|March 19, 2005|
It's Not About Terri Schiavo
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
From The Laura Flanders Show (March 20th, 2005):
About that posturing in Congress on Palm Sunday, I've got just one thing to say: it's not about Terri Schiavo.
Accidentally in uttering the words "she's my life," in her conversation with the media Terri Schiavo's mother revealed what's at the very heart of this whole dismal story. None of this is about poor brain-destroyed Terri Schiavo. It's all about someone else's life, or various someone-elses.
Tom DeLay knows nothing about morality or ethics. He dragged congress back to Washington for a special session so he could put his fellow members through a loyalty test on Palm Sunday. According to Robert Novak (who, as we know, knows these folks) analysts at the RNC sent out a warning this week to the House of Representatives that the GOP's in danger of losing 25 seats in the 2006 election. The Schiavo case "is a great political issue" for Republicans, anonymous advisors told party senators in an unsigned memo this weekend. It isn't about Terri Schiavo's life; it's about the life of this GOP-ruled congress.
It isn't about Terri Schiavo, it's about tossing a bone to poor Christian voters who voted Republican this November but haven't gotten a thing for those votes so far, except a slap around the face with another brass knuckle budget and tougher treatment for poor folks who go bankrupt. It's about performing compassion when this congress is really only-and-all about profits. And it's about obscuring the corruption and fraud on which Delay's power is built, and hoping poor voters will forget that once they've cast their votes, the GOP doesn't care about them anymore. Their first order of business is well, business.
It isn't about what DeLay calls "a culture life." When he was governor of Texas, George Bush signed into effect a law that grants hospitals the right to cut off life support in cases that are even more controversial than Schiavo's. Under Texas law, hospitals can cease to feed a patient whose prognosis is so poor that further care would be futile if that patient has no way to pay his or her medical expenses. A baby was pulled of life support under that legislation this past week, against his mother's wishes. It was okay with the National Right to Life committee in 1999 and it was okay with Governor George W. Bush. What changed? Only political expediency.
What do you think this is really about? Terri Schiavo? I don't think so. I think it's about distracting from lawlessness and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's about changing the subject from a cruel and killing budget, and just possibly, about obscuring the news that according to a new National Defense Strategy, the Pentagon has made "first strike" attacks like those used in Iraq a permanent piece of the nation's military policy.
Talk about a culture of life. If the Bush crew really believed human life was sacred, they would never have okayed the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives because of the off-chance that the future might bring another terror attack, somewhere, sometime, that might kill Americans. Forget the WMD threat which did not exist. Bush made the argument again this past week that it's better to fight terrorism abroad (and kill innocent people there now,) than tolerate the possibility that more US lives might be lost here at some unspecified time in the future.
Bush's criminal congress isn't about a culture of life any more than Bush's unilateral war against world majority opinion was about democracy or global security.
Besides, when was the last time you think that any one of Bush's criminal congress took a moment to imagine what it would actually be like to be Terri Schiavo? We can all understand where Schiavo's mother is coming from, but it's not actually her mother's suffering that's at stake here, or Tom Delay's or the Congress's. It's Schiavo's, and I'd say it was a long time since the people in this picture actually put themselves in Schiavo's shoes because as far as I can see, this nation's out of the habit of practicing empathy.
Plastic pathos, sure, and for-profit compassion, there's plenty -- but, actual honest-to-your-god empathy? You tell me. I think "do unto others as you'd have others do unto you" is on life support in George W. Bush's America. Don't believe me? Ask the Afghans. Ask the Iraqis. And maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but if you could, I'd say you could ask Terri Schiavo.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
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