Phil Gingrey

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John Phillip Gingrey, M.D., (born July 10 1942), an American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003, representing the 11th District of Georgia map.

Like his counterpart in Oklahoma, Tom Coburn, Gingrey presents himself as something other than and better than an ordinary politician. He rarely misses an opportunity to reference his medical training and then use it to assert special expertise on health care and social issues.

Contents

Biography

Gingrey was born in Augusta, received his medical education at the Medical College of Georgia, and worked as an obstetrician before being elected to the Georgia State Senate. He was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Being a physician is the central feature of his public political persona.

Congressional district

Georgia's 11th Congressional District covers much of northwest Georgia from Summerville, near the Tennessee border in the north, to Columbus along the western border with Alabama. In addition to rural and small-town mountain Georgia, the district encompasses much of Atlanta's white middle-class northwestern suburbs. Approximately 27 percent of the district population is rural and 72 percent is urban. Approximately 62 percent of the district's population is white and 28 percent is African-American. The Lockheed-Martin/Dobbins Air Reserve Complex in Marietta is included.

Highly Selective Moralising

Gingrey's reputation in the Georgia State Senate was that of a social conservative and a member of the Christian right. In the Georgia Senate he supported outlawing abortion and interpreted the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution as giving individual citizens rather than state militias a right to keep and use firearms. He also strongly supported the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, as well as the tax cuts of President George W. Bush. He opposes the provision of universal national health care.

Phil Goes Pakistani

Phil might be a man who talks high moral principle but he doesn't mind pimping for a nuclear weapon wielding, terrorism supporting miltiary dictator of an islamic state. Gingrey was the 72nd member of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, which was inaugurated by President General Pervez Musharraf at the Capitol Hill on September 22, 2004. [http://pakistantimes.net/top02180609.htm Pakistan Times article.

Iraq Quagmire Won't Go Away

Like most of the Republicans in the U.S. House in 2005 Gingrey is pursued by the spectre of his support for the unwinnable Republican War in Iraq. Even the conservative Republican voters in his district are increasingly disenchanted with the war and their capacity to believe nonsense is world class. Like many Congressional Republicans, Gingrey wants Bush to take the hear for the war. In a December 5, 2005 article in the conservative Rome News-Tribune, he is quoted as satying that "We are making progress, and the president needs to talk more about it." In other words, Bush ought to intensify the current pro-war propaganda blitz and identify himself even more closely with the war. Even greater public identification of Bush with Iraq (if that is possible) might shield Gingrey and the other House Republicans who supported the war from political fallout in their 2006 re-election bids.

Medical Torture OK'ed

In his June 15, 2004, e-mail newsletter to constitutents, Gingrey wrote that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was a "model detention facility," that "hard-working, honorable American troops at Gitmo are doing everything possible to treat enemy combatants in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Convention" and that the U.S. "should work to make the prisons in Iraq more like Gitmo." The newsletter was sent to constituents on the same day that the officer recently relieved of command at Abu Ghraib prison, Brigadier Gen. Janis Karpinski gave an interview, heard on BBC Radio 4, in which she alleged that the officer in charge of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base Prison, Major Gen. Geoffrey Miller, was in fact responsible for ordering policy changes that led to torture shown in published photographs (See also: Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse). Gingrey's explict approval of conditions at Gitmo conflicts with his ethical obligations as a physician. Patient confidentiality is disregarded by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, who violate that norm by using confidential medical information to discover the physical and psychological weaknesses of detainees.

Performs Long Distance Medical Diagnosis

In March 2005 Gingrey was one of several Members of the United States Congress who are also physicians who offered medical opinions about the medical condition of Terri Schiavo. Gingrey is quoted as stating that, "The tragedy of the situation is that with proper treatment, now denied, Terri's condition can improve." Failure to perform a physical examination of the patient before rendering a diagnosis is a departure from good medical practice. What he could have meant by "proper treatment" is unknown. Schiavo's subsequent autopsy revealed--as her own physicians revealed--such massive brain injury that no treatment would have been effective. Sciavo Autopsy Shows Massive Brain Injury

Cheap Posturing

On February 16, 2006 Gingrey said that, "in our current struggle against terrorism, no country is more uncertain and dangerous than Iran. With an uncompromising foreign policy and repressed trade, it often feels like the only commodity that Iran exports involves disdain for Western culture...I believe it is time for the United Nations Security Council to take action against nuclear proliferation in Iran and I ask the leaders of Iran to reconsider the path they have chosen.” So is Baby Doc Guantanamo urging that the U.S. start another war in the Middle East?

Fundraising

Gingrey depends heavily on political contributions from fellow physicians to finance his election campaigns. The American College of Radiology Association, Harbin Clinic, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and American College of Cardiology are among his largest contributors in the 2004 election cycle. Gingrey defeated Democratic challenger Rick Crawford to retain his seat in 2004.

Gingrey was one of two Republican candidates in Georgia to receive money from Tom Delay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC. The other was Senator Saxby Chambliss. Gingrey said he no plans to return the sums given to him by the PAC. Rep. Gingrey said he has no plans to return the money. "It would almost be an insult to an honorable man who has not yet had a chance to defend himself in a court of law," Rep. Gingrey said. "Tom DeLay has been a great leader. He is guilty of conspiring to defeat Democrats." Gingrey did not elaborate on the difference between "almost an insult" and a real insult.

According to Becky Ruby, Gingrey's spokesperson, the Congressman would never "knowingly take" money from a person or organization involved in illegal activity. "He's never met Jack Abramoff and, most emphatically, we've never been asked to do anything on behalf of Jack Abramoff," said Ruby. Source: n.a. "Georgia Lawmakers Explain Abramoff Money." First Coast News. January 5, 2006. Denial

Orwellian Language

Gingrey has probably never read George Orwell's classic dystopia, 1984. Otherwise he wouldn't have embarrased himself by using Republican Newspeak in comments made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on April 5, 2006. On that occasion Gingrey substitued the fatuous phrase "plussed-up" for the standard English word "increase" when referring to increases in government spending by the Republican Congressional majority.

Committees

Links

References

  • Shailagh Murray. "In Cedartown, Even Republicans Voice Unhappiness With Iraq War." Rome News-Tribune. December 5, 2005. p.3
  • Nat Hentoff. "Doctors Assisting Torture," Village Voice, July 21, 2005 Article
  • Peter Slavin and [[Joe Stevens], "Detainee's Medical Files Shared: Guantanamo Interrogator's Access Criticized", Washington Post, June 10, 2004.
  • Hilary Roxe, "Doctors in Congress Criticized on Schiavo", Associated Press, March 22, 2005.
  • Edward Lee Pitts, "DeLay PAC Touched Georgia, Tennessee," The Chattanooga Times Free Press. 2005.

External link

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