Atrios, one of my favorite bloggers usually, is not making much sense to me today. In this post he sarcastically wonders whether Fred Thompson’s cancer announcement will receive the same treatment from Time’s Jay Carney as the Elizabeth Edwards cancer announcement did.
It shouldn’t because the medical scenarios are very different. I am far from a medical expert, but as far as I can tell, Thompson’s problem won’t get in the way of his running for president. Thompson himself wrote on Red State:
I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future–and with no debilitating side effects.
By contrast, Elizabeth Edwards, who already underwent chemotherapy that basically took away a year of her life, now faces a debilitating treatment regimen and a fairly high likelihood of mortality within a relatively short time frame. The Edwards-Thompson comparison Atrios is urging is really a comparion of apples and oranges. The Thompson condition sounds a lot more like the non-serious cancer that John Kerry had in 2003.
Though Jay Carney and the other Swaplanders have said some pretty obtuse things in the past, I didn’t find Carney’s post on Edwards to be overbearing.
This is a thorny, difficult topic that mixes politics, medicine and parenting all into one. I want to make sure that readers understand that by expressing surprise at the decision John and Elizabeth Edwards made to stay in the race, I am not saying that what they’re doing is obviously or categorically the wrong thing. In fact, I take them at their word that this is the right decision for them and their family. But I don’t think it’s inappropriate or unfair (or remotely politically biased) to say that I feel discomfited by the decision and the rationale behind it, or to make the fairly simple point that some Democrats out there might feel the same way.
That’s a pretty respectful tone Carney struck, hardly “wanker of the day” material.