The Corner

Surgery Not Self-Discipline?

Via a discussion at Powerline, a blogger by name of Plutarch argues that Huckabee went for gastric bypass surgery.

Update: Several readers have objected to the above. Two objections dominate. The first is well represented by this excerpt from an email:

….I am a bit of an expert, having lost over 200 myself in the last few years, and I can assure you my loss was self-discipline. (I try not to make a big deal out of this publicly, so please if you write about this keep me anonymous – long story, no secrets just a way of staying honest about my motivations, too much public acclaim and I am doing it for that and not for me) A good friend of mine is a surgeon specializing in gastric surgery and he assures me that there is no way to determine whether a person has or has not had the surgery without looking in their guts. For the record, a good self-imposed weight loss regime would look just like the regime maintained by gastric surgery patients. The surgery is more reminder and discipline tool than actually imposing weight loss on someone, this is particularly witnessed by the significant portion of patients that lose weight with the surgery and then gain it back. I personally am very unimpressed with Huckabee and the way he has played the religion card, but fair is fair, this stuff is pure speculation. The man speaks with a forked tongue enough and does not need to be accused of doing so without evidence.

The second is well represented by this email:

Has NRO now stooped to spreading rumor? I would expect this at The New Republic but not at NRO, and certainly not from you.

The first objection strikes me as entirely fair. The second strikes me as almost entirely lame. Every blog I know of has either offered or linked to conjecture about almost everything under the sun. Sometimes such conjecture is beyond the pale and not worthy of posting or linking to. Sometimes it’s fair game. I would have said this objection is entire lame instead of “almost entirely lame” except I’m open to the idea that some reasonable minded folks might think this is so unfair to Huckabee as to make it unfair comment. I don’t agree, but I’m open to being persuaded.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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