Monday, March 21, 2005

We're All Democrats Now

I have tried to withhold any opinion on the Terry Schiavo matter, as sufficient distance does not exist to minimize the pain of observing the conflict between her husband and parents. In fact, I have tried to avoid paying any attention to this awful matter, but events over this weekend have made that quest impossible. It seems to me that only one certainty exists in this case; I'm quite sure Ms. Schiavo would not have wanted her life or death to become a national spectacle. Sadly, that is exactly what has happened.

Odious characters such as Randall Terry, last seen demonstrating outside of abortion clinics, have joined the fight to "save Terry's life" and in doing so lowered this struggle into the political mud puddle, the one place where this argument should never go. I'm saddened by Mr. Terry's ability to dimish noble causes, such as the right to life, with outlandish and frequently distasteful public displays of his position. Such is the role of an activist I suppose, and both sides seem to have their share.

Republicans have comported themselves poorly here, abondoning the principles of the rule of law and state's rights in a naked attempt to garner political advatage. The memo leaked over the weekend proposing that this fight will play well politically for Republicans was among the worst ploys I have ever witnessed. The writer should have his feeding tube pulled.

Yet what about the Democrats? Clearly they're side is not better as they support the poor woman's right to "die with dignity". Is this a joke? Terry Schiavo's dignity was sacrificed long ago in this fight. Further, there is no dignity in starving to death, and any form of euthanasia is rightfully illegal in this country.

However, this is what the fight is trully about isn't it? On the one side we have those who view this as the attempt by the left in this country to breech societal norm's against assisted suicide. On the other, are the forces seeking to promote this practice as acceptable in a modern culture. The family, has thusly allowed themselves to be stuck in the middle.

The bottom line: The Republicans have gone too far on this one. While the morality of what the husband wants to do here is highly questionable, he has legal standing that the family has been unable to pierce over the course of 8 years and multiple hearings. The Republicans argue that it is appropriate to step in when an individual's rights are being trampled similar to what was done with civil rights legislation and ADA legislation. The difference, however, was that these were actions that were properly deliberated over time and enacted to benefit whole groups. The legal wrangling over the weekend was quite different.

If we are to have a fight over "the right to die", then bring it on. Lets not use the imperfect stage of personal family battle to have an ad hoc confrontation on something that is quite important.

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