Monday, March 21, 2005

Today's Conservatives

So today's "conservatives":

*Care not a whit about using the federal government to intervene in a what amounts to a distasteful and ethically thorny family squabble

*Are willing to use the Congress to interfere in a case already reviewed abundantly by several State courts, including a State Supreme Court, as well as federal courts--including the US Supreme Court, who decided not to hear the case

*Will ignore the Constitution so long as they can "excite the base," violating the separation of powers and long-standing conservative doctrine re: the sovereignty of states in a federalist system

*Will suddenly and conveniently forget their "sancticty of marriage" horseshit when it's politically expedient, siding with Schiavo's parents

*Will ignore evidence found sufficient in several court hearings that Terry Schiavo wanted in no way to be kept alive artificially, evidence supported by the testimony of numerous witnesses, thereby ignoring Schiavo's civil rights and her privacy

*Will use testimony by doctors and "experts" who have only seen Schiavo on videotape carefully selected by the lawyers of Schiavo's parents, while ignoring the opinions of the individuals who have actually examined her

*Will gleefully derail the New Deal while slashing welfare, veteran's benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare benefits, but work to ensure that one medically hopeless vegetative case remains alive contrary to her wishes and the wishes of her legally recognized caretaker

*Claim to be working for "God's will" and a "natural" death for Schiavo, who is kept alive through the "natural" means of having nutrients pumped into her body-- in the same way a respirator artificially pumps air into a patient--nutrients she is incapable of asking for, seeking out, eating, or even desiring because her cerebral cortex is "liquified"

*Will distort the meaning of random electric discharges by a destroyed brain which result in spasmodic "smiling" and "attempts at communication" and call these evidence of consciousness, despite the fact that her round-the-clock caregivers say she makes the same gestures and expressions and sounds randomly throughout the day and night

*Will cynically and callously distort the true pain of Schiavo's parents for political purposes, when they need to let go of their daughter who has been dead for 15 years with no hope of recovery

*Will work to block stem cell research, which may someday result in medical solutions for people with conditions similar to Schiavo's, again because they have some special understanding of God's will

*Will allow their ethically challenged Majority Leader to deflect attention from his mounting legal troubles as he engages in corrupt manoeuvering, shamelessly grandstanding on this issue

*Claim all along that "liberals" are the ones who use government to interfere in citizen's private lives, that "liberals" abuse the power of government, that "liberals" are hypocrites

I watched C-SPAN's coverage of the House debates for two hours last night--it felt good to shout at the TV again as fire-breathing Social Darwinists argued (at times using liberal programs like the ADA!) that we should keep this unfortunate young woman's body going in perpetuity. Terry Schiavo is a set of empty parentheses the Republicans are filling with their agenda, a vegetative Rohrschach blotch, and should be allowed the dignity to die as she would have more than a decade ago without radical medical assistance.

The only good thing about this entire controversy? People might realize the importance of taking legal action--via "living wills"--to ensure they're not kept alive contrary to their wishes by politicos bent on firing up a fevered religious minority for their own nefarious ends.


Anonymous said...

The strongest congressional voices in favor of a "Culture of Life" are also those who pushed us into a war which has killed (by one estimate) up to 100,000 innocent Iraqis

geoff said...

Unfortunately the "liberals" in Congress have failed us equally in both instances (the war and Schiavo) as well--perhaps out of fear of the culture warriors, perhaps because last night they had no chance to derail the legislation, so figured they may as well err on the side of "The Culture of Life."

I did see three actual "conservatives" speak out against the Schiavo bill last night--not to mention George Will's opposition on This Week.