|March 28, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Terri Schiavo Was Just An Innocent Bystander To A Political, Elmer Gantry Circus Of GOP Political Opportunists And Religious Hucksters
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Terri Schiavo deserves our sympathy and our Godspeed.
She was just an innocent bystander to a political, Elmer Gantry circus of GOP political opportunists and religious hucksters.
The origins of the travesty and moral crime of exploitation was a family feud of sorts. It was about a wrenching decision made thousands of times a year by Americans about loved ones who are in vegetative states or terminal conditions.
But with the help of the infamous Randall Terry and the GOP hypocrisy machine, a case long ago settled by the courts was hijacked to advance Republican fortunes and fill the pocket books of celebrity fundamentalist preachers.
Terri Schiavo, like anyone in her situation, deserves our sympathy and our empathy. She didn't ask for a three ring circus, but the Bush brothers and Tom "the Exterminator DeLay" could care less about her dignity or her life. She's only of use to them if her parents' campaign can help them further consolidate power -- or, in the case of DeLay, cling onto it amidst a rash of ethical and legal problems.
We are always a bit baffled when the mainstream media and centrist Democrats "concede" that the Republicans have some sort of monopoly on the "values issue." The only value that the GOP leadership seems to consistently embrace is hypocrisy. Virtually, everything else is brazen showboating by hardened sinners and liars, immoral opportunists and slick river boat gamblers playing the role of saintly pious men.
Take Tom DeLay as the Los Angeles Times did this week -- and as BuzzFlash has over the past five years. DeLay decried judges and anyone who would remove a feeding tube from Terri Schiavo as barbaric (even though it is done in such cases thousands of times a year). And that was just the beginning of his self-righteous fire and brimstone invective.
But it turns out that Tom "Hypocrisy Central" DeLay approved of removing life support from his father some years back. And, as for DeLay casting judgment on Michael Schiavo (who sat at his wife's bedside for years), Tom hasn't, according to the Washington Post, talked to his mother or siblings for years. He didn't even invite his mother to his daughter's wedding. If there is anyone who DOESN'T practice family values, it's Tom DeLay.
And then you have the Bush brothers. George W. Bush, who couldn't be bothered to interrupt his 2001 Crawford Ranch photo-op vacation to try and prevent 9/11 after receiving red alert warnings, flew back from Crawford to sign an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers law that would move the Schiavo case to the Federal Courts. The rather glaring hypocrisy here was that George W. Bush had signed a radically different kind of law while Governor of Texas, one that not only declared the spouse the person to decide (along with the doctor) if life support should be removed; he also allowed an option for doctors to remove life support from patients whose families did not have the means to pay for their care! Now, that's some hypocrisy!
And of course, Bush loved it when he set the record for executing people in Texas, killing more than 100,000 Iraqis, avoiding funerals of the 1500 plus GIs killed in Iraq, reducing health services to Veterans, and cutting Medicaid, among other deathly actions. But save one clinically brain dead woman and Bush is a hero to the people who are only for life for "saved" white Christians and unborn fetuses. Everyone else can pretty much rot in Hell. Heck, an infant was allowed to die in a Texas hospital under Bush's Lone Star State law -- against his mother's wishes -- while the Schiavo case was gaining full steam among the Republicans. Pook kid, if God wanted to save him, he would have been born a White Christian!
As for Jeb, his not so discreet angling for the 2008 presidential nomination led him to send law enforcement officials to seize Terry Schiavo, according to the Miami Herald. Fortunately for the rule of law, the local police turned Jeb's troops away since they were violating a judge's court order. The next day Jeb denied the whole thing, even though the Miami Herald claimed three sources. Oh, and why is Jeb so interested in keeping a woman in a 15-year vegetative state from being at peace with her maker when he has decimated his state's Medicaid budget that helps keep kids and seniors alive and run a scandal-ridden department of children and family services? It's the Bush hypocrisy stupid.
Of course, heart surgeon Dr. Bill Frist once fessed up to rounding up stray cats during his medical school days, euthanizing them, and then practicing dissection on them. That was just the beginning of strange medical practices for Dr. Frist. He was able to diagnose, he claims, Terry Schiavo's condition from a videotape, even though the doctor appointed by Jeb Bush and all her attending doctors disagree with his rosy prognosis. It wouldn't be that Dr. Frist was looking to tie up the support of the loony wing of the religious right as he seeks the presidency in 2008, would it? Guess, if he wins, we won't have cats running loose around the White House.
And of course, unknown to most of the public, the Schiavo parents were being assisted by an army of PR luminaries from the so-called pro-life fanatics, including the infamous Randall Terry. A group of friars from Minnesota became one of the main visual images of the Schiavo parents' "religiosity." But, strangely enough, one of the friars admitted that they "pulled the plug" on the founder of their small group when he became seriously ill. Brother John Kaspari told the Tampa Bay Tribune, "He would have required intubation to keep him alive," Kaspari said. "We chose not to go that route. His lungs were full of fluid."
Are any of these religious right fanatics NOT hypocrites? Are they clinically delusional? Are they dangerous?
Perhaps, all of the above.
Judge Greer, who allowed the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, has received death threats and is under armed guard, even though he is a loyal Republican and observant Baptist. "Kill for Life," we guess. Just like the anti-choice terrorists who claim they are preserving the sanctity of life by killing doctors who perform abortions.
In a farcical side note on "the shooters for life" contingent of the GOP, one man was arrested after trying to hold up a gun store with a box cutter. He wanted a gun to shoot his way into "rescuing" Terri Schiavo. The gun store owner, with plenty of guns to spare, pointed a handgun at "Terri's savior" and told the guy to lie down like a good puppy.
We are a nation gone mad, aren't we?
After all, the man who pulled the plug on democracy in 2000, Antonin Scalia, is running around the country campaigning to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Even many Democrats praise his alleged "brilliance."
But we aren't impressed. First of all, he stole the presidency for George W. Bush. That's the work of a thug, not a genius.
Second of all, he thinks America lives under divine law. If so, he should be a Priest or legal counsel at his beloved Opus Dei, not a Supreme Court Chief Justice. This country is a democracy not a church.
Finally, he recently told a synagogue audience that Jews would be safer under a Christian nation. Uh, Antonin, didn't Hitler build up the Nazi era in Germany in the name of Christ? Just a lesson to you, Nino, the Jews didn't fare too well in that Christian nation. God, the guy ought to read a history book, instead of "Rapture."
And people think this guy is bright.
He's just another muscle guy for the GOP.
Terry Schiavo, you deserved better.
But when you have a nation run by a party whose ONLY real value is hypocrisy in pursuit of the maintenance of power, that's the Barnum and Bailey environment you get.
No one blames you for a thing. We just wish you final peace.
It's the rest of us who are daily at risk from this freak sideshow run amuck, with the carnival barkers operating out of the White House.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL