Dr. Schwab, ER Bloggers, and Conservatism

Alerted by Kevin, MD today, I find that Dr. Schwab (Surgeonsblog) has decided to label ER Blogs, and bloggers as mindlessly conservative, and apparently unenlightened.  (Oh, plenty of disclaimers are sprinkled throughout, so you know he’s not actually talking about anyone, just everyone).

First thoughts: somewhwere Shadwofax has his lower lip stuck out just a bit, and this might be what made Graham pack it in.


So.  Fisking is what I seem to do best in these situations, so I shall.

… And yet. Reading some ER blogs — not all, and by no means all the time — I find the vitriol off-putting. The derision. And the take-no-prisoners attitude — the downright hatred, so it often seems — toward “liberals,” suffused throughout. (Not to mention a similar attitude, quite often, toward their own clientele). I love political give-and-take; most of my work-colleagues politicked far to my right, yet we had enlightening and stimulating, good-hearted arguments. But reading some ER blogs, unlike any other category in the healthosphere, is like listening to Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. It’s a polemicist’s playground.

Well, that’s rich.  I so tired of the lockstep leftist blather on Dr. Schwabs’ blog I eventually just stopped reading it.  A polemicists’ playground?  Read the sentence preceding that one, and see if you can find the disconnect.


In case you’re ever wondering if a blog writer is a fevered leftist, just wait for the following to appear in a blog post:

I’ve had my moments of moral muttering, liberally laced with haughty holiness. I consider George Bush the worst president we’ve ever had (and no, Mr. Bush, history will not vindicate you). But I’ve never called him “a bucket of spit.”

It’ll show up, appropos of nothing whatsoever.  They think it’s normal to interject their BDS into everyday life and any blog post.  Really.  It’s astonishing.

Nor do I kiss off all conservatives as some sort of existential threat. (Some, of course. But not the whole group.) Physicians are, in general, a conservative bunch. But they’re also educated; enough, you’d think, to have left their minds at least slightly ajar.

I have an open mind, but to paraphrase, not so open that my brains fell out.  I am reasonably well educated, I take my time making decisions when I have the time, and have come to the conclusion that the government isn’t the answer to every problem.  My personal politics skew more libertarian, but here’s the thing: NOBODY CARES what I think politically.  That’s why, excepting politics about medicine, I leave it out.

His ending:

Maybe it’s an inevitable corollary: working in an ER turns people. Another possibility: people who lean loudest to the right are the ones who choose the job in the first place. Or perhaps (with a couple of exceptions) it’s just that the rightward ER docs blog, and the leftward ones go home and tie-dye.

Get it?  If you’re conservative, you’re “turned”.  Perhaps some introspection and insight are needed on the part of the blogger.