The cynical crusade to “save” Terri Schiavo

I am so enraged, words fail me. Like every other spectacle staged by this administration, it’s all about pandering to its religious-right base in defiance of the truth, and in defiance of the law. As i said, words simply fail me, so I will use someone else’s. Please read it through to the end.

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient’s family’s wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother’s wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are also aware that Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no pun intended) on medicaid funding that pays for the kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many others who are not so severely brain damaged need all across this country.

Those of us who read liberal blogs also understand that that the tort reform that is being contemplated by the Republican congress would preclude malpractice claims like that which has paid for Terry Schiavo’s care thus far.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are aware that the bankruptcy bill will make it even more difficult for families who suffer a catastrophic illness like Terry Schiavos because they will not be able to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start when the gargantuan medical bills become overwhelming.

And those of us who read liberal blogs also know that this grandstanding by the congress is a purely political move designed to appease the religious right and that the legal maneuverings being employed would be anathema to any true small government conservative.

Those who don’t read liberal blogs, on the other hand, are seeing a spectacle on television in which the news anchors repeatedly say that the congress is “stepping in to save Terry Schiavo” mimicking the unctuous words of Tom Delay as they grovel and leer at the family and nod sympathetically at the sanctimonious phonies who are using this issue for their political gain.

From Digby, via Atrios. It should be required reading. In addition, Mark Kleiman has a superb post on how this whole sham is being orchestrated by slimeball gay baiter and anti-abortion terrorist Randall Terry, who describes his MO in his own words:

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.

And to think that this great country is now in the hands of these idiots and haters. It is incomprehensible, like allowing the Nazis to come to power. Words really do fail me.

The Discussion: 11 Comments

me too. that’s… incredible. gawd.

March 21, 2005 @ 7:03 am | Comment

I’m actually relieved that the Senate started this bill and it applies only to Schiavo, pandering and disgusting and puppet-mastering as it is. This was the House’s version, which applied to all “incapacitated” people and put them under the jurisdiction of a special Court to be created by Congress.

But yes, rife with hypocrisy.

March 21, 2005 @ 8:39 am | Comment

I just bought Thomas Frank’s book What’s the Matter With America? (published in the U.S. as What’s the Matter With Kansas?), and find that it makes a lot of very useful points about the power of culture-war issues like this one.

My own take on this is: if Schiavo were a poor, non-white AIDS patient, none of this would be happening. Or am I being too cynical?

March 21, 2005 @ 8:52 am | Comment

and let’s not even get started with the death penalty in this context…contradict, much?!

March 21, 2005 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

Pres. Bush said, at the time he signed the Shiavo law I believe, that life is so important that if there is a possiblity of a mistake in ending it, that step should not be taken.

How does he reconcile that compassionate conservatism with the number of Texas inmates he ordered to be put to death as Governor even though there were grave doubts about the guilt of the so to be dead inmate?

March 21, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

“soon to be dead”

My bad

March 21, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

This has been the most pathetic display of worthless pandering I’ve seen in…well…not long enough.

The real issue here is that GOP Senators see the parallels to be drawn between this situation and the abortion debate, and they can not disappoint those who continually votes for them solely on the basis that the Senators will be as outraged by stupid things like this as they are.

March 21, 2005 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

I agree completely. Enough of the hypocrisy. Take Nancy Pelosi off life-support and move on.

March 22, 2005 @ 7:09 pm | Comment

“My own take on this is: if Schiavo were a poor, non-white AIDS patient, none of this would be happening. Or am I being too cynical?”

Vaara is absolutely right. If Schiavo belonged to say, the nation of Islam and had been disabled similarly, good ol’ Bush would have yanked her cord out himself without batting an eye. Funny that the deaths of all those poor bastards from the Tsunamis is seen as an “act of god” and unavoidable whereas the possible future death of Terry Schiavo is a horrible tragedy. People in my home town are holding up “save Terry” signs on every street corner and I live in Kentucky. A little too far from say, FLORIDA to do any good don’t ya think?

March 23, 2005 @ 9:09 am | Comment

The worst thing is that, as has happened so often before, the Republicans have maneuvered themselves into a win-win position here:

If Schiavo’s feeding tube is reinserted, they get to prate about their fictitious ‘culture of life.’
If sense, compassion, and medical opinion wins out, then they get to point to the evil ‘activist judges.’

These guys are scum, but they’re cunning scum.

March 24, 2005 @ 12:36 am | Comment

I actually disagree on this one, Brendan. The Republicans have idiotically dug themselves into a hole from which there is no escape. They can’t cry “activist liberal judges” because there are so many judges involved including the conservative Supreme Court. And the vast majority of Americans believe the Republicans have erred by getting involved and butting their noses into people’ private affairs. They emit a lot of hot air about the “sanctity of marriage,” and then they try to take away a husband’s legal rights. And when they lose, many of their Evangelical base will be outraged at their having failed. So I see it as lose-lose.

March 24, 2005 @ 6:56 am | Comment

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