Romney lost. This update is for those who have just awakened from a deep coma. I voted for him which will not surprise even the occasional reader of this blog. While he was an imperfect candidate, I believe that a businessman whose successes have straddled the public and private worlds may have provided a pathway forward out of the abyss. Sure, I recognize that campaigning is quite different from governing. Had Romney prevailed then he would have been opposed by an obstructionist Senate that would have stiff-armed him in the way that I expect the House to do to the president.
The loser always faces a merciless post mortem where pundits and pontificators point out the series of fatal errors that the candidate committed.
“He dissed the Latinos.”
“He didn’t reach out to women.”
“He tacked too far to the right in order to gain the nomination.”
“He made a $10,000 bet with Rick ‘Brain-Freeze’ Perry on national TV.”
“He introduced us to the concept of ‘self-deportation’.”
“He was clumsy abroad.”
“He was clumsy here.”
“He was too soft on Bengazi during the debates.”
“He was too hard on the 47%.”
“He returned too late to the center.”
Of course, all of these criticisms are legitimate. I’ll add my own criticism to the list. No candidate seeking high office should ever have any member of his family engage in dressage, an activity that was entirely foreign to me and most of the hoi polloi prior to the campaign. Let the Googling begin.
Where were these conservative carpers during the campaign? Not only were they mute on criticism, but many of them were enthusiastic cheerleaders. Now, they are spinning like pin wheels as if they knew all along how the Romneyites were faltering and destined for a stinging loss.
Had Romney prevailed he would be heralded as a political genius and the conservative naysayers would all be competing to reap credit for a victory that each one would claim to be responsible for.
This is not fair and balanced. Of course, had the president lost, we would be witnessing the same process. Leftists and moderates would emerge screeching their hollow claims of ‘I told you so’.
Why exactly does this post-election drivel belong on a medical commentary blog? You mean it isn’t obvious to my erudite readership? There’s an analogy between the recent dissection of the Romney loss and the practice of medicine. Consider this scenario.
- An adverse event occurs in medicine despite the best efforts of the physician.
- The doctor is blamed for the event.
- Various experts emerge who point out in retrospect the physician’s obvious failures that seemed acceptable at the time.
Sometimes, patients get better in spite of our efforts. When this occurs, we may be unfairly lionized as heavenly healers. On other occasions, patients suffer despite our best efforts. When this occurs we may be unfairly blamed for the result.
Should our judgment of a doctor, or anyone, depend upon the outcome or the path that led there? How do you vote on this question?