Let me see if I get this right. The House and Senate are going to convene a special session of Congress to pass legislation to put the Terri Schiavo case into the hands of the federal courts. Whatever happened to the Republican mantra of states rights and strict interpretation of the Constitution? Tom DeLay, who is on the verge of major legal problems of his own that could result in him going to jail, said, "We think we have found a solution." From the other side of the Capital, Bill Frist is "pleased to announce that the House and Senate Republican leadership have reached an agreement on a legislative solution..." Even our president is getting into the fray. George Bush is going to cut short his Easter vacation to sign the bill if it gets to his desk because he favors "presumption of life." Earlier in the week, some of these grandstanders were going to subpoena Terri and her husband to come to Washington to testify! Am I the only one that doesn't get this?
To my knowledge, no court authorized medical analysis of Terri Schiavo's condition has ever indicated that she has any hope of coming out of her vegetative state. All evidence presented by outside medical sources have concluded that tragically, Ms. Schiavo's brain is dead. Why is it now that the entire nation has divided into two camps-one siding with her family and the other siding with her husband? It is a tragic situation into which Congress is rushing. For fifteen years, she has been deemed by the medical profession to be completely brain dead. Now, millions are up in arms over this cause du jour. I just don't get this grandstanding in a grand manner. Well, that is not true. Actually, I do get it.
The religious right is using Terri as their poster-child for their own political agenda. Listen to their threats about this being the payback time for the politicians that they helped get elected. Am I the only one offended by this grandstanding and misuse of this tragic situation for political gain?
Speaking of grandstanding politicians, Tom DeLay, who is about to face the most life-threatening months of his political career, should be spending more time working on his defense of probable indictments than his "Operation Distraction". Of course, he might figure that his support of the religious right on the Schiavo issue will help him if and when Congress votes his removal from his leadership position or from Congress itself.
I am reminded how Roman emperors used gladiatorial competitions in the Coliseum to distract the public attention away from the more critical issues of Roman life. Have you heard anything in the news last week about Iraq as the Schiavo case came to a boil?
President Bush promises to rush back from his Easter break to sign "Terri's Legislation". Did Congress or the President more this quickly when the question arose about American soldiers dying due to lack of armor on vehicles in Iraq?
Where were all those who are clamoring for Congress and the President to act to keep a brain dead person alive when it comes to federal funding of stem cell research? Politicians on the right and the religious right are engaged to keep alive a person who is brain dead while there isn't any clamor at all to help those already suffering or will suffer in the future from diseases that might benefit from stem cell research. The comparison is stunning. We are falling all over ourselves to reinsert a feeding tube into a brain dead person while we ignore calls for stem cell research.
America is in need of leadership and less grandstanders. It will be interesting to watch how the Democrats respond to this issue.