Monday, March 21, 2005

If you ever, change your mind

From Mark Kleiman, via Atrios, we have this:'s hard to credit the sincerity of people who throw around terms such as "murder" and "Dachau" when talking about Schiavo but make no objection to the Texas law, especially since the Texas law specifically lists "artificial nutrition and hydration" as among the services that can be discontinued.

Moreover, the law allows for (even if in the Hudson and and Nikolouzos cases it did not actually involve) the termination of life-sustaining treatment for patients with "irreversible" conditions (i.e., conditions from which they will not recover and which leave them unable to care for themselves) even if their higher brain functions are completely normal. Indeed, the law contemplates that a fully competent patient may be served by his health-care provider with a 10-day notice to find another provider or have his plug pulled;
it even provides that the patient has the right to attend the committee meeting at which his fate is to be decided. (Sec. 166.046) And the law provides no substantive guidance other than the provider's decision that the requested life-sustaining care would be "inappropriate."

So, if I read the Texas law correctly, it would allow for Terri Schiavo's feedling tube to be disconnected if her health care provider so decided, and if her family couldn't find another provider willing to take the case, even if her higher brain functions were entirely normal (rather than, as appears to be the case, entirely absent),
even if she were awake and asking to be allowed to live. So, I repeat, where's the outrage? If you think Terri Schiavo is being murdered, you think that George W. Bush signed a bill allowing murder in 1999, and that bill is still on the books. Perhaps Mr. Bush flew to the wrong capital on Sunday; some people in Austin seem to need instruction about the "presumption in favor of life."

So if it was OK for Texas, then why not for Florida? Inguiring minds want to know. Let's conjecture:

From Daily Kos, the political angle:

Democrat Bill Nelson should be the Dems' most vulnerable incumbent. Yet most top-tier Republicans in the state have their eyes set on the open governor's race. Rep. Mark Foley is being urged to run, but his public remarks hint at some reluctance. There's always Cruella, but Katherine Harris has underperformed the GOP vote in her own congressional district twice, and state Republicans fear she'd be a weak candidate.

From DCScoop, the other political angle:

This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

From the American people (via ABC News via ThinkProgress):

- 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.

- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)

- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.

- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.

- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.

So what do the GOPers hope to gain? Everlasting gratitude? Political capitol? Everlasting life in Heaven? Maybe...

But in reality they will be finally seen as craven, calculated, pandering to the extremes, out of touch with the mainstream family and sanctity of marriage values, cynical, hypocritical, empty suits whose entire reason for existence is about power with a healthy dose of corruption.

This is the face of the Republican Party. It is the face of a monster.