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Jewish Journal

Bad to worse for surgeon general nominee

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 10, 2007 | 9:29 am


President Bush’s pick for surgeon general has been getting bashed by the left since the Bible Belt Blogger outted Dr. James Holsinger as having taken a strong stance of homosexuality, particularly its incompatibility with the Bible. The Huffington Post later reported that Holsinger is a proponent of “ex-gay” therapy, which “puts him in direct conflict with virtually the entire American medical community.”

But today Holsinger’s political career appears to have hit the permanent skids. The Washington Times, whose conservative editorial pages are never far from its news coverage, reports that conservative advocates and Republican politicians also thinks the good doctor also has some ‘splaining to do. It seems his positions on stem-cell research and human cloning are too lax.

“We’re not supportive of his nomination right now,” (Family Research Council’s Tom) McCluskey said, adding that “we’ve been told he’s come around on the issue, but the surgeon general is such a strong bully pulpit position that we want to be sure.”

Holsinger, who once served on the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, has a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. It’s not looking good.

 

There appears to be little overt support for Dr. Holsinger among the committee’s 21 members, largely because Dr. Holsinger has been accused of being anti-homosexual.

 

 

Two of the committee’s three Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut — oppose Dr. Holsinger. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said he has “serious reservations.”

 

 

Five other Democrats did not respond to requests for comment and two did not take a position.

 

In addition, the five Republicans who did respond to requests for comment — including ranking member Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming — were noncommittal and gave no indications of support for Dr. Holsinger.

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