What’s the difference?

The cover story in this week’s edition of The Nation is about one of our local Republican embarrassments. We seem to have a lot of them (although I have to admit some of our local Democrats can be pretty embarrassing, too). This one is Lexington’s Dr. David Hager, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. Hager has long been under fire from women’s rights advocates for reasons such as his opposition, for moral rather than medical reasons, to emergency contraception. Recently, his hypocrisy has been exposed by his ex-wife, Linda Davis, whose allegations of sexual abuse make Hager’s appointment even more Orwellian.

The Nation‘s story is fairly explicit. If that link doesn’t work for non-subscribers, it’s basically about lots of forced anal sex. A domestic violence prosecutor interviewed by The Nation confirmed that Hager’s actions, as described by Ms. Davis, could qualify for a first-degree felony. Consistent with a strategy of appointments like putting polluters in charge of the EPA, the Bush gang has put a rapist in charge of women’s health.

That’s not the only ironic twist to this story. Keeping in mind that this man is an ob-gyn, consider this excerpt:

Sometimes Hager would blithely shift from vaginal to anal sex. Davis protested. “He would say, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to have anal sex with you; I can’t feel the difference,'” Davis recalls incredulously. “And I would say, ‘Well then, you’re in the wrong business.'”

Ms. Davis’ opinion is certainly understandable. But maybe the good doctor deserves a little more slack. After all, even for a Republican doctor, it’s frequently difficult to tell the difference between a Bush and an asshole.

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