President Bush nominated James Holsinger as the nation's new Surgeon General last week.
Dr. Holsinger's big focus is on childhood obesity -- a worthy cause -- and he is so widely regarded in the halls of power that The Economist called him "an entirely innocuous choice" and headlined its article about him "Enter Mr. Nice Guy."
I guess that depends on what you mean by nice.
Does nice mean you found one of those whacky "ex-gay" ministries where gays and lesbians undergo "conversion therapy," a travesty that has been denounced by practically every medical group in the country?
Does nice mean you write a paper called "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality," in which you claim that the facts of biology and anatomy prevent you from believing that gays and lesbians deserve equality?
Does nice mean that as a member of a Methodist church board, you vote to ban an openly gay man from joining the church?
Does nice mean you sit on a church board that accuses the "radical homosexual/lesbian lobby" and those who support rights and dignity for gay people of sparking "a crisis in the United Methodist Church."
Does nice mean you resign from the church's Committee to Study Homosexuality because you believe the committee will follow "liberal lines?"
Does nice mean you call homosexuality "an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle."
In short, does nice mean you use your position of power and authority to do everything you can do to undermine, demean and defame American citizens based on their sexual orientation?
Because this is what the nice Dr. Holsinger has been up to over the past few years.
I guess it's no big surprise that our lame duck, brain dead president would nominate an outspoken 'phobe to be the top doctor of a nation where gays and lesbians pay taxes like anybody else. And a nation still in the midst of an AIDS epidemic and a host of other health issues affecting lesbians and gay men.
It's slightly more surprising that The Economist's fact-checkers would overlook this rascal's history of gay-baiting and demeaning us -- or maybe that doesn't count as 'not nice' to The Economist.
But it will be a profound shock if Holsinger's nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
After all, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Dodd all sit on that august body, and they want to be president -- presumably of a country that would not consider an outspoken opponent of gay equality and dignity to be "an entirely innocuous choice" for Surgeon General of the United States.
But just in case, better start writing your senators.