It was midafternoon before I finally noticed no one was commenting on the post I made this morning. Checked the dashboard. Oops. Never posted it.
Apologies. This project is coming to a boil, and it’s flyspecking time. Also, when I got home Wednesday I made the mistake of watching the GOP debate, at least as much as I had the patience for. I was torn between breaking out in hives and weeping for my country. I certainly didn’t hang on until the end, so I missed the vaccine discussion. This writer hits the predictable notes of outrage, but I think Brian Dickerson makes a subtler point:
If Carson had addressed Tapper’s question squarely – if he had stood up for science, for his own, hard-won expertise and for the integrity of his profession – what Trump said next would have been pathetic.
But Carson did none of those things, because his objective was not to debunk a dangerous medical myth, but to avoid offending those who traffic in it.
Trump, who could scarcely believe his good fortune, spotted the escape route Carson had left him and bolted for it.
He was not opposed to vaccines, he explained to Tapper – “I love vaccines!” – but rather to the frequency and dosages with which they are dispensed.
“You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic,” Trump continued.
“I only say it’s not — I’m in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount. But just in — in little sections. I think — and I think you’re going to have — I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism.
Instead of renouncing his spurious claim about the causal link between childhood vaccinations and autism, Trump managed to repackage it as a spurious claim about the causal link between the frequency and strength of childhood vaccinations an autism.
Through this ridiculous process — remember, the election is more than a year away — I’ve tried to maintain an attitude that allows me to stay sane. It changes from day to day, from amusement to sneery contempt to bleak semi-depression, but I didn’t get angry until I read about this. Two highly educated doctors refusing to endorse a cornerstone of modern medicine for fear of irritating a slice of the electorate who is, frankly, too dumb to vote. I can’t stand it.
I’ve said before, I’m no fan of Hillary. But she is Winston Churchill combined with Abraham Lincoln compared to this crew. Neil Steinberg has said that if Donald Trump is elected president, it will only be what we deserve. I’ll say.
So. Question for the Indiana side of the room: What do we all think of the job Mitch Daniels is doing at Purdue? I ask because I had to write a story recently about college affordability, and many people think he’s doing a lot of good there. I know there was a dustup over Howard Zinn early, and I know he’s agreed to lay this stuff aside for now. Is there something I’m missing?
When the project drops next week, we can all discuss the topic uppermost in mind: Alcohol. Until then, some smart reading on the subject, an interview with Susan Brownmiller. She makes some excellent points; do you agree?
Good god, it’s the weekend. I thought you’d never arrive, weekend! Let me give you a great big kiss and fall into your arms.