I realize it doesn’t matter that Jesse Jackson Jr. has been in hiding for almost 6 weeks, because not only is he a Democrat, but his name is Jesse Jackson. We’re supposed to accept the explanation that he feels sad inside — sorry, he has a “mood disorder” — and his constituents don’t deserve any further explanation for why he’s not doing his job.
Someone named Lonna Saunders, who is apparently an “attorney/writer/broadcaster,” explains at HuffPo:
Does the public have the right to know? And how much does the public have the right to know? Access to copies of his medical records, for example? Now that medical records are available to patients and their families electronically, if you are a public servant, should they be available to the public online?
That hardly seems necessary. How about just answering simple questions like, “Why isn’t he doing the job he was elected to do?” and “Who wrote him the doctor’s note?” We don’t need his medical records for that. He could simply tell the people he was elected to serve why he isn’t serving them.
Blah blah blah, and then Saunders concludes:
…The doctor said Rep. Jackson is expected to make a full recovery. That’s good news. That’s all the public is entitled to know. That is all the public needs to know. Rep. Jackson will be able to continue to serve them. He is getting the medical treatment he needs to do this, and this should be the end of the story.
Otherwise, you might as well rip up HIPAA. If HIPAA can’t even protect the rights of a sitting congressman, what good is it? Congress makes these laws. If HIPAA doesn’t even protect those who are more powerful than the average Joe or Josie, will HIPAA protect the little guy and gal? You and me?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not in elected office. If the average Joe or Josie stops doing his or her job for a month and a half with no explanation, does HIPAA protect him or her from any consequences?
An unnamed doctor gave a hopeful prognosis of an unnamed ailment — “mood disorder” is all we get, according to Jackson’s office, and “The name of the attending physician and treatment center will not be disclosed in order to protect his continuing privacy” — so shut up or you hate America.
Okay, fine, Jesse Jackson Jr. doesn’t have to tell anybody anything he doesn’t want to. He also doesn’t have to be in Congress if he doesn’t show up to, y’know, Congress.
If you think Romney needs to release more of his private information, and you also think the public has no right to know why Jesse Jackson Jr. is in hiding from his publicly elected job, #YouMightBeALiberal.