Sunday, March 20, 2005

You spend your money, we'll take care of your wife

I don't know enough about the Terry Schiavo case to know what the right answer is. But I do know I'm outraged that so many Republicans are trying to interfere in a private family matter that has been adjudicated in state courts for several years in order to mollify the social conservative base for whom they can't deliver on big issues like a constituational amendment to ban gay marriage or outlawing abortion.

As I read an article about the case for the first time ever in the LA Times this morning, I felt so bad for her husband. Unless I really am wrong and he's a nut, it seems like he's living in this insane world where he's trying to make a wrenching personal decision that people make all the time but he now has the entire U.S. right wing lining up against him. For people from around the country who never knew his wife to be protesting and passing laws condemning his choice for his vegetative wife is just sickening. And Tom Delay, one of the most vile people in Congress, managed to make me even more ill than he usually does with this winner of a quote: "I don't have a whole lot of respect for a man that has treated this woman in this way. What kind of man is he?"

I love that Republicans so passionately believe that people can spend their own money better than the government, but they think the government can make decisions about whether a woman should be allowed to remain in a vegetative state for over a decade better than her own husband. Thank God this law Congress seems likely to pass specifically doesn't set a precedent, since it so clearly seems part of the right wing agenda -- one that Rick Santorum at least has the balls to admit he has -- to eliminate citizens' right to make private decisions about the most important, personal decisions.

Update (3/21):
-Shocking news: A GOP memo shows party insiders see Schiavo as a "great political issue"
-In much better news, more than 2/3 of Americans think it's inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case. As Kevin Drum points out in this Washington Monthly post, "even evangelical Christians don't support congressional intervention." Kevin forgets, though, that Schiavo's parents are definitely in the GOP camp now and they undoubtedly will tell all their friends to vote Republican. And Florida is a swing state...

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