Monday, December 23, 2002
In the '80s, Ronald Reagan, seeking to quell criticism of his positions on education issues (but with no intention of moderating those positions), decided he'd send a teacher into space. Christa McAuliffe was a prop for Reagan; Bill Frist is a lot more than that for Bush and Rove, but prop is one of his roles. He's meant to be a walking embodiment of "compassionate conservatism," we're supposed to think of him as a doctor who flies to Africa to perform surgery, not as an accomplice helping Bush hack away at the social safety net, and not as a water carrier for Big Pharma in the battle over prescription drugs. Expect lots and lots of treacly profiles of Frist in the weeks and months to come -- if the Bushies want to, they can make this guy seem like the hero of a romance novel.