The real thing

The Madison County Record May 22, 2005, 5:06am

When the Pulitzer family agreed to sell its St. Louis Post-Dispatch to Lee Enterprises earlier this spring, it did so with one unique stipulation.

The Post would remain “liberal.”

So color us unsurprised last week when our metro’s largest daily chimed in on Illinois’ medical malpractice lawsuit crisis, dubbing it a “myth,” perpetrated by business groups as well as “doctors and their allies in the insurance industry.”

It’s worth noting that the Post may be against tort reform now, but it was singing a different tune last fall when Gordon Maag battled Lloyd Karmeier for a seat representing the Metro East on Illinois’ Supreme Court.

Illinois’ lawsuit problems weren’t mythical then, as the Post longed for a leader who could “help right the bizarrely tilted scales of civil justice in Metro East.” Their words, not ours.

“The system stinks,” its editorialists wrote, strongly backing Karmeier as their reform candidate.

That was then.

Liberals are prone to fantasy. They like to close their eyes and wish away real problems like monsters hiding beneath their beds. And liberal solutions are storybook— sounding darn peachy, but never grounded in reality.

Storybook solutions don’t work, of course. That’s why liberalism became political kryptonite twenty-five years ago. Thoroughly debunked and constantly avoided—- even by liberals.

That’s in practice, to be sure. Real life liberals—- at big city newspapers, for instance-- have kept telling their dreamy stories.

In the Post’s latest—- the one about the medical malpractice crisis “myth”-- heroic plaintiff’s lawyers—- from Madison and St. Clair Counties in particular—- are unfortunate victims, their honorable reputations sullied by the evil and the powerful.

Limits on ‘pain and suffering’ damage awards-- like they have in Missouri, Indiana, and Wisconsin-- are “absurd” and an affront to these doctors’ victims. Instituting them would make Illinois home to ghettos of the medically-maimed.

But don’t fret. More state regulation and price controls will come to the rescue. Mythical problem solved.

Let’s see—- blame the ‘haves,’ self-victimize, foment class warfare, then propose bigger government as the only possible remedy. Unoriginal, but at least the Post is sticking to a tried and true left-wing script.

We'd typically offer a point-by-point rebuttal. But in this case—- particularly because the Post denies it—- we’ll let the sad reality of it all suffice. Ask a pregnant woman in Southern Illinois if you don’t know what we mean.

Liberal is as liberal does as liberal will be, or so goes the saying.

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