Florida neurosurgeon David McKalip is back in the thick of the fight to stop health-care reform — just over two months after pledging to withdraw from the public debate on the issue in the wake of a furor set off when TPMmuckraker published a racist email he sent showing President Obama as a witch doctor.
Over the weekend, McKalip emailed a fellow activist, reporting that he had been at a conservative medical association meeting, with leaders of the anti-reform movement, including GOP congressmen Tom Price and Paul Broun, anti-reform writer and activist Betsy McCaughey, and Tea Party coordinator Amy Kremer. Conservative doctors and their allies have been organizing in recent days in response to the White House’s event this morning featuring pro-reform doctors.
McKalip’s email was then forwarded on to a Tea Party Patriots email list.In the lengthy email, which was obtained by TPMmuckraker, McKalip urged fellow activists to put aside “dissension” in the ranks and to stand up to “Alinsky personal attack tactics” — perhaps a reference to his own downfall. “The American people are counting on us.”
After his racist email was exposed in July, McKalip announced he would be “withdrawing from making media appearances on health system reform.” But his email over the weekend makes clear that he didn’t withdraw from being a behind-the-scenes player, and from working to rally his fellow activists.
In fact, though, McKalip didn’t follow through on his pledge about withdrawing from media appearances either. In August, McKalip spoke to reporters at a Montana rally against reform. Though he lives and works in the St. Petersburg, Florida area, McKalip was identified as a “local physician.” According to a Montana Tea Party activist, McKalip was taking time out from a family vacation to Yellowstone when he heard about the rally and couldn’t resist getting involved.
Then in September, McKalip threw caution to the wind, writing an anti-reform op-ed for the St. Petersburg Times, which had published previous opinion articles he had written but had closely covered the fallout over the witch doctor email. (Hat tip St. Petersblog 2.0)
McKalip did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPMmuckraker.
Here’s his complete email from this weekend, which was forwarded to a Tea Party Patriots list.
I just had the great pleasure to return from a meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. There I met and spent time with the following freedom fighters for health system reform: Congressman Tom Price, Congressman Paul Broun, Betsy McCaughey, Amy Kremer, Jennifer Hulsey (Tea Party Patriots), Ezra Levant (Canadian standing up for free speech), a couple of hundred doctor/patriots and valiant staff of the AAPS.
These people reminded me that we are all in this together. The American People are counting on us. Our Children our counting on us. The world is counting on us – because THE WORLD LOOKS TO US WITH HOPE AS A BEACON OF FREEDOM. Without freedom in America, there is no hope for freedom in the rest of the world.
We discussed health care policy, politics of defeating bad legislation and passing good. We talked about standing up to Alinsky personal attack tactics and the power of freedom.
The freedom of our country, our children, the world and the future world is depending on us.
Us – a bunch of average Americans carrying signs, making phone calls and sending emails.
Today. This month. The next 30-60 days will mean a lot.
We will need to stick together.
We will need to act quickly, in large numbers and effectively.
We will need to put any petty differences aside.
This is more than about who has power, control, glory, name recognition, prospects of a growing budget, jealous protection of a donor base or rights to a website. It is apparent within the tea party movement that there is dissension.
Deal with it later or do so quickly and privately now.
Come together – or get out of this movement now – because this is too important.
This is history.
The way that each of you as leaders act now will make the difference for the future.
I guarantee you that this standard was set by the founders of this country when they wrote: “We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Late Update: And a top conservative opponent of reform lauds McKalip as “a rock solid patriot.”