Back in the closing days of the Senate under One-Eye [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ], Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed as US Surgeon General by the narrowest of margins.
Democrats confirmed him, 51-43, with the support of a lone Republican: [mc_name name=’Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000360′ ] of Illinois. Democrats [mc_name name=’Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H001069′ ] of North Dakota, [mc_name name=’Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’D000607′ ] of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposed him; all hail from red states where the gun lobby is particularly powerful.
The lack of 60 votes means Murthy quite likely would not have been confirmed had Democrats not amended the Senate’s rules last November. That controversial change ultimately reduced the amount of support needed for executive branch nominees from 60 senators to 51 senators.
The resistance to Murthy was led by the the NRA because Murthy is an reflexive, doctrinaire gun-grabber.
Murthy learned nothing from his near-death experience. Yesterday he reiterated his views:
“Here’s what I meant when I wrote that tweet,” Murthy began. “Violence of all kinds is a public health issue. When you have large numbers of people dying from preventable causes, that’s a health care issue. That’s a public health issue.”
“I want to find a way that we can reduce violence in America, and I think you would be hard-pressed to find parents or families of victims, or health care practitioners who would disagree.”
This statement is breathtaking in both its scope and its stupidity. By Murthy’s logic, 9/11 was not terrorism, it was a public health problem. War? Well,it’s public health. If violence is a public health issue, what falls under public safety? What Murthy is tarting up is antipathy to gun ownership. You don’t hear him talking about “fists”, which, according to FBI data, kill more people each year than assault rifles. He’s not interested in driver’s education despite the fact that an order of magnitude more people are killed each year by automobiles than by firearms and, unlike firearms deaths, virtually none of the people killed by automobiles needed killing. What he is interested in is bringing firearms — their manufacture, sale, possession and use — under federal control by declaring that they have an impact on public health and, as such, can be regulated by the FDA, the CDC, etc.
Murthy is either an idiot or he thinks we are. He’s either knave or poltroon.