Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Questions that any sane person would ask'

Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OBY-GYN, is an expert on these questions, you know.

Utterly lacking self-awareness, but yet still an expert on the care and treatment of pregnant Republicans. He is genuinely concerned about the health and well-being of pregnant Republicans and their children.

To quote the same eminent expert: "Words fail."

Via Memeorandum, more at American Power, Jammie Wearing Fool and Daley Gator.

This evening, my wife asked me to ride along while she drove to pick up our 16-year-old twin sons, who work on the grounds crew for the Hagerstown Suns baseball team.

The "how was your day" question is kind of weird for a blogger to explain, and I began by trying to describe Ken Layne's attack on Trig Palin -- quite stunning to my wife. Still, she disapproved of my use of a certain 10-letter compound word to describe Ken Layne. (Me, defending the word choice: "But I meant it literally.")

OK, so maybe Layne should be called Ace's "unobjectionable, family-friendly" phrase, rather than the offensive compound word. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

After more explanation to my wife, she wondered why Palin continues to be attacked in such a personal manner. Exactly. I erupted in exasperation: "What is it with these people? We're eight months past the election and more than three years away from the next one and yet, day after day, they find excuses to attack her!"

Speaking of "the questions that any sane person would ask": Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

There are many Palin-related questions to which I would like an answer. Among them: Why hasn't the horribly mutilated corpse of Levi Johnston been fed to the wolves?

Am I "any sane person"? Of course not. Neither is Sully. He is a victim of "MSM journalists [who] have devoted their efforts to demonizing any journalist who tries" to ask the questions that any sane person would ask.

The student of logic pictures the Venn diagram with two non-intersecting circles. Circle A represents a category including "MSM journalists" and Circle B includes "any sane person," i.e., people obsessed with the circumstances surrounding the birth of Trig Palin.

So you are crazy, while the Atlantic Monthly Memorial Hospital's chief resident in obstetrics, Dr. Andrew Sullivan M.D., OB-GYN, is perfectly sane. His opinions are a Rorshach test; if you look at the inkblot and see something other than Truth, you're nuts.

Amazingly simple, isn't it? His Venn diagram categories are beyond argument, because he is an expert.

As opposed to, say, Pundette. She's only given birth to seven children, what does she know? Pundette may look at the circumstances of Palin's pregnancy and come to different conclusions. Palin was a woman in her 40s, with a stressful job, pregnant with her fifth child, attending an event in a faraway state, begins leaking amniotic fluid . . .

Hey, Pundette, do you think maybe emotion was involved in the ensuing events? Do you think that actions by Palin which strike Dr. Sullivan as inexplicable might have seemed entirely appropriate to a woman in such difficult circumstances? And do you understand why maybe the governor doesn't wish to discuss those circumstances and her actions with a guy from the Anchorage Daily News?
"Governor, let's talk about your uterus . . ."
Pundette lacks the expertise necessary to discuss these matters with the authority of Dr. Sullivan.

And she probably wouldn't want to disagree with him, because if you disagree with Dr. Sullivan, you're crazy.


  1. Why do you ever waste one second with anything at The Atlantic? NYT, NPR, Politico, Atlantic. They are cold and stiff.

  2. I'm also completely baffled by AS's obsession with SP's labor and delivery. I don't know all the details (and it's not really any of my business), but I can imagine a scenario in which an experienced mother, in consultation with her doctor or midwife, makes an extra effort to get home to deliver the baby with the help of said trusted medical professional. The implication from AS is that, if SP failed to make it home, certain death would ensue for the baby. How does that follow?

    Going into labor is different from the way it's portrayed on TV, where the woman barely has a chance to gasp "It's time!" before she's overtaken by a gigantic, crippling, life-threatening pain that has struck like a bolt out of the blue. I guess that can happen outside of a soap opera, but it's not the normal way and isn't what was happening with SP. Women can go into labor and continue to function through hours and hours (and hours) of contractions.

    It varies, of course; some babies are born very quickly. But it's likely that, after giving birth 4 times, SP knew -- better even than AS -- how things normally progressed for her, and how near she was to delivering her baby.

    Did she not call her doctor and discuss it? When dealing with 'multiparas' like Palin, wise doctors acknowledge that the mother may know more than they about giving birth to their own babies. They see that their role is sometimes to take a step back and get out of the way.

    AS should be given the Butterfly McQueen award for expertise in childbirth: "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies, Miss Scarlet!" At least Prissy knew she was out of her depth. I can't imagine what is going on in the mind of AS.

  3. Inspector Sullivan will never give up! In the words of Sully, "I will get you Sarah Palin and that little trouble maker Trig too!"

