Bob Wiley is the extremely neurotic, almost paralyzed multi-phobic character portrayed by Bill Murray in the film, What About Bob. I’m not talking about him, although the subject of this post, Student Doctor Bob, appears to be similarly irrational.
Bob Wiley worries that his bladder will explode if he’s in public and can’t find a restroom. Student Doctor Bob worries that American women would be limited to one Pap smear every twelve years under a national health care system.
Bob Wiley believes that faking an illness or disorder makes him immune to it; Student Doctor Bob believes that misrepresenting the proposed system of American national health care makes a valid argument against it.
And so it goes.
I encountered Bob when I followed a link to one of his posts entitled Socialized Medicine: The Demise of American Medicine. I have been debating this topic for many years and yet had never seen such a poorly constructed argument against national health care in America. Another reader and I pointed out that his opinions were clearly based on ignorance, and that his post was just one giant straw man.
Bob took our comments very personally. He said we were being hateful, accused me of name-calling (he didn’t know what ignorant meant) and claimed that he had merely been describing the health care systems in the UK and Canada.
Bzzzzt! Wrong again, Bobby!
In my next comment I apologized for having insulted him, although that had not been my intention. I also stated that since he was clearly unable to accept criticism of his ideas, I would refrain from commenting further on his blog. Bob emailed me that night and asked me to continue participating, saying that my views brought a much needed balance to the discussion. I emailed him back and said I would stop in when I had the time.
Shortly after that, Bob emailed me again to let me know that he had made a new post entitled Socialized Medicine: Closing Statements and wanted to know what I thought of it. A day or so later, I finally had the time to respond. I posted a comment. He posted a comment. I posted another comment. Then, bang! He deleted it all!
Just for the record, my comments were not flippant one-liners or anything like that. I addressed his entire post and following comments point by point. I asked several questions in an honest effort to better understand his position. I invested my time at Bob’s invitation! Knowing how sensitive he is, I was very careful not to post anything that might be personally insulting.
When I checked back in after my last comment, Bob had deleted the entire discussion, leaving a message stating that the “rants” had “officially ended”. (After I pointed out his misuse of “rant”, he changed it to “posts”.) I tried to post a comment about how rude and dishonest that was, and found that my comments were now being moderated.
Don’t get me wrong – Bob has every right to delete what he wants and moderate what he wants. We all do! But he pursued me, asking me to invest my time contributing “balance” to his blog. When he didn’t like what I said and how it exposed his views for the complete and utter nonsense they are (although they do speak for themselves on that account) he pulled the plug on it. Given that he knew I didn’t agree with his views, I’m really not sure what he expected.
So, yes – Bob was completely within his rights. That doesn’t make it any less dishonest.
I emailed the little weasel and told him exactly what I thought. The next morning, I had three emails from him, and I thought it might be fun to address them here. Besides being amusing, it will serve to confirm the level of irrationality I was dealing with.
I will address the emails in a new post when I get around to it. After that, I will address the posts again right here at Rambling On, where Dishonest Bob can’t make them go away. When I have time and if I still feel like it, that is.
And if you’re reading this Bob, you’d better put on your big boy breeches for the next round.