Wednesday, March 23, 2005

TODAY'S TOP ONE: Why Not? Another Terri Schiavo Post.

Yesterday, I spoke with a friend of mine in Nicaragua, who's working for a left wing newspaper and hanging out with old Sandinistas. A real Bush-supporter, in other words. He was asking if the American media was giving any play to a story about the U.S. stationing missiles in Nicaragua. Not really, I said. It's all Terri Schiavo and Michael Jackson up here. "Terri Schiavo?" my friend asked. "Isn't that the woman the liberals up there want to kill?"

Word to that. As much as it pains me to be on the same side of any issue as Tom DeLay and the Bush brothers, I've been completely alienated by the Left's gleeful pro-death stance on Terri Schiavo. I'm not arguing about which neurologist says she's in a permanent vegetative state and which doesn't; I'm talking about the willful pursuit of a woman's death by starvation. When you clear away all the talk about culture of life, judicial oversight, Republican cynicism, and congressional intervention, that's what we're talking about: whether a woman starves to death or not.

Serious subject, but the seventh graders who make up the American Left can't bring themselves to address it with any kind of solemnity. Here's popular Lefty blogger The Rude Pundit, whose screed was approvingly linked by Buzzflash:

As the Rude Pundit said last week, she must die, for her sake, for the sake of her family, and to demonstrate that God, Jesus, Allah, whoever, doesn't want her to live. (There you go, stupid fuckers praying outside the hospice, traveling from all over the country to screech and murmur to a negligent deity: if "God" wants her to live so fuckin' badly, why doesn't "He" heal her?)...Now we know why the enemy so absurdly "protects" the "rights" of those "who have no voice": the brain-damaged, the fetuses: because those can't tell the enemy that they're just fucking wrong....Correction: Last week, the Rude Pundit referred to Terri Schiavo's brain as a "rock." More properly, it should be called a "puddle" or a "soup."

For the first time ever, I'm glad that George W. Bush is president, because it means assholes like this will be impotently frustrated for at least another three and a half years. The inability to show compassion is an ugly deficiency; since it's so common to the Left these days (the Rude Pundit is by no means an unrepresentative sample), it's almost guaranteed that nauseating little haters like this will never, ever be able to convince a significant slice of the American public to vote for their candidates.

To all the people who are complaining that the Republicans are using this case to score political points: Welcome to planet fucking Earth. Are you aware that playing politics - to the extent of turning absolutely everything into a political cause - is what all politicians do all the time? The Republicans are smart; they're positioning themselves as compassionate on a key issue in a key state. Democrats can only natter pointlessly about court proceedings while their "progressive" allies shout: "When is that bitch gonna die?" (I comment I have heard) This is why Republicans run the country and will continue to run the country for the forseeable future: because Democrats and progressives are dumb as shit.

A few points to consider before painting up those "Let the bitch die" banners:

1. Schiavo is not terminally ill. She has lived in this state for 15 years. This is not a case about "end of life" decision-making or "the right to die." The question is whether her legal guardian has the right to force her to die by starvation and dehydration.

2. Schiavo is not dependent on life support. Her lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems work fine. A feeding tube is a piece of adaptive technology, not some superhuman feet of preservation.

3. If we assume that those who advocate her death are correct, Schiavo is completely unaware of her situation and is thus incapable of suffering physically or emotionally. "Relieving her suffering" is therefore not a justification for bringing about her death.

4. Schiavo, like all people, has a federal, constitutional right not to be deprived of her life without due process of law.

5. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, Schiavo has a statutory right not to be treated differently because of her disability. Florida law obviously does not allow a husband to starve his non-disabled wife to death; in this case, Schiavo's disability makes her exceptional in the eyes of the state courts. Under the ADA, the state has the burden of justifying the line it's drawing.

6. In other contexts, federal courts are available to make sure state courts uphold constitutionally protected rights. Hearing liberals cry about states' rights - the rallying call of segregation - is ugly.

7. The law passed in Congress did not require a feeding tube to be reinserted. It simply created a procedure under which the federal courts can decided whether Schiavo's federally-protected rights are being upheld.

As Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a friend of labor unions and liberal causes, said, "There are a lot of people in the shadows, all over this country, who are incapacitated because of a disability, and many times there is no one to speak for them, and it is hard to determine what their wishes really are or were. So I think there ought to be a broader type of a proceeding that would apply to people in similar circumstances who are incapacitated."

Keep up the hating, though, gang, and the God-bashing and the snide juvenile jokes. Not only will Republicans hold onto Congress, but on Inauguration Day 2009, you're going to be gritting your teeth and bitching on the Internet about President Jeb Bush.