Diagnosing Tea Party Style.

Dr. Jane Orient (Screen cap via NewsMax TV).

Dr. Jane Orient (Screen cap via NewsMax TV).

On Wednesday, pro-Trump website Breitbart published Dr. Jane Orient’s unfounded speculation that Hillary Clinton could be “medically unfit to serve,” referring to Dr. Orient as the “executive director of a physicians’ organization.”

AAPS is a small nonprofit organization with Tea Party ties that prioritizes “individual liberty, personal responsibility, [and] limited government.” Their journal, as Mother Jones reported, has published articles suggesting that abortion causes breast cancer, that vaccines cause autism, and that AIDS is not caused by HIV. (Breitbart, naturally, has publishedarticles lending credence to at least two of these disproven theories.)

The AAPS also has a long history with the Clintons as well. The organization’s “About” page prominently features its opposition to the 1993 Clinton health care plan. In fact, the organization spent the better part of the ’90s embroiled in litigation against the former first lady, first suing her in 1993 to gain access to the records of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. Eventually, in 1999, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the Clinton administration.


Orient is quite the Trump fan, which of course, make her long distance diagnoses perfectly okay, yessir.

“Surely [Trump’s] style can be abrasive and blunt,” she wrote. “But a huge number of ordinary Americans cheer him, probably because he said what they were thinking.”

Her praise for Trump supporters continues: “They are sick of being pushed around and disrespected by the politically correct crowd who are hypersensitive about almost everything—but constantly spew profane, obscene, and vulgar language that demeans American and Christian culture and blames it for all the world’s evil.”


In her blog post, Orient repeats the usual conspiracy theories about the former Secretary of State’s physical condition. First, she comments on the photograph of Clinton supposedly having difficulty with a set of stairs, which was actually taken after an accidental slip.

“Did she simply trip?” Orient asks. And then, breathlessly: “Or was it a seizure or a stroke?”

In addition to that bit of grossly unethical speculation, Orient uses circuitous, Trump-esque phrasing to paint a picture of an ailing Clinton.

Instead of using the signature Trump phrase “many people are saying,” for example, Orient says that “it is widely stated that [Clinton] experienced a fall that caused a concussion” (emphasis added). She opines that certain videos of the Democratic nominee, “if authentic,” are “very concerning.” And she packs a mouthful of qualifiers into her claim that an object in a Secret Service agent’s hand “purportedly might have been an autoinjector of Valium” (emphasis added).


The irony of Orient adding fuel to that fire is that she herself is critical in the blog post of people who are “tossing out psychiatric diagnoses” such as narcissistic personality disorder to criticize Trump. …But even when asked why she would critique lay diagnoses of Trump if she engages in speculation about Clinton, Orient insisted that her choice was not unethical or hypocritical.

“Asking questions based on observable events is not engaging in unfounded speculation,” she told The Daily Beast. “I feel it would be irresponsible to ‘choose’ not to raise important questions.”

Via The Daily Beast.


  1. says

    Dr. Jane Orient’s unfounded speculation that Hillary Clinton could be “medically unfit to serve,”

    She may be a stupid blowhard who ought to know better than to diagnose people who aren’t her patients and who she hasn’t been able to examine. And if it were her patient she was talking about like that, it’d be a huge violation of professional ethics.

    She seems qualified (on paper).

  2. says


    She seems qualified (on paper).

    So is Andrew Wakefield. I’m afraid that doesn’t mean a thing. You might want to read that Mother Jones article.

  3. johnson catman says

    JAQing off by a purported professional means that she is not very good at being professional. The whole JAQing off and all equivalents are just a way for someone to lay the foundation for lies.

  4. blf says

    Ah yes, the impressive-sounding AAPS. Orac describes them thusly (Feb-2016):

    [AAPS] is an organization of physician-cranks (or, if you prefer, crank physicians) that is known for being against vaccine mandates, Medicare (calling it “unconstitutional”), and any form of regulation of health care by government. To top it off, the AAPS has characterized public health programs as “tyranny.” It has also published brain-meltingly bad papers claiming to find that abortion causes breast cancer, has promoted the vile idea that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for “vaccine injury,” supported HIV/AIDS denialism, and—of course!—done what all crank medical organizations like to do, attack evidence- and science-based medicine as placing unacceptable limits on physician autonomy. Worse, the AAPS doesn’t even limit itself to medicine in that it’s also published papers attacking anthropogenic global climate change, as though physicians have the necessary expertise to assess climate science. Truly, the crank magnetism and arrogance of the AAPS know no bounds.

    And (March-2006) The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Medical “science” as dubious as it gets:

    [T]he philosphy of AAPS is “ultra-conservative-libertarian-individualist — with a generous helping of conspiracism thrown into the mix — reminiscent of the philosophy espoused by the John Birch Society” [quote from Kathleen Seidel –blf]. However, the Libertarianism of AAPS is not quite without limits. Most Libertarians regard abortion as an individual right that the state should not interfere with except after fetal viability, arguing that a woman should have a near absolute right to control her own body. Not AAPS. It explicitly opposes abortion. Similarly, many Libertarians support open immigration. Not AAPS. It is explicitly for “closing the borders,” and has even published a racist anti-illegal immigrant screed that begins:

    Illegal aliens’ stealthy assaults on medicine now must rouse Americans to alert and alarm. Even President Bush describes illegal aliens only as they are seen: strong physical laborers who work hard in undesirable jobs with low wages, who care for their families, and who pursue the American dream.
    What is unseen is their free medical care that has degraded and closed some of America’s finest emergency medical facilities, and caused hospital bankruptcies: 84 California hospitals are closing their doors. “Anchor babies” born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and Disability Income. […]


    And…, well, you get the idea. Über-loons…

  5. blf says

    Caine@2, Andrew Wakefield is (now) not qualified, not even on paper: He was stuck off the UK’s list of licensed physicians, and is (as far as I know) not licensed in any other jurisdiction.

  6. johnson catman says

    from blf @4:

    What is unseen is their free medical care that has degraded and closed some of America’s finest emergency medical facilities, and caused hospital bankruptcies: 84 California hospitals are closing their doors.

    If the damn republicans weren’t so opposed to universal health care, the “free” medical care would have been paid for by insurance and those facilities would not have been in financial trouble.

  7. says

    Blf @ 5:

    That’s good to know. My point was that he was qualified, and still a quack, and I’m afraid the list of qualified MD quacks is a long one. Simply being qualified doesn’t mean jack shit, I’m afraid.

  8. blf says

    And from The Encyclopedia of American Loons:

    #1000: Jane Orient

    The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a relatively small but notoriously loud group of “conservative” cranks and batshit crazy fundies who wail against, in particular, abortion, vaccination, the idea of universal health care coverage, and the fact that evidence- and science-based medicine as placing unacceptable limits on physician autonomy (it is obviously listed by Quackwatch). Jane Orient is the executive director. The physical address of the organization in Tucson (a suite in a medical center) is also the address for the equally insane Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, the American Health Legal Foundation, the AAPS Educational Foundation, Physicians for Civil Defense, the Southwestern Institute of Science, and the Southern Arizona Association for Play Therapy. Jane Orient is also listed as contact for the majority of these other organizations. Common to all is that they defend all the extreme religious right positions (usually denial) related to any topic in science and medicine, and various forms of woo and anti-vaccine propaganda. In short, Jane Orient may hence be one of the most comprehensive crackpots in our Encyclopedia thus far. […] Her claims have been cited by various anti-vaccine organizations, who wouldn’t recognize a crank if they ate one.
    [… T]he organization is actually influential and has a significant say in policy decisions. Members include Ron & Rand Paul, Paul Broun and former Louisiana congressman John Cooksey, as well as Joe Mercola and Russell Blaylock, which is an impressive and rather frightening lineup.


    #186: Lawrence Huntoon (and the AAPS)

    Former president of the rightwing and aggressively woo-friendly Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which is listed by Quackwatch and well-known to be highly political and largely insane (they use Andy Schlafly as legal counsel). […] The association has fought to ban the morning-after pill, mandatory vaccination, socialized healthcare, and the shaken baby syndrome (it’s rather the vaccines that kill children). […]
    […] Dr Huntoon describes peer review boards which review complaints against doctors as an insidious and spreading evil which threatens to destroy not only the integrity of the medical profession but quality care for all patients. […]

    Ü-loons ahoy!!!!1!

  9. blf says

    johnson catman@7, Whilst your point has validity, the quoted claim was made by a group of über-loony quacks whose relationship to evidence-, science-, facts-, and indeed the whole of reality is invisible.

    In other words, I wouldn’t believe “it” — and especially the quacks’s claimed reason — without reliable independent confirmation.

  10. johnson catman says

    blf @10:
    Understood. I was not claiming that their statement was true, just that republican policies have in fact contributed to closures of facilities, and Obamacare has prevented that from happening in some cases. Universal health care would prevent a lot more of it.

  11. blf says

    johnson catman@11, Understood — and I concur!
    If my memory is correct, part of ACA is an expansion to Medicare with the funds provided by the feds; i.e., at no cost to the states. This is optional (a state had to opt-in or something), and number of thug-“governed” states did not opt-in, despite it costing them nothing, potentially improving the health care for eligible people, etc., because reasons…

  12. says

    So is Andrew Wakefield. I’m afraid that doesn’t mean a thing.

    Yeah. That’s one of the things about this shit that incenses me. They completely erode the notion of trusting in board certifications, etc.

    She was good enough to fool the media (as was Wakefield) -- and I’m guessing the whole dodgy credentials pose is darwinian as hell. Fakers are going to keep making their fakes credible enough so that the deeper decent people dig, the truth is right below where we stop.

    People legitimately expect board certifications and such to have some kind of value. Otherwise we’re back to the nostrum sellers and medicine shows. Ugh.

  13. says

    By the way, I am a certified strategic genius. I have a membership card to prove it. Maybe I need to promote that on some websites and stuff and hope Fox News calls me so I can offer advice to conservative politicians.

  14. johnson catman says

    blf @12 re Medicare:
    How well I know! North Carolina was one of those states (run by a republican legislature) that would not opt in. Idiots. The phrase “cutting off one’s nose to spite the face” comes to mind.

  15. says

    Marcus @ 14:

    By the way, I am a certified strategic genius. I have a membership card to prove it.

    I’m a certified Heartless Bitch, and have the membership card to prove it. Think that would get me anywhere?

  16. johnson catman says

    Caine @16:
    So what is the certification process for that? Do they have a parallel program for the menz?

  17. militantagnostic says

    The AAPS are are also Shaken Baby Syndrome denialists. They attribute the injuries and deaths of shaken babies to “Vaccine Injury”. Just when you think a right wing Christian can not go any lower, they put the limbo stick on the ground and tunnel under it.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    Marcus Ranum
    By the way, I am a certified strategic genius. I have a membership card to prove it.
    Has it expired?

  19. blf says

    (I fecking hate GUIs!)
    The mildly deranged penguin is pleased to announce the certified _________ programme, providing instant _________ certifications for a quite reasonable fee, only _________ in untraceable negotiable currencies, where _________ is to her liking.

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