Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Bush Posse to the Rescue?

As the Terri Schiavo case nears it's 11th day following the removal of her feeding tube, it's become quite clear that the courts want nothing of this case. Not the Florida court, the U.S. appeals court or the grand dame of 'em all, the U.S. Supreme Court. But has that stopped the social conservatives from pushing onward? Fat chance. This issue is way too juicy to just let go without further fight. What to do? Convince Florida Governor Jeb Bush to round up the posse, hop on the horses and gallup over to take custody of Ms. Schiavo. Have you seen the demonstrators outside the Panellas Park hospice appealing to his sense of courage and masculinity? One sign incredibly read "Gov. Bush, if you were a real man you'd go and get Terri." Apparently real men are law-breaking rebels. Forget the rule of law, I guess. Forget the 30-odd judges and 6 courts who ruled to keep the feeding tube out. Let's look at these judges for a second. Judge George Greer of the Florida Circuit Court, who's been overseeing this case for 8 years, is a Republican and a Southern Baptist (however, it should be noted, just last month Greer withdrew his membership at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater at the urging of Pastor William Rice who's been critical of his rulings in the Schiavo case). He's so conservative that his friends have been heard to say that Greer is the religious right. Then there's Judge William Pryor, President Bush's controversial "recess appointment" to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court which ruled against reinserting the feeding tube last week. Pryor, who could not get past the Democrats' filibustering in the Senate confirmation hearings last February, is famous for filing a Supreme Court brief comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia. Another right wing quack. And the U.S. Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Thomas and Scalia, isn't exactly a manufacturing plant for liberal thought either. My point? The social conservatives argue Ms. Schiavo's 14th amendment due process rights have been denied. This is absurd. Clearly, for eight years this poor woman's case has been dragged through court after court, multiple times, all with the same non-partisan verdict. And as illustrated above, even by some of the most right wing jurists in the nation. That's why it's so infuriating to watch the Jesus-juicers prodding Jeb Bush to take the law into his own hands, something the Bushie's have been known to do on occasion. These people apparently have no regard for the rule of law in our country, the foundation of our great nation and what separates us from the Third World. They would tearfully cheer the arrival of Lt. Colonel Bush and his Rough Riders as they strode into Panellas Park to rescue Ms. Schiavo, racing her back to the hospital to reinsert the feeding tube. They're so emotional and full of religious fervor that what the state, the courts, the husband, and what Terri Schiavo herself wants is of little matter. The question before us now is, will Gov. Bush respect the decisions of the courts he so forcefully thrust into this case, or will he pander to the fanatic base of the Republican Party. With the 2008 election right around the corner, looks like he has a tough decision to make. It should be noted that, according to CBS, CNN and other nationwide polls, roughtly 4/5 of Americans believe it was wrong for the U.S. Senate and President Bush to intervene in this case, and 2/3 believe removing the feeding tube was the right thing to do. The evangelicals polled just about equally. Politicians take note. Americans want you out of their lives, out of their marriages, and out of their bedrooms. Maybe this will help Jeb make up his mind. Andy

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