The future of the former Republic may turn on such questions!
Our story thus far: The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Dr. Rand Paul, upstart GOP candidate for the Senate, hasn't been certified by the only board that matters for eye doctors for five long years:
Rand Paul says he is a "board-certified" ophthalmologist—even though the national clearinghouse for such certifications says he hasn't been for the past five years.
Rand Paul, who practices in Bowling Green, says he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads.
This leads to much hooing and hawing by folks who already dislike Rand Paul (Yellow Dog Democrats mostly, but also some GOPpers who are mad at the Tea Party and Palin-approved son of former Libertarian presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas). The momentary flap isn't helped by Paul's insistence that he would talk about the topic "never….What does this have to do with our election?"
I took the American Board of Ophthalmology (the largest governing body in ophthalmology) boards in 1995, passed them on my first attempt (as well as three times during residency), and was therefore board-certified under this organization for a decade.
In 1997, I, along with 200 other young ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology to protest the American Board of Ophthalmology's decision to grandfather in the older ophthalmologists and not require them to recertify.
I thought this was hypocritical and unjust for the older ophthalmologists to exempt themselves from the recertification exam.
In forming NBO, the younger ophthalmologists agreed to require recertification for all ophthalmologists….
ABO argues that they are the legitamate organization because they are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). They fail to explain that ABO helped found ABMS and gets to vote on who is approved by ABMS. One can imagine why ABMS and ABO would not want to approve a competitor.
As could be gleaned from the whole phony flap over whether Candidate Paul was an advocate of resegregated lunch counters, it doesn't take a rocket scientist (even one employed by NASA) to recognize that Paul is going to have to run a very strong campaign to keep out of such potholes on a regular basis. His father is a flashpoint within politics, he ran against his own party bosses in Kentucky, he's libertarian enough that he threatens the spend-spend-spend status quo, and he's been less than smooth as silk on the hustings so far. He's even gone so far as to alienate goddamn libertarians by distancing himself from the term.
Probably more than most pols in his situation, he'll have a tough race because there's enough about him to pique lots of folks' ire. Not Murder on the Orient Express level ire, but more than average. Which is not a bad thing. As the late founder of Wendy's, Dave Thomas, once said, "Whatever doesn't kill me makes me hungry."
And without further ado, a great song about life, love, and post-mortem opthamology: