Epic’s Judith Faulkner swatted by a gnat

If you’re unfamiliar with syndicated right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin, you’re in for a treat – a parfait of paranoia that will spike your blood sugar and send you running full-speed into the arms of Obamacare. In a recent column titled “The Obama Crony in Charge of Your Medical Records,” Malkin breaks bad on Epic Systems founder and CEO Judith Faulker, implying that Faulkner’s friendly relationship with President Obama presages a not-far-off dystopia in which your chronic toenail fungus will almost surely become the focus of boundless Oval Office ribaldry.

In keeping with her captivating prose style, Malkin begins her column with the solemn portentousness of the Oracle at Delphi, had it been subscribed to Glenn Beck’s daily email blast:

Who is Judy Faulkner? Chances are, you don’t know her – but her politically connected, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company may very well know you. Top Obama donor and billionaire Faulkner is founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which will soon store almost half of all Americans’ health information.

If the crony odor and the potential for abuse that this “epic” arrangement poses don’t chill your bones, you ain’t paying attention.

Cue black helicopters.

All right, so let’s get this straight. It’s okay for industries and billionaire-backed right-wing organizations like ALEC to write their own legislation and for billionaire donors to grossly distort the democratic process each election cycle, but the moment a self-made billionaire like Faulkner makes common cause with a Democrat, America is over.

Of course, goosing the paranoid bums of tea partiers is kind of Malkin’s raison d’être. (Check out this oldie but goodie in which Malkin stirs up native-born Americans’ fears about the Hispanic-led “movement” to recapture Texas and California.) Still, the idea that Faulkner should recuse herself from any participation in politics because she runs an electronic medical records company is beyond laughable. Then again, conservatives tend to go a little batcrap crazy every time a rich person strays from the herd.

Seriously, what exactly would Malkin prefer be done about this impertinent breach of billionaire etiquette? Should Ms. Faulkner enroll in a billionaire re-education camp? Start folding the tents at Epic’s Verona campus, putting thousands of employees out of work, in order to quell the mounting fears of regular TownHall.com commenter Moonbat Exterminator? Would Malkin be happier if Faulkner kept her political leanings to herself and did all her America-destroying work in the shadows? Would that be less frightening?

But let’s humor Malkin for the moment.

Suppose Bill O’Reilly has hepatitis C, which he contracted in the early ’80s while shooting up Mexican black tar heroin in a Bangkok hotel that rents by the hour to bored American tourists. Bear with me now. Like Michelle, I’m just imagining what could be.

Watching Fox News one night, Faulker notices that O’Reilly looks like he just spent the last 11 hours trying to claw his way out of a drowning beluga whale’s birth canal. Seeing that O’Reilly is unusually pale and wan, Faulkner suspects he has hepatitis C. She dons her Professor X Cerebro helmet and locates O’Reilly’s records, then shares the information with President Obama, who immediately contacts O’Reilly and insists that Fox News stop making stuff up.

How long before this gets out? Epic’s entire billion-dollar business is dependent on protecting the confidentiality of patients’ records. Would it really make sense for Faulkner to violate her customers’ trust – and endanger the business she’s spent the last 34 years building into an industry leader – so she can wheedle a few extra political favors out of the president?

As for you, if the feds get access to your medical records, what are they going to do with them? Find out what pre-existing conditions you might have that will no longer prevent you from being eligible to purchase insurance, thanks to Obamacare?

Of course, in her piece, Malkin does her best to draw connections between her medical records fantasies and the current IRS mini-scandal. In the third paragraph of her column, she mentions the “IRS witch hunts” and concludes her screed by noting that the “IRS vultures are circling overhead.”

Wherever you stand on the IRS scandal (which at this point is really more of a Republican fundraising pitch than a scandal), the dark warnings about government encroaching on our freedoms are particularly rich coming from Malkin. Why? Because Malkin literally wrote the book on locking up citizens whose sole crime was being born with pre-existing Japanese genes. Yes, Malkin (who is herself Asian-American) is a big fan of World War II-era Japanese internment camps, as she notes in her 2004 magnum opus In Defense of Internment. So the internment camps were fine, but had FDR discovered that your grandma once had the chicken pox, no doubt the Michelle Malkins of the era would have come rushing to her defense.



So let’s all get our box of highlighters out and try our best to recreate the color of the sky in Michelle Malkin’s world:

World War II internment camps? Fantastic.

Investigating tea party groups – which were by definition founded on a right-wing political agenda – to make sure they’re not engaged in too much political activity, then clearing every last one of them for tax-exempt status? Unacceptable.

Founding an electronic medical records company, building it into a billion-dollar concern, and then using a small portion of your hard-won earnings to support Democrats? Outrageous!

I guess the lesson is this: Conservatives love billionaires, so long as they act like proper billionaires and not like hippies. Faulkner hasn’t learned that lesson. Luckily, Michelle Malkin is all too willing to teach her.

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