  4. Sullivan has been the poster boy for AIDS-induced dementia for years.

  5. The obvious answer to their continued pathetic attacks is they fear her. They know she is a threat in 2012 and it scares the living hell out of them, especially considering how badly Barry is doing. This is a good thing because if Trig is the best they can do, they are really screwed.

    Oh, and Andrew Sullivan is also probably insane.

  6. sullivan's goings on reminds me of the first red dragon movie when hannibal(not anthony hopkins)says to will graham 'i suppose you think that you're smarter than me because you caught me" graham replies" no I know I'm not, I had advantages , you're insane." Hannibal just gave him an uncomprehending look.Sullivan is off his twig and there's no way that anyone can reason with him. In his world 1+1=3 and he cannot understand why we all say that it is 2.

  7. #6 above is right...they truly fear Mrs. Palin. She is everything feminists have desired to be...a pretty good mother, successful in her chosen field...who then entered politics because she didn't like what was happening in her town...and incidently took on the corrupt political machine in her state, and beat them.

    Now, because she is a "rising star" in the Republican party...she is to be smeared and libelled by the MSM and their allies. Because she is truly a threat to Mr. Obama in 2012. He's making a mess of things, along with the Democrats in Congress economic policies, and this will allow the Republican to regain control of things over the next 3 years.

    That's what "they" fear...

    Rich Vail
    Pikesville, MD

  8. How many times does it have to be said? Palin simply didn't want her child born with the horrible stigma of being...Texan.

  9. Women will go to incredible lengths to be delivered by "their" doctor. It is completely unsurprising that an older mom who knows she is expecting a Down's baby would want to deliver with the doctor who has followed her through her pregnancy, even if that mom is Sarah Palin. While it is true that the onset of labor follows the spontaneous rupture of membranes (the "bag breaking"), once you've ruled out a dropped cord or chorio (infection), the two biggest worries with an SROM, you have some time to get where you're going prior to delivery. It is entirely understandable and reasonable that Palin could have been loaded up with antibiotics and put on a plane, given her experience with her previous deliveries. Andrew Sullivan is just a complete and utter idiot. Put him up against any real Ob/Gyn and it would be obvious.

  10. You shouldn't be baffled at anything AS writes about because

    1) Gov. Palin was on the ticket opposing his Savior and must therefore be treated like the hellspawn she is

    2) Sarah's experience trumped Barry's and anything that makes Bambi look bad is blasphemy and must be treated as such

    3) Sully hates the pooter

    4) Andrew is completely batshit insane

    It boggles the mind how completely around the bend Sullivan has gone. Let's follow the timeline of events:

    Candidate Bush says that marriage is between a man and woman. So does former Veep and crazy manbearpig hunter Al Gore. No big deal. Then President Bush says the same thing, at which point Sully goes apeshit. Sadly, apeshit would be several steps up from his current level of dementia. But I digress.

    In 2004, President Bush still says that marriage is between a man and a woman. Senator John Kerry says on the air that "The president's views on marriage and mine are the same." Sullivan repeatedly asks where anyone got the idea that Kerry's and Bush's opinions on gay marriage are the same, at which point Instapundit quipped that this must be another fine example of the much heralded nuance that Sen. Kerry was so famous for.

    On to 2008-2009. His anointed candidate of choice, he who will save the planet and [insert messianic BS here] actually takes a harder line against gay marriage than Bush. Sullivan's response? Keep asking batshit crazy questions about Palin's fifth child.

    In truth, Sullivan has become a sideshow, a circus act, and an unfunny one at that. I'd opine that he's merely pathetic, but the Atlantic gives him a big soapbox from whence to fling his poo, so I'm gonna go with crazy asshole instead. Without the Atlantic, he'd be just another inhabitant of the DU, frothing at the keyboard while randomly masturbating over his candidate of choice.

  11. Nice to see Excitable Andy playing Jauvert on this one. When someone will shoot themselves in the foot this way and helpfully reload, month after month, I see it as nothing other than a public service to warn off people that he's not altogether sane.

    Unlike Sullivan, who plays a doctor on the Internet, I do have an MD degree and while I'm not an Ob-Gyn (I'm a radiologist), I have a little more first-hand experience with pregnancies than he does, given that I read a dozen or so obstetrical sonograms a day and confer with practicing obstetricians on a regular basis.

    Simply working from the trisomy 21 alone, it's far more likely that a woman past 40 conceived and delivered a Down syndrome child than a woman under the age of 18. This is pretty much a well-known statistical fact, so well-known that it's available on Wikipedia for those who can type in a Google search. Given the age difference between the Governor and her daughter, the chance that Sarah Palin is the mother of a child with trisomy 21 is about 8x more likely than the likelihood that her daughter is the mother. Obviously, Andrew Sullivan wouldn't be the guy you'd want to take to the casino to advise you as to betting strategies.

