I am asked — by readers — whether I think the Bushes have done enough. The answer is no. I am further asked whether Governor Jeb should go for the (Bill)
Bennett option: Do what it takes to feed Mrs. Schiavo, risk impeachment and jail. Yes. There is more to being an American — and more to being a leader — than following the edicts of judges.
Hear, hear! And another:
To continue to ramble: We are told that, no matter what, this debate is "agonizing," "anguishing," etc. No, it isn't. I do not believe that the Schiavo matter is a close call. There are hard cases in this country, and the world, and this isn't one of them. If Terri Schiavo must be starved to death — dehydrated, whatever — then patients in other circumstances have no chance whatever.
Mrs. Schiavo has parents willing to feed her and watch over her. No one else need lift a finger. Terri Schiavo's continued existence is no skin off anyone else's nose. No one need bestir himself; no one has to visit; everyone can just go on doin' his thing: drinkin', buyin' Lotto tickets, chasing the neighbor's daughter — whatever. People can go on studying Shakespeare or exploring Patagonia. Terri's parents ask for nothing except that their daughter not be starved to death.
Not all of his correspondents agree with him (he's receiving the usual amount of hate mail that supporters of Terri have been getting), but here's a very interesting comment he received from an emailer:
With the deluge of mail you get, I doubt you'll read this, but I'll feel better for saying it. This case has been eating away at my heart. For the first time, even after eight years of Bill Clinton, I want to say I'm ashamed to be an American. . . . Even people in my own party seem more inclined to gripe about state sovereignty.
As I said earlier, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if something bad happened to this country because of the way its agencies have handled the Schiavo case, and I predict it's going to become harder and harder to get Americans like the gentleman above to really believe that it's a country worth fighting for.
I like reading Nordlinger, not just because of his music reviews (which are excellent), but because of columns like this, which really hit at the core of this issue. And I much prefer his column to today's by Jonah Goldberg, entitled "Conservatism isn't dying with Terri Schiavo":
Whatever you think of the legislative branch's involvement, it's doubtful the issue will be a political albatross for the GOP any more than, say, the Elian Gonzales scandal permanently tarnished the Democrats. Indeed, recall that the Clinton impeachment drive was far more deleterious for the GOP's standing in the polls over a far longer period of time, and if that effort did permanent damage to the Republican party, it's hard to find today. The federal government is run by Republicans for as far as the eye can see.Now in fairness to Goldberg, he's been pretty good on this issue. But as I wrote yesterday, I'm really getting tired of people allowing labels to dictate their thinking. He may be right that the federal government is run by Republicans, but to that I say "so what?" This just adds fuel to the fire of those who say that Republicans and Democrats are just flip sides of the same coin. If you think this country is going to hell in a handbasket, you probably also don't see that the Republican majority is doing anything to prevent it.
To recap, you can be morally consistant in your thinking without restricting yourself to an ideological tagline. If "conservatives" can't figure this out - and here I'm talking about the conservatives who are putting economics or federalism or whatever excuse they want ahead of saving this woman's life, who seem to think the judicial tyranny is sacrosanct enough that they shy away from engaging in hand-to-hand combat over it - then perhaps, to coin the phrase by Emmett Tyrrell, it's time that there is a conservative crack-up.