• Obama’s Surgeon General Has A Gun Problem


    Dr. Vivek Murthy was nominated by President Obama to be the next surgeon general of the United States. The nomination is stalled, because of Murthy’s long record of activism against the Second Amendment. Evidently, Dr. Murthy believes that the Bill of Rights is a heath problem.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has changed the rules of the Senate to remove the 60 votes necessary to cut off a filibuster of President Obama’s nominees.  The goal was to make it easier to force through nominations that have no bipartisan support and to knee cap Republicans in the Senate who have used the filibuster to slow and stop Obama’s out of the mainstream nominees.  Reid thought the elimination of the filibuster would make it easy to confirm even the most extreme nominations, but he was wrong.

    The Murthy nomination has become a referendum on gun control.  The left believes that they have made progress in pushing legislation to curtail Second Amendment rights, yet they can’t get the Murthy nomination passed.   Too many Senate Democrats value winning re-election to the Senate more than confirming a controversial nominee to surgeon general.

    The National Rifle Association wrote a letter to the Senate on February 26, 2014 where they explained the reasons for strongly opposing the nomination.

    In his capacity as president of Doctors for America, Dr. Murthy has offered his support for a wide array of gun control policies that have been repeatedly rejected by the American people and their elected representatives.

    One of the pieces of evidence cited by the NRA was a letter to Congress dated January 14, 2013. Murthy wrote an open letter to Congress advocating five specific changes to law, including strengthening regulations limiting individual’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  One recommendation advocated for more research and data-tracking of guns.

    In caring for our patients, we rely on unbiased data and research in public health to guide our counseling, recommendations, or treatment.  Just as we monitor vaccinations and different approaches to tobacco cessation and fund approaches to preventing cancer, os should we ensure that we have the data-tracking and research capabilities to fully address gun violence.

    This is exactly what opponents of the nominee fear; installing a new surgeon general who will use his position to fight gun control, much like the federal government is using resources to fight obesity and tobacco use.  Opponents argue that an anti-gun activist in that position will allow Murthy to use the surgeon general office to propagandize the American people that gun ownership is a national health crisis.  Murthy believes this to be true, so why would senators vote to install an anti-Second Amendment activist into the position of the highest ranking public relations health care official?

    The New York Times reported that the nomination is on life support because Senate Democrats don’t want to have to take a vote that will be used against them this fall in the November congressional elections.

    The N.R.A is a powerful political force in many of the states where Democrats face their greatest threats this year in efforts to keep control of the Senate — like Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana.  The group has embarked on an aggressive campaign to rally its millions of members against Dr. Murthy.  The latest effort came on Friday evening when the N.R.A. sent a “grass-roots alert” to millions of email subscribers, imploring them to “contact your senators and ask them to oppose confirmation of President Obama’s racially antigun nominee.

    The alert targeted constituents of Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Mary Landrieu (D-Lousiana).  This would be a difficult vote for Democrats who are in cycle and in pro-gun states like Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), John Walsh (D-Montana) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).  The NRA is joined by Gun Owners of America and other Second Amendment grassroots groups in strong opposition to the nomination.  All of the groups would be more than happy to use this vote this fall to help educate voters on who stands with them on gun rights.

    Politico reports that Murthy’s nomination would fail if the vote were held today.

    Democratic Senate aides estimated on Monday that from eight to 10 Democrats may oppose Murthy’s nomination if the vote were to be held soon, mostly because of his left-leaning views on gun policy, which have attracted opposition from the National Rifle Association.

    The Politico story quoted a Senate staffer saying that the nomination carries “very little political or policy gain but plenty of downside.”  The expectation is that Senate Majority Leader Reid will not schedule any vote until after election day to protect his members from a controversial vote.

    This speaks to the idea that voting for gun grabbing Obama nominees can cause serious political health problems for usually reliable Obama supporting politicians.

    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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