Terry Schiavo

I’ve had a few days to think about Terry Schiavo and research the background and legal ramifications. Here, in no particular order, are my thoughts at this time.

Why do Republicans hate Florida state law so much? First they have their pet US Supreme Court take Bush v. Gore in 2000, which as an electoral dispute isn’t under the jurisdiction of a federal court. Now they have Bush fly back from his ersatz Texas ranch to sign a bill that attempts to subvert Florida law again. The law says that Terry’s husband Michael has the legal right to determine whether or not extraordinary means should be undertaken to keep her alive despite her persistent vegetative state. Personally, I lean towards keeping people alive as long as medical science will allow. I would want everything possible done to keep me around as long as thee was a chance, no matter how remote, that I might recover to a significant extent. But I would still trust my wife to make that decision for me a lot more than I would trust a cheesy political hack like Tom DeLay.

Why are people picking on Michael Schiavo? Many right-wingers are attacking him for having acquired a girlfriend a mere two years after his wife slipped into oblivion. Where were they when some 9/11 widows remarried a year after their husbands and wives had died? I remember: the 9/11 widows, they said, were crazy with grief and were therefore justified to behave any way they wanted. Anyone who thought differently was a cur and a traitor. Michael Schiavo, a 26-year-old man whose wife suddenly collapsed in the hallway of their home five years after getting married, surely was just as devastated. In the United States, however, victimhood depends on your political affiliation.

How is that the United States Congress is so concerned with one woman’s life? They were so cavalier, after all, about unleashing the fearsome military strength of the Pentagon on Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than 150,000 innocent people were subsequently killed. Republicans are pro-life, it seems, only when the lives are worth political capital.

Should Terry be allowed to die? I don’t know. The video released by the family does seem to show her reacting to her surroundings. It’s heartbreaking. But I don’t have to decide because her husband, who has the law on his side, already has. If the GOP doesn’t like the law, why don’t they change it? After all, they control all three branches of the federal government and most state legislatures. Surely Jeb Bush could be counted upon to help out. Or is this just another tacky act of political grandstanding to assuage anti-abortion Republicans?

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