(If there is a silver lining here, it's that mainstream liberalism has not been perverted by the far left on the question of killing Terri Schiavo. Let's hope they continue to resist.)
As I've said before, virtually every American controversy has two valid sides where well-informed people of good faith can disagree. The murder of Terri Schiavo is an exception to this rule. No person of good will could survey the facts of (1) Terri's condition; (2) the lack of evidence of her wishes; (3) Michael's malpractice suit testimony, post-suit behavior, and current compromised standing; (4) the willful and capricious determinations of Judge Greer; and (5) the testimony and availability of Terri's parents and still come to the conclusion that she should be murdered.
Yet here we are. So why do some people on the far-left want Terri dead? There are two workable theories. The first, is that this behavior is the product of simple anti-Christian bigotry. The second, put forth by Mark Steyn, is that what we see now is the wages of abortion:
But once you start weighing the relative values of individual lives, there's no end to it. Much of that derives from the way abortion has redefined life--as a "choice," an option.
In practice, a culture that thinks Terri Schiavo's life in Florida or the cleft-lipped baby's in Herefordshire has no value winds up ascribing no value to life in general.
Update, 3:48 p.m.: Kos himself now says that it's all about abortion.
Let me take the first crack at this. I don't think the Left hates Terri -- at least not most of it. Most Democratic lawmakers have been rather circumspect on this. After all, they didn't fight Congress's efforts over the weekend.
Sure there are plenty of Left-wing bloggers like the guy at Daily Kos spitting venom about the "brain-dead" Terri. But we already knew those guys were deranged. They'll be spouting the same kind of stuff when the next big controversy rolls around.
What I find in my conversations with liberals on this is an intense, passionate hatred not of Terri but of the Republicans and especially the religious right. Their comments are inevitably some variation of the "GOP are hypocrites" for ignoring federalism, or interferring in a family matter or for "imposing their moral values" or something similar. Terri's life is always an afterthought to them.
What sets them off about this affair in particular is that it shows just how influencial those bible-thumpers can be. They got Congress and the president to stop everything and pass a special law to intervene in one family's bitterly contested case because they -- the Christian right --demanded it.
The average liberal who votes for John Kerry, reads Mother Jones, listens to NPR, etc., watches this and thinks "Why them? Why does Congress seem to dance to their tune? Why doesn't Congress jump to it on feminist or environmentalist or gay rights issues? Why is my side always frozen out?"
The reason they are so burning mad is because they feel so impotent. They feel like they have no political power. And they just can't take it.
What problem(s) do you have with the following exceprts of the decision that was issued today.
"The Schindlers also argue that the judgment is void because Mrs. Schiavo was denied a full and fair opportunity to defend her rights in this case. As we have explained in the past, this is not a case where the trial court validated the guardian's decision for the ward without a full and independent inquiry. Instead, both Mr. Schiavo and the Schindlers were allowed to present evidence to the trial court as if each were her guardian. Id. The trial court then made its decision pursuant to law and based upon a heightened standard of proof. That decision has been subject to appeals and postjudgment scrutiny of all varieties, and it remains a valid judgment pursuant to the laws and the constitution of this state. Not only has Mrs. Schiavo's case been given due process, but few, if any, similar cases have ever been afforded this heightened level of process.
* * *
For those of us who are not trained physicians and who do not deal on a daily basis with patients in vegetative states, or with the difficult decision to remove life-sustaining treatment, the images of Mrs. Schiavo's face are haunting. But the images do not reveal the full extent of the devastation to her brain and her inability to engage in cognition. Dr. Wolfson, the guardian who was appointed at the request of the Governor, visited Mrs. Schiavo many times in 2003. He was unable to independently observe any "consistent, repetitive, intentional, reproducible interactive and aware activities." His report does not challenge the now well-established medical diagnosis that Mrs. Schiavo's movements are merely reflexive. As he explained: "This is the confusing thing for the lay person about persistent vegetative states."
* * *
But in the end, this case is not about the aspirations that loving parents have for their children. It is about Theresa Schiavo's right to make her own decision, independent of her parents and independent of her husband. In circumstances such as these, when families cannot agree, the law has opened the doors of the circuit courts to permit trial judges to serve as surrogates or proxies to make decisions about life-prolonging procedures. * * * It is the trial judge's duty not to make the decision that the judge would make for himself or herself or for a loved one. Instead, the trial judge must make a decision that the clear and convincing evidence shows the ward would have made for herself. * * * It is a thankless task, and one to be undertaken with care, objectivity, and a cautious legal standard designed to promote the value of life. * * *
* * *
We are well aware that many people around the world disagree with the trial court's decision. However, when he became a judge, the trial court judge took an oath, required by the Florida Constitution, to obey the rule of law and the constitution of this state. The trial judge followed and obeyed the law as set out by the precedent of the Supreme Court of Florida and by the general laws adopted by the Legislature. The trial judge made this most difficult decision after fully considering the evidence and applying a heightened standard of proof that is designed to protect society's interest in sustaining life."
If you don't have any problems with this decision, then it seems to me you are just milking this woman's tragic case demonize democrats.
Anonymous: There is a lot to object to in this decision, but this will do:
But in the end, this case is not about the aspirations that loving parents have for their children. It is about Theresa Schiavo's right to make her own decision, independent of her parents and independent of her husband.
Terri, of course, has indicated no such decision, and especially no such "independent" decision. The only evidence ever offered that she would want to die in her current circumstances comes from her husband, who obviously has plenty of motivation to lie to get what he wants. Under normal circumstances, what jurist would accept the solo word of a person who stands to gain from the death of another for a course of action that would result in that death? This is just another example of the see-no-evil attitude that God knows how many judges have adopted in order to advance a so-called "right-to-die" agenda.
The only reason I wanted Terri Schiavo dead was because she was on the news EVERY SINGLE DAY! The media always shoves some unimportant person or idiotic celeb down our throats. The media should die next when a bomb destorys the Vactican.
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