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Michael Schiavo’s Evolution into a Republican Kos Kid: Harbinger for Libertarians?
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, June 12, 2006

GUEST POST by Mona

They [the “Save Terri!” movement] asserted that Schiavo's coma may have been caused by abuse from her husband, Michael. With their cries of "medical terrorism" and their comparisons to Nazi Germany, these so-called champions of life created an atmosphere in which some of their supporters made death threats not only to Michael Schiavo but to judges and legislators who had been on the "wrong" side of the dispute.

Cathy Young
Reason

We libertarians are frequently caricatured as “Republicans who just want to smoke dope and have orgiastic sex.” Actually, we hold fealty to many serious general principles, including: the rule of law, basic human rights, federalism, and, yes, the individual adult’s liberty interest in making all manner of personal decisions sans interference from the state; we are also usually skeptical of moralistic social crusades. Many of us, historically, have concluded that our principles and attitudes are best, if imperfectly, upheld by the GOP. Political conditions, however, have changed, and today’s GOP violates libertarian values with promiscuous abandon (but this post focuses on only one of myriad examples of such abandonment). Most intriguingly, we are receiving what could be taken as an invitation from soi disant “libertarian Democrat” Markos Moulitsas that has excited some discussion in our ranks.

Well, I am one libertarian who is cautiously receptive to the Donkey Team’s lure. The canary in the GOP coal mine for me was Michael Schiavo and the (predominantly) GOP grotesqueries imposed on him, his family and his friends during the jihad to “save” his former wife, Terri Schiavo. Not surprisingly, life-long Republican Michael himself seems to agree that the contemporary GOP has become malignant, and he has been both posting a diary at Daily Kos , and last week attended the YearlyKos Convention. What libertarian could blame him? (And please don’t suggest that he could make recourse to the Libertarian Party; Michael is obviously interested in a political force potent enough to evict the current, populist GOP extremists from some branches of the federal government, as am I.)

Let us recall how the Bush/Frist GOP utterly savaged Michael, gleefully joined by its handmaidens at Fox news, the latter of which virtually drove the hysteria , with no little bit of assistance from some pro-Bush blogs. Armed with absurd conspiracy theories, pure lies and faux experts, as well as outrageous and repugnant accusations (“Sean Hannity accused Schiavo of abusing and possibly killing his wife while broadcasting Hannity & Colmes from outside Terri Schiavo's Hospice”), the GOP and its media minions turned a family tragedy that was being competently and properly adjudicated in the Florida Courts by a Republican probate judge, into a fevered national circus.

Most of the Bush-worshipping denizens of the leading conservative journal, National Review, were on board with "saving Terri." But there was one dissenter in the NR stable, and that is John Derbyshire, whose acid review of NR senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru’s execrable book, Party of Death, is as scathing as it is accurate. (Do read the whole thing, and note it was not published at NR.) (h/t David Weigel at Hit ‘n Run) Writes Derb:

... the grotesque carnival surrounding the death of Terri Schiavo last year, when a motley menagerie of quack doctors, bogus “Nobel Prize nominees,” emoting relatives, get-a-life monomaniacs, keening mobs of religious fanatics, death-threat-hissing warriors for “life,” dimwitted TV presenters straining to keep their very best my-puppy-just-died faces on while speaking of “Terri” as if they had known her personally from grade school, pandering politicians, and shyster lawyers all joined forces in a massive effort to convince the American public that [Right to Life] was a thing no sane citizen ought to touch with a barge pole while wearing triple-ply rubber gloves.

Does Ponnuru denounce his co-ideologues’ deranged atmosphere that generated hatred and death threats against Michael Schiavo? Derb again (emphasis in original):

In fact, Ponnuru has nothing to say at all about the monstrous character assassination, carried out by utterly unscrupulous RTL propagandists, of a decent man [Michael Schiavo] who coped humanely and well with a terrible life calamity. Well, not quite nothing: “It cannot be denied that pro-lifers were guilty of some excesses,” Ponnuru murmurs. Some excesses? I would say. Here the author sounds like nothing so much as a Soviet Communist Party apparatchik, circa 1960, offering a grudging admission that Stalin and his cronies might, just once or twice, have been a tad over-zealous in dealing with class enemies…I came away more convinced than ever that Michael Schiavo is a good man criminally traduced by brutal, unprincipled RTL fanatics, from whose number, on the evidence of this chapter, Ponnuru cannot with certainty be excluded.

