefit something other than the hole-ridden piece of corporate welfare that it became, then you had the opportunity and responsibility as HHS Secretary to insist upon it. Nothing stopped you from telling Karl Rove that itís me or Big PharMa, you pick. But you didnít do that, did you? Instead, you allowed your agency to lie to Congress about the true cost of the corporate welfare that became the Medicare Part D benefit.

Mr. Thompson also said he tended to favor creation of an independent office to monitor the safety of prescription drugs after they are approved for sale to the public. Critics of the Food and Drug Administration have long called for such an office. After initially opposing the idea, Bush administration officials and managers at the F.D.A. have said they will examine any proposals."

Again, Mr. Secretary, you have been in the job for four years, and at any time in those four years you could have pushed for the creation of such an office. But did you? No.

For the life of me," he said, "I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."

What the f**k? Do you not talk to Tom Ridge, Ann Venneman, or Andy Card more than once a week? Hasnít the Bush Administration gotten whatever it has wanted from this Congress to make our country more secure the last three years, if only they ask for it? What kind of irresponsible crap is it for a cabinet secretary to say such a thing on his way out the door as if he wasnít in a position to do something about it at any time in the last three years?

And while you're at it, why don't you draw a map for Al Qaeda when you say such things? Why do you hate America so much Mr. Thompson?

Imagine what the right wing corporate media would be doing to an outgoing Gore cabinet secretary who said such things. Couldnít you just see Rush or Hannity go ballistic next week over such ďdonít blame me, I was only the HHS Secretary for 4 yearsĒ blame-shifting if this was happening in a Democratic administration?

Forget your attempts at redemption Tommy. These comments prove that you allowed yourself to be a figurehead for four years, and now you want to walk away from responsibility just like the rest of this administration. Donít let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Steve :: 11:42 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!