Monday, January 03, 2011

The Paleodental Party

I'm actually not that-all surprised to find dentists prominent among political wingnuts.  You could make a strong case that dentistry is the ultimate entrepreneurial small business: at least traditionally, dentists tended to work alone.  They had to go deep in hock for all those gruesome toys they get to play with.  And they have to make their money by persuading people to pay them to inflict pain on the payor.  There might also be a captive-audience factor.  I don't know about you but I can tell you that being subjected to a lecture on the virtues of Ayn Rand while half in the bag from nitrous oxide is--well, okay, it is not as bad as having all your teeth extracted because you are kanoodling with his wife.

Still, I think it is pretty rich to find the nation's latest celebrity Wasillan making his entry into the national political arena on the wings of a campaign to stifle free trade.  You with me on this one? I'm talking about Rob Robinson, retired Alaska dentist, newly-minted chief of staff to newly minted Arizona (sic) representative Paul Gosar.   Also on board with Gosar will be Thomas Van Flein, the Palin's family lawyer, Robin to Robinson's Batman as deputy chief of staff and legislative director.

Per Roll Call, Gosar says they're  both "battle-tested with me and things we have to take on with regards to dentistry"--meaning in particular the campaign to protect Alaska Natives in villages beyond the reach of "real" dentists from the services of federally-licensed dental therapists.

I guess I missed the memo on this one: I did not realize that protecting the economic rents of these knights of the drill and pliers ranked high on the agenda for Tea Party reform; with Gosar it seems right up there with ramping up  the national debt and ring-fencing the big banks.  Understand: I don't want to complain about occupational licensing per se--as a 40-year Member of the Bar, how could I?    But I should think they wold want to.   Here I thought their agenda was to get the government's foot off our neck; now it turns out that all they want to do is to get some techie's hand out of our mouth.  For a principled conservative, you'd think this was about as much fun as a root canal.

H/T: Content from Roll Call and TPM; snark is mostly home grown.

1 comment:

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

My brother-in-law is a dentist. He's amazingly open about restraint of trade. If the local dentists think there is too much competition, they just raise the licensing requirements without the slightest twinge of guilt.

And he is not even a wingnut: was a John Edwards supporter back in 2008. I guess that the reasoning is that everybody should have a union, preferably one with government backing.