About the medical charlatanry peddled by the GOP regarding Terri Schiavo’s status, another life-long Republican — physician Elizabeth Whelan, president and founder of the American Council on Science and Health — had this to say at TCS:

While the family video [of Terri] repeatedly shown on television suggests otherwise, her non-functioning cortex precludes cognition, including any ability to interact or communicate with people or show any signs of awareness. Dozens of experts over the years who have examined Ms. Schiavo agree that there is no hope of her recovering — even though her body, face and eyes (if she is given food and hydration) might continue to move for decades to come.

Those are the harsh facts.

Thus it was shocking that Sen. Bill Frist — a heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader — went to the Senate floor twice last week to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying that Terri is in a "persistent vegetative state." How did Frist arrive at this diagnosis? From watching the family videotapes.

Frist's comments were picked up by journalists, including FoxNews's Fred Barnes, who cited Sen. Frist as an authority in a debate with Morton Kondracke on The Beltway Boys last week.

The GOP-led federal madness that ensued in the wake of Frist and Fox’s reprehensible antics is well-described by Reason’s Ron Bailey:

After making their video diagnoses, our legislators got busy. After all, a leaked memo from a Republican staffer had also diagnosed Schiavo's plight as "a great political issue" that would help the GOP rally conservative Christians for the 2006 election. In March, three Senators during an extraordinary Palm Sunday session passed "emergency" legislation to throw the Schiavo case into the federal courts by a "unanimous" vote. The members of the House of Representatives rushed back from their Easter holiday to vote 203 to 58 for the bill. Those voting in favor included 156 Republicans and 47 Democrats. And President George W. Bush melodramatically flew back from his Texas ranch to sign the legislation. All for naught, because the federal courts all quickly ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo.

And, just as life-long Republican Dr. Whelan deplored the medical codswallop of the Bush/Frist GOP spewed forth during l’affaire Schiavo, arch-conservative, pro-life, Republican Constitutional Law scholar Douglas Kmiec rejected the GOP’s attack on both the rule of law and federalism as “a constitiutional abomination”:

... Kmiec, a law professor at Pepperdine University and prominent conservative, called it a "constitutional abomination," because, he said, Congress had overstepped its authority.

The Constitution grants to Congress only certain powers, leaving the rest to the states. Kmiec said nothing in the Constitution gave Congress the power to pass the law, which, he said, sets a troubling precedent that Congress can simply order a federal judge to direct a person's fate.

"What Congress has said is, 'We can take that away from you. We can make the decision not yours, but that of a federal judge,'" Kmiec said. "That is a profound thing to say, and not just for the Schiavo case."

Michael certainly will find no GOP restraint from the "federalist lawyers" at Powerline, which declared:

Disgusting... That's the only word to describe the conduct of Michael Schiavo and his crusade to end the life of his wife Terri.

Nor would he encounter anything but shrill, hyperbolic contempt from pro-Bush blogger LaShawn Barber, who, in a post titled Death Culturists Say Michael Schiavo ‘Vindicated’ wrote:

Look at the thing itself, to paraphrase a fictional man-eater paraphrasing Marcus Aurelius. What is it in itself? What is its nature, this culture of death?

It is dark, dank, and putrid. And hungry....

And in another post, instead of denouncing death threats directed at Michael, and the climate that produced them, Barber more than hinted that he deserved them and excuses the “emotions” that drive some to such lawless and vicious behavior:

A man has been arrested for making threats against Michael Schiavo via the Internet. In that case, he shouldn’t be the only one. How many people have said or written such things about Schiavo in the past week out of emotion? Should they all be arrested?”

(In fairness, it must be noted that a comparative handful of pro-Bush bloggers were disgusted by the Schiavo mania and the slander of Michael Schiavo, as reflected by these collected quotes and links at The Politburo Diktat. And, pro-Bush blogger Jeff Goldstein, with whom I disagree about a great deal, wrote: “…an autopsy could very well prove that Michael Schiavo abused his wife—or, more likely, such a procedure will clear Michael Schiavo of some of the more pernicious pieces of conjecture I’ve heard floated during the ongoing coverage of this case.” )

But, it was it was a left-of-center blogger, Matt Stoller, who interviewed the Republican Michael Schiavo at Stoller’s MyDD blog, and from that interview I leave newly minted Kos Kid, Michael Schiavo, with both a challenge to Republicans (which might also apply to libertarians), and the last word:

Interfering with families' rights to make private, personal decisions shouldn't be any politician's platform.

There are many good Republicans - where I work, in my family and all over the place. And many of them were sickened by what they saw their party doing to the rights of individuals and families. But the people leading the Republican party in Washington D.C. and in Florida today aren't like the Republicans I know.

The leaders of that Republican party are, in my opinion, out of touch, mean spirited and very selfish. To do what they