    With regard to the labor, the most "efficient" labor is classically the second, and they decline in efficiency afterward. The fifth labor would be expected to be longer than any prior labor, with the possible exception of the first, which can be variable. An expereinced OB/Gyn who knows her patient's history will have a feel as to what to expect.

    The Palins knew Trig had Down Syndrome, which can be indicated by abnormalities in maternal blood tests and confirmed with amniocentecis or chorionic villous sampling. Both procedures are done early in preganancy, and are commonly followed by what's called a "Level II" sonogram. This is typically done by an experienced obstetrician, often by someone who's done a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) fellowship. The Level II sonogram is done to specifically evaluate anatomic variants that trisomy 21 kids are prone to, mainly cardiac abnormalities. As far as could be seen without delivery, Gov. Palin's physicians knew all there was to know about Trig's anatomic structure and the risks to him at delivery, long before he was born.

    The fact that he didn't spend any time in the NICU after his birth suggests to me that he doesn't have any significant cardiac or pulmonary complications, and the fact that Gov. Palin was allowed to go out of state and on plane rides is suggestive that this was known prior to her delivery. There is nothing more complicated about the delivery of a child with trisomy 21 than any other child, so long as there are no cardiopulmonary issues that need to be addressed at birth.

    In my professional opinion, there is nothing particularly strange about a 40+ year-old woman with a 40+ year-old husband conceiving a child with trisomy. It's not even curious, statistically speaking.

    It's also not strange that a driven and capable woman in a public position who's in very good health could conceal a pregnancy for multiple months. She herself has admitted some ambivalence about Trig when they found out he was going to have trisomy 21, extending that concern and ambivalence to how she was going to be perceived in her job and what welcome he would receive is not a huge stretch. In fact, it seems to be a rather prescient one.

    I deal much less often with psychiatrists, but continued perseveration on this topic is not a sign of someone who has knowledge of the practices of this field. People who do this are grinding an axe, and apparently on their own skulls -- and after this display they expect us to take them seriously, like a circus geek eating glass and then attempting to make a serious comment at a corporate board meeting.

  12. Isn't perseveration a great word? Dude, you can so totally own 'Sullivan Palin Perseveration' on G@@gle if you hurry.

  13. "While it is true that the onset of labor follows the spontaneous rupture of membranes (the "bag breaking"), once you've ruled out a dropped cord or chorio (infection), the two biggest worries with an SROM, you have some time to get where you're going prior to delivery. It is entirely understandable and reasonable that Palin could have been loaded up with antibiotics and put on a plane, given her experience with her previous deliveries. "

    As a board certified OB/GYN, I disagree. If one of my patients were in a distant city, and ruptured membranes or began contracting, I would counsel her to go to the nearest hospital and receive care there (and have done so in the past). This is especially true in the case of a woman who's had children before and may have a rapid labor.

    Loading someone up with anitbiotics and putting them on an airplane would not even be a consideration. (I suspect the airlines have a policy against this as well....)

    And, for what it's worth, a cord can drop (prolapse) even some time after rupture of membranes, especially if the baby is not well applied to the cervix and the patient is NOT actively laboring.

  14. After a decades long examination of Mr. Sullivan I must conclude that he is suffering from an Acute case of Bloggers Alzheimers newly named Sullivan's Syndrome where the patient due to an triggering issue must obssively attack any external threat to said triggering issue even to the point of trutherism.

    No known cure for this condition exists but exposure to one suffering from Sullivan Syndrome are at risk since the infected person can become the trigger in others.

  15. It is obvious that Sullivan is deranged. He obvioulsy has a complex when it comes to attractive, straight and powerful women. And him being a homosexual, well. Put two and two together.

  16. "With regard to the labor, the most 'efficient' labor is classically the second, and they decline in efficiency afterward. The fifth labor would be expected to be longer than any prior labor, with the possible exception of the first, which can be variable"

    Ummm, no. The first labor is normally the longest by far, especially the second stage (pushing). Later labors are fairly similar, and a fifth labor can be shorter than a second. There is no significant decline in efficiency that I've noted--in 22 years of OB practice.

  17. Like I said, not an OB/Gyn. Dealing with prenatal diagnosis is where I have the most experience. The answer I gave was the one I memorized for the exam at the end of the OB/Gyn 1993 (I did get an 'A', though the rotation also convinced me to not be an OB/Gyn). I agree the first is usually the longest, and defer to your judgment and experience otherwise.

    Nevertheless, I hope you would agree about most of the rest of it.