In a Thursday column for The Daily Beast, former CNN contributor Roland Martin attacked the supposed "cowardly bullies" at the National Rifle Association for opposing President Obama's surgeon general nominee. Martin's op-ed follows in the footsteps of MSNBC's Krystal Ball and NBC's Anne Thompson, who politicized the Ebola crisis nearly a week earlier when they bemoaned that due to "Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don't have a surgeon general right now."
Martin did have one original component to his piece: placing some of the blame on the President and his administration for being "unwilling to engage in a fierce battle for one of its nominees." Four paragraphs into his column, "Where the Hell Is the Surgeon General?," the liberal writer zeroed in on how "November 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama appointing [Dr. Vivek H.] Murthy as surgeon general...Murthy had his Senate confirmation hearings in February, but since then? Nothing."
The TV One host continued by unleashing on the NRA and Senate Democrats:
What are the crimes Murthy has committed? He hasn't kissed the ass of the National Rifle Association, and has called for gun restrictions in order to keep more Americans healthy.
That's right. A doctor, whose job is to treat the sick and to actually keep folks alive and make their lives better, is being delayed ascension to the nation's top medical spot because he believes that too many Americans are being shot and killed.
And because you have a bunch of weak, impotent, no-guts Democrats who are more focused on their re-election instead of standing up for a medical doctor, Murthy has been twisting in the wind for the last 11 months....
Martin then carried water for gun control advocates, and included his "cowardly bullies" blast at the NRA:
The numbers regarding gun violence in America are clear: it's a national epidemic.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says:
-On average, 32 Americans are murdered with guns every day, and 140 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.
-An average of eight children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day.
-The lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion, with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.
America's doctors, especially those serving in emergency trauma centers, see the carnage first hand. They know the real toll of gun violence....Using the NRA's logic, any group that doesn't want to hear that needs to rise up and protest any appointment of the U.S. Surgeon General.
But the NRA is a bunch of cowardly bullies. They have tons of money and are willing to spend it against candidates who would dare support a doctor who believes in gun control. Wow, that is so bad for America.
The Daily Beast columnist held his fire for the Obama administration until the last part of piece:
...[T]he Obama administration needs to share some blame for this. They know Murthy's stance on gun control, and they should have aggressively stood by him....They should have led a campaign making it clear that Murthy would be America's doctor, and should care about the well-being of its citizens. Send Obama to the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association with Murthy in tow to make the case. Use him as the poster child for a nasty, devilish lobbying group being the de facto fourth branch of government.
But instead, they chose to tuck and run, hoping those same impotent Senate Democrats hold onto their seats in the midterm election. So what happens when they don't?...Change? Hope? Remember that? I'm hoping the Obama administration has a change of heart in the next two years and learns to fight for their nominees instead of kowtowing to the NRA, Republicans and their own sorry party members.
I'm not holding my breath.
Martin's grievances with both Republicans/the NRA and prominent Democrats is a change of pace for the TV personality. Back in March 2014, the former CNN pundit unleashed at conservative opponents of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, specifically with regard to the Democratic politician's handling of Russia's invasion of Crimea.