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Our Dr. Phil goes to war

POSTED: July 31, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Congressman Phil Gingrey phoned the other night to tell me and a few dozen other folks the war in Iraq was going a lot better than we had been led to believe.
In one of those wonderful telephonic town meetings, he said the media had distorted what’s really going on.
A few days later, Gingrey, an obstetrician by trade, made news again when he told a civic club in Ellijay he was ready to run for vice president — or senator — or something. He said he wasn’t “ruling anything out.”
Our own Dr. Phil may be right; the media may have misled us on the Iraq war. You just don’t know what to believe anymore:
• Have more than 3,500 of our troops been killed in combat and another 26,000-plus wounded? Or is that just media bushwah?
• After all this time, is it true that only 22 percent of Iraqis support our presence in Iraq — down from 32 percent just a couple of years ago?
• Is this war really costing us $135 billion a year — or $250,000 a minute?
 • Surely, it can’t be true that this war has gone on longer than World War II, or can it?
Are these statistics just media-manufactured bunkum, as 11th District Rep. Gingrey suggests?
If he turns out to be dead right, the congressman ought to forget about seeking the office of vice president and try for a higher post.
If Rudy Giuliani is the best the GOP can do right now, Dr. Phil might be just the dark horse the Republicans have been looking for.
Congressman Gingrey is not alone in his stated belief that Big Media is feeding us a diet of bad news just to raise their ratings. Wherever you turn, somebody from the government is saying the media is being way too pessimistic.
A one-star National Guard general — a Georgia Power executive in real life — is traveling up and down the state telling Georgians the national media has got it all wrong.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is up for re-election next year, takes the same tack. You won’t find Saxby or our junior senator, Johnny Isakson, joining those other cut-and-run Republicans who say we ought to “redeploy” as soon as possible.
Sax and Johnny may have lost their way briefly over the immigration issue, but you won’t find them bucking local sentiment on the war.
But back to Dr. Phil and his fellow Georgia M.D. — congressman, Dr. Tom Price. If you look at their resumes, you would think both ought to be on their way to becoming Republican superstars in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Both were accomplished physicians before they jumped into politics. Some might say they served their patients better than they are representing their constituents.
Both docs seem to possess areas of expertise that may exceed their knowledge of military strategy. They ought to be zeroing in on health care. But, as of Thursday, Dr. Tom was hogging C-SPAN as he took the well of the House to excoriate the Democrats for playing “partisan politics” with the war. He sounded shocked, absolutely shocked at the very idea of partisan debate.
The Iraq war is fading as a front-burner issue. By the time President George W. Bush leaves office, most U.S. forces probably will have departed the combat zones. The new big issue is health care and how we’re going to pay for it.
Fiscal experts project that spending on Medicare, the insurance program for the aged, may shortly spin out of control. And the biggest domestic issue in next year’s presidential election is likely to be universal health care.
I’d like to hear more of Dr. Phil’s and Dr. Tom’s views on that topic, one in which they ought to have views more informed and trustworthy than a sheet of talking points on Iraq from a White House political aide.

Contact Shipp at P.O. Box 440755, Kennesaw, GA 30160 or via email at shipp1@bellsouth.net
 

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