Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Being the surgeon general nominee doesn't shield you from vaguely racially insensitive comments

For reasons I completely understand, the confirmation hearing of surgeon general nominee Vivek Murthy has not gotten a ton of attention. Factor one: The filibuster reform of late last year will let Murthy be confirmed by a simple majority vote. Factor two: It's the nomination for surgeon general. So not many people were paying attention when Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts told [surgeon general nominee Vivek] Murthy, with measured pride, that Dodge City was home to some wonderful Indian-American doctors.

"I'm going to invite you, because we have a lovely doctor from India," said Roberts (roughly 1:37:30 in the video). "She's in her mid-30s, and she's highly respected by the community. And another doctor from India who did a carpal tunnel when I did a stupid thing. And so, I think you'd be right at home, and we would welcome you."