If you remember, Frist spoke at the FRC event "Justice Sunday " which was telecast from a Kentucky church in April. Religious Right leaders heaped praise on Frist for standing up to "the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left. " Then, they bashed judges and concluded that the Senate filibuster rules were being used "against people of faith. " The "Christians " were being persecuted (again), and Bill Frist was their man in Washington to stop the injustice. But- that was April.
So, I started to feel a little sorry for Sen. Frist. Don 't get me wrong! I hadn 't forgotten his ridiculous video diagnosis of Terri Schiavo or his support of pesticide testing on humans. But- I felt he was going to be punished for making a good decision this time. That is why I felt compelled to write an e-mail of thanks and encouragement regarding this one decision.
As Tom DeLay and other House republicans were holding their press conference to announce their disappointment with Frist, I received another e-mail. You see- in a moment of compassionate haste, I forgot to uncheck the box, so I would not receive Frist 's e-mail updates. With Tom DeLay lecturing me
about morals and ethics from the TV behind me, I started reading the Frist update. I didn 't get very far into it, before I stopped feeling sorry for the guy.
"Senate Republican leaders decided Tuesday that a gun manufacturers ' liability bill is more important than next year 's $441.6 billion defense authorization bill. With Democrats expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons ' purchases and research, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate Republican leader, decided Tuesday that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority. "
That was just last week! These "accomplishments " allowed me to put Bill Frist back into the proper perspective. Then, I started to get nervous.
I began to worry that the same people, who rightfully criticized Frist 's medical credibility when he said AIDS could be spread through tears or when he made the video diagnosis of Terri Schiavo, were going to praise him now as a doctor because he was supporting embryonic stem cell research. It didn 't take long before I heard many variations of "as a medical doctor, Frist 's opinion carries more weight. " Let 's not get carried away here. I know. I know. I was the one who felt sorry for the guy, but thanks to the mistake that led me to be on Frist 's mailing list, it didn 't get out of control.
There was a popular book in the 80 's called "When Bad Things Happen To Good People. " I guess this would be a case of "When Bad People Do Good Things. " We should applaud Frist for embracing embryonic stem cell research, but let 's not forget the appalling positions he takes on almost everything else.
Jeffrey Thomas Boutin is a freelance writer currently disgusted (at himself for feeling sorry for Bill Frist) and living in Florida.