Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let's Keep Grownups in the White House


My recent post about Rachel Maddow garnered an interesting comment. Rather than post my reply there, where it would be buried down below the fold, I thought I'd share it here.
Paa said:

Let's see if I understand...
Katrina was a kitten, rather than a man eating lion, OK.
Bush was Edward Scissorhands rather than Indiana Jones.
Wonder how radiologists look running a real code?
@ Paa:

We will apparently have to agree to disagree concerning the wit of Rachel Maddow. However, I'm pretty sure that her point was that Bush handled the response to Katrina very badly -- not the more concrete interpretation that Katrina was a wimpy storm.

On the other hand, I could be wrong. Maybe she did mean to suggest that Bush's isolation from real life and real people is frighteningly close to that of Edward Scissorhands. If so, she crafted her simile with such subtlety that it went whiffling right over my head. If this is the case, my respect for Rachel Maddow has only deepened.

You may have intended your final question to be rhetorical, but I'll give it a shot anyway. How do radiologists look running a real code? Hopefully, like we're grownups giving it all we've got.

If "real" means doing CPR at a car crash 20 miles from town with no in-house amenities such as drugs, crash carts, and on-call specialists, I know exactly how that feels. If "real" means restarting a friend's heart with an AED on an island way too far from a hospital, I also know how that feels. Compared to these two events, every one of the in-house codes I ran my during internship was a walk in the park.

What if the code in question is a 300 year hurricane called Katrina? I'm pretty sure the country would be a lot better off with even a bottom-feeding radiologist running the disaster response than it has been following Bush's paltry effort.

So, here's my inauguration day wish for all of us: regardless of which way we lean politically, let's do our best to keep grownups in the White House from now on, starting today at noon, Eastern Standard Time.

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