Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2004 /21 Shevat, 5764
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
Legal Cancer in the White House?
George Bush was born to his fortune. John Kerry married his. John Edwards
made his. Legally.
And therein lies the crime.
Senator Edwards presents himself as just your basic "Aw shucks" country boy
made good, first in his family to go to college, that kind of thing. He
also presents himself as a crusader for the little guys, a fearless
attorney who took on the Interests and won.
He did indeed take on the Interests. And he won. During his career as a
trial attorney, he won over $60 million for himself and his little guy
clients via medical malpractice suits. According to public records, nearly
half of the $14.5 million Senator Edwards raised in campaign contributions
as of last September came from trial lawyers, their wives, their firms, and
the American Trial Lawyers Association.
We do not contend that there is anything illegal here. We simply suggest
that we might wish to think twice about whether we want a trial lawyer and
his friends in the White House.
Not so long ago, law and medicine had one thing in common. Both were
"learned professions" in which practitioners could expect to live
comfortably, but not get rich. No more. While some lawyers like Edwards get
very rich, physicians have watched their incomes diminish for decades. Some
of the loss has to do with their transition from independent businessmen to
salaried employees, some to insurance company and government-imposed limits
on payments. But much of it is caused by ruinous malpractice insurance
premiums. These have resulted in physicians by the tens of thousands either
refusing to perform certain procedures and specialties or getting out of
Senator Edwards may indeed have fought for the little guys. But his wealth
represents not justice, but money sucked out of the health care system by
class-action lawsuits, contingent fees (the lawyer gets a percentage of the
settlement), and lunatic punitive damage awards. His greatest success is
his contribution to the destruction of America's health care system.
Now in an unblushing display of "chutzpah" he campaigns and complains about
the healthcare system he helped rob and ruin.
Nor is he content with merely attacking medicine via lawsuits. While we're
on the subject of lawyers in government, there's another aspect of the
problem, not often noticed. There is, of course, nothing new about lawyers
going into politics. But at all levels of government, an increasing
percentage of these types have backgrounds as former prosecutors, whether
local DA's and assistant DA's or federal prosecutors. And while the office
of prosecutor is a necessary and honorable one, it engenders a mindset in
which the goal is to "get" people.
So what we have here is not just lawyers in high elective office, but a
growing tandem of the two most vicious kinds - lawyers out to enrich
themselves by extorting the system, and lawyers who made their reputations
by racking up the convictions.
It should scare you that the lawyers and trial lawyers in particular
who have invaded and sued to death every aspect of your life now want to
rule the White House. In their lawsuits dealing with the right to be born,
right not to be-born, right to die, and right not to die they now dictate
your entire life from the "twinkle" to inception to after you are six feet
In the Sunday, February 01, 2004, edition of The Sacramento Bee, "Lawyers
top Edwards' list of supporters," Greg Gordon writes, ". . . Edwards'
campaign refuses donations from lobbyists and political action committees,
. . . Edwards' heavy support from plaintiffs' attorneys comes as Bush and
GOP congressional leaders are crusading for so-called tort reform that
would limit noneconomic damages and reduce multimillion-dollar jury awards
in injury suits.
During five years in the Senate, Edwards has opposed those efforts."
How predictably slick and sly it is for Edwards to conveniently ignore his
special interests. If the American Bar Association, The American Trial
Lawyers Association, nearly one million lawyers, and almost 60,000 trial
lawyers are not one of the nation's largest lobby groups what are they?
Gordon further writes,"It is an issue likely to stay near the surface. Of
the $14.5 million Edwards raised through Sept. 30, at least $6.7 million
came from lawyers, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports by
Dwight L. Morris and Associates. . . Law firms account for eight of the
Edwards campaign's top 10 sources of money. . ."
In "Our Edwardian Healthcare System," by Sydney Smith, January 5, 2004
(http://www.techcentralstation.com/020504B.html) the writer concludes, ". .
. if John Edwards is sincere about championing quality healthcare and
reducing frivolous lawsuits . . . He couldn't find a better blueprint for
everything in the system that needs to be changed than that offered by his
On a lighter note, if you believe in astrology there is another reason not
to elect Edwards. In a New York Times Oped, "The Stars Have Voted",
February 3, 2004 by Erin Sullivan, the writer provides horoscopes for the
"John Edwards, born on June 10, 1953, is a Gemini with the Moon in Gemini.
There is much in his horoscope that makes him the puer aeternus, the
eternal boy. . . However, his chart shows him to be a true son of the
messenger and trickster god, and so capable of exceptional dualism. . ."
So in sum, we need a trial lawyer, like John Edwards, in the White House
like you need an extra double contrast study of the colon to find a cancer!
Voters are beginning to understand that trial lawyers in elected public
offices are bad for their life, liberty and health.
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments
on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute
Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
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