The Schiavo Debacle
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This past weekend Tom Delay made a list ditch effort to save his political career, but alas, has only dug his grave deeper. Delay led a Republican push to extend the life of Terri Schiavo, the Floridian who is in what the court-ordered doctors describe as a “persistent vegetative state.” Delay went on air, evidently having done little research, and described Terri as being able to laugh and respond to her parent’s actions. He vilified her husband by saying that he has kept her “…from feeling the sun on her face.” All of this was to justify the Republican law that was pushed through the House, the Senate and signed by the President.
Then the facts began to dribble out.
Terri suffered a heart attack due to a chemical imbalance. Her brain suffocated from a lack of oxygen, and much of it is now liquefied. For the most part, her brain only consists of the portions that regulate breathing and her heart rate. Any responses she has are reflexive. She can not talk. She can not swallow.
There are no miracle cures that will allow her to re-grow a brain.
Her case has been litigated and re-litigated for 15 years and every court, judge or jury that has heard the case has sided with her husband, and Terri’s friends, who have testified that she did not want to be kept alive with tubes.
Still, the Republican Party fights on by enacting another law that will likely be deemed unconstitutional, much like the one Jeb Bush created a few years back. They have stomped on the rights of the Michael Schiavo and his wife. They have stampeded the rights of states, and have undermined the state’s judicial system.
Primarily, it is for wedge issues. The Republican Party needs, and forcibly seeks, issues that will divide the country, and the “right to life” has been a successful topic for them (much like gay marriage was for them in the previous election). After all, the republicans know that they need to divert attention from the vast majority of their policies as they overwhelming favor the rich and corporations. Poor people won’t willing vote to pay a larger portion of the tax burden, nor will they choose to breathe air or drink water that kills themselves and their children.
In order to get people to vote for these policies, the Republicans need emotional distractions and unfortunately for her and her husband, Terri Schiavo just happens to fit the bill.
Author’s Note: Tom Delay’s career is in jeopardy because he has repeatedly broke congressional ethic’s rules. He has accepted gifts from lobbyists, he has broken Texas law by misusing campaign contributions, and most severely in my book, he used the FAA to illegally track the movements of Texas Democrats. Also, it is important to note that many, many people have their feeding tubes removed every single day without becoming a Republican poster child.
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?