It’s Not Like a Problem or Anything

You know, Dennis Hastert for years was on TV pretty much every day as Speaker of the House, and that man looked like cartoon drawings of Humpty Dumpty dressed up like a Weeble. Strangely, I do not recall stories about how he was setting a bad example for America by wobbling but not falling down.

Dr. Regina Benjamin, on the other hand, apparently has some problems to overcome, one of them being she’s not a tiny little stick insect person thing.But that’s okay, because, well, take it away MSNBC:

Besides, weight aside, Benjamin does bring
some rather impressive bona fides to the job. She was awarded the
Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, was the first person
younger than 40 to be appointed to the board of the American Medical
Association, is the immediate past chair of the Federation of State
Medical Boards (meaning other doctors think highly of her) and won a
“genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Most remarkably,
she chose to practice among the rural poor at the clinic she built
herself in Bayou La Batre, Ala., charging her poorest patients

don’t know about you, but a doctor who chooses to care selflessly for
the poor and who has the respect of her peers as a good clinician is a
doctor whom I am willing to listen to — even if she wears a plus-size
lab coat.

So generous! Thank God you’re willing to look past her apparently outlandish size (I dunno, looking at that picture she looks like every third person who lives in my building, so whatever) and appreciate her accomplishments! Go you! What a virtuous person you must be! I know he means to defend Dr. Benjamin here, but it comes off so … I don’t know, like he’s doing her favors she doesn’t really need.

He starts by conceding she’s big, and conflating “two assholes on a ‘national news site’ message board” with “the blogosphere:”

You would think the entire population of the blogosphere had suddenly reverted to the seventh grade.

refuse to let fat be socially acceptable … The President should have
known better and picked a doctor who could kick start the debate on fat
not perpetuate it,” commented one reader on a national news site.

Yes. The comments section at the Beaver County Tidbit Online is exactly the same thing as all blogs ever. That’s a totally fair comparison! After all, you can completely see both of those sites on your computer! They’re on the same Internet!!!!11!

Also? I recall the liberal blogosphere’s reaction to Benjamin’s appointment being OMG SQUEE and the conservative blogosphere’s reaction being SHE’S NOT A WHITE MAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AGAIN or something, and the non-political blogosphere was all OH HEY A LOLCAT and then we all moved on to bitching about how much the Emmy nominations suck. Dr. Generosity up here had to hunt down anonymous freakazoids one step below the Freepi to prove his point, which isn’t unusual in the annals of “oh shit, it’s due tomorrow,” but it is kind of weaksauce, nonetheless.

Speaking only for myself, I’ve had several skinny doctors and one I suppose Dr. Caplan here might classify as obese, and about half the skinny ones were assholes and the other half were awesome, and they could all hold a stethoscope and dispense antibiotics competently so who really gives a fuck? When a doctor gives me advice I don’t ask to see his diploma, much less his blood pressure readings, I just take the advice if I want to and forget it if I don’t. Cheetos are totally a breakfast food. Shut up.

I am not saying we give an inch on the war on blubber. Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. and growing quickly around the globe.

people need to relate to the surgeon general, and if she can battle her
weight on the job, she will do more to curb obesity then all the salads
added to the menus of burger joints everywhere.

See, she can USE it, so it’s good! I’m sure that helps her sleep at night. Thank God Dr. Caplan is here to tell me it’s okay.



6 thoughts on “It’s Not Like a Problem or Anything

  1. Okay, how many chins has Dr. Caplan got in his photo there?
    She’s what? Obese? You have GOT to be kidding me.
    She’s about a size 14/16. This is not “obese.”
    From the article at MSNBC on her background:

    From those early days she has emerged as a national leader in the call to improve health disparities, pushed by the need in her own fishing community of Bayou La Batre, Ala., and its diverse patient mix — where immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos make up a growing part of the population.
    Her nonprofit clinic was rebuilt by volunteers after being destroyed by Katrina, only to burn down months later. Benjamin later told of her patients’ desperation that she rebuild again, recalling one woman who handed her an envelope with a $7 donation to help.
    “If she can find $7, I can figure out the rest,” Benjamin said last fall as she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” money she dedicated to finishing that job.
    Benjamin became the first black woman and the youngest doctor elected to the American Medical Association’s board. She also received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 1998, and Pope Benedict XVI awarded her the distinguished service medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.

    Looks to me like she’s got the chops for the job.
    If C. Everett Koop could wear that beard, she can come to work in her size-14 lab coat.
    People need to stop judging books by their covers.

  2. Fuckity fuck but I’m sick of this shit that shows up because Obama keeps appointing not just competent but brilliant women to positions.
    I don’t know much about her – and the one photo I saw certainly didn’t ping “FAT” on my issues scale – but what I do know shows that she brings not only talent and brains but passion and compassion to the job. How much do we need that?
    But she’s got the vagina, so it’s gotta be about her looks or her temperment. Maybe I’m just on edge because the little bit of live Sotomeyer hearing I heard on the radio was one of the Rs talking about how she’s just the nastiest judge, and the undercurrent of misogyny that I could hear like clarion bells I still pissing me off, three days later, but I’m so fucking tired of this.
    We don’t talk about men’s weight – and you’re right, Denny wobbled – or if they’re pricks. Because it isn’t important unless it’s a woman who might be in a position of influence or respect.

  3. So I went out and hunted down other pictures of the good Doctor, and put up a post on this over at for your comparison.
    Photos from her official biographical entry in the encyclopedia of alabama. She’s also got a nice photo up at “changing the face of healthcare.” She isn’t “fat”. She does have a round face, i.e. the bone structure.
    Try this photo:

    Now, being me, I’d say that’s not an “obese” woman at all. What say y’all?

  4. Hey! Not ALL the Emmy Nominations suck. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was nominated this time.
    So i say “Yay!”

  5. If they want to talk about obesity, I’m’n’a challenge the Republican Party to producethree of their high-ranking office-holders who can muster anything resembling a neck. Speaking of which, “Humpty Dumpty dressed up like a Weeble” was brilliant and made me laugh my size-14 weightlifter’s ass off.

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