The other day, in a conversation with my father, I stated that I was really afraid how far the radicals in my party would go to make sure that Terri Schiavo remains a bed-bound vegetable for the next 40 years. I had predicted that they would convince/coerce someone in the law enforcement community to arrest and charge Michael Schiavo with abuse (or anything, really). They then could ‘rescue’ Terri, because allowing her to die would be ‘destroying evidence.’
I predicted this would be their avenue of attack after they lost in the Appeals Court, because we had already seen the whisper campaigns starting several days ago. The loudmouth talking heads from NRL, the bully-boy lawyers, the life-at-all costs fanatics had all raised the possibility that Michael Schiavo somehow caused her condition. Hell- even moderates were saying things like ‘He does have a conflict of interest with all that insurance money involved,’ despite the fact that there is no money and the new standard they have just created for all beneficiaries of life insurance policies. If you are a beneficiary in ANYONE’s life insurance policy, your judgement and honesty are now in question- because you stand to ‘gain.’
Sick bastards- defining losing your wife as a ‘gain,’ but all is fair in politics, right? And that is what this is- politics and symbolism on the right to life battlefield. I have said it before- this is jihad for these folks. They don’t give two hoots in hell about Terri Schiavo- this is about abortion, religion, and most of all, about power and control. Their concept of morality is king, you see- your behavior in the bedroom, your choice in sexual partner, your desires about end of life decisions, abortion, even the medication you use to ease the pain when you are dying of terminal diseases- their religious text should have authority over you, and if all these ‘small-government strict constructionists states right’s advocates’ have to attain that through government proxy, so be it.
How radical are these folks? I predicted they would charge Schiavo with a crime. I was wrong. Instead, their full-on assault of the judiciary at both the state and federal level as well as their perversion of the legislative branches, and their misuse of the Federal and State Executive branches by Brothers Bush was not enough, and now they are attempting to use state level agencies, the ones relied upon for the non-partisan delivery of services, as a weapon:
The Florida judge presiding over the Terri Schiavo case ordered the state agency charged with protecting vulnerable adults to make no attempt to take the brain-injured woman into protective custody late Wednesday. The order appears to be in direct contradiction to a state statute that requires the agency to act…
One member of the media asked if the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) planned to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody, remove her from the hospice where she is being dehydrated and starved to death or try to reinsert her feeding and hydration tube.
“We are looking at every potential opportunity to be of assistance,” replied DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi.
That response apparently prompted the attorney for Terri’s estranged husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, to contact Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer, requesting a court order barring the state from acting. Noted “right-to-die” attorney, author and activist George Felos argued during a court hearing later Wednesday that DCF had “no more power than … a person walking down the street,” to place Terri in protective custody.
The objective reality of Terri Schiavo’s sad medical condition is immaterial, and what is important is winning this battle in the war for ‘life at all costs.’ Therefore, an anonymous call to the DCF alleging abuse in the Schiavo case seems warranted to these zealots, who then bring forward yet another neurologist who diagnosed Schiavo via internet videotape (click here if you want to see this latest diagnosis simply annihilated by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, another life-long Republican):
Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. William Cheshire — who is also a member of the Florida’s Adult Protective Services team — said late Wednesday that Terri Schiavo “may have been misdiagnosed” by one court appointed doctor and two other physicians chosen by Michael Schiavo.
Those three doctors declared Terri to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), but Cheshire said, based on his examination of Terri and review of her records, she is more likely in a minimally conscious state (MCS). The term is a new diagnostic description that has come into acceptance since Terri was last examined.
All of a sudden, the hysterical slippery slope rhetoric of NARAL and NOW does not seem that unwarranted. As I write this, the Supreme Court has ruled against the reactionaries, adding yet another legal defeat (if these guys were a basketball team, they would be the LA Clippers), but I believe they will remain undeterred. God is on their side, you know, and they know what is best for all of us.
How radical are these people? Radical enough to make John Derbyshire seem downright moderate:
One of the depressing — I am not being facetious, it really does depress me — features of the past couple of days has been watching the talking-heads left-right programs on the telly and wishing I could cheer on the righty — the side of any argument I would instinctively support — but not being able to.
Watching Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night I found myself nursing a devout hope that if I ever enter a persistent vegetative state, Sean Hannity is nowhere in the neighborhood.
Amen, Derb. And if you still don’t understand how far astray these reactionaries are, read this:
But that question was not directly accosted by the judge, who said only that Terri’s rights had not been abrogated. It was unseemly for critics to compare her end with that of victims of the Nazi regime. There was never a more industrious inquiry, than in the Schiavo case, into the matter of rights formal and inchoate. It is simply wrong, whatever is felt about the eventual abandonment of her by her husband, to use the killing language. She was kept alive for fifteen years, underwent a hundred medical ministrations, all of them in service of an abstraction, which was that she wanted to stay alive. There are laws against force-feeding, and no one will know whether, if she had had the means to convey her will in the matter, she too would have said, Enough.
Welcome to Big Government, Morality Police edition, brought to you by Pat Robertson, Randall Terry, and company. And if you think it ends with Schiavo, you are misguided. The shock troops are being trained in the ways of war as we speak (more on this here from Talk Left):
Gabriel Keys (foreground) is arrested by police officers for trespassing in Pinellas Park, Florida, March 23, 2005. The young protester attempted to take a glass of water into the Woodside Hospice for the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo. A federal judge rejected a request from the parents of Schiavo to order her feeding tube reinserted, dealing a blow to attempts by the U.S. Congress and the White House to prolong her life. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
When Terri Schiavo is finally allowed to slip past her cruel fate and move on to a better place, she will not be the only one to have died this month. At another gravesite, this marker should be erected:
Barry Goldwater’s Conservatism in America
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You know what- I might as well face the fact that I owe Andrew Sullivan an apology. You were right, Andy. I was wrong.
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William Bennett invokes Martin Luther King while advocating Gov. Bush send in troops. I think I am going to vomit. Or drink heavily.
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However, of late, it appears that the right is losing its populist touch. The American people are clearly not buying social security privatization. The propeller heads at the right wing think tanks are evidently no more connected with the folks than their counterparts in the Harvard faculty lounge.
And the Schiavo case reveals a gap between public opinion and the worldview of the Republican social conservatives. Apparently, the religious right is not necessarily more representative of the general population than the “Beserkely” beads and sandals crowd. The right has taken on some of the worst characteristics of the New Left – morally self-righteous, making the personal, political and valuing ends over means. According to the ABC poll, even Evangelicals are almost evenly divided on the Schiavo case.
Conservatives are as intoxicated by power and hubris as liberals once were. Barry Goldwater would hardly recognize this crowd. And should the right lose its populist touch, the conservative moment may not last for much longer.
Trust the people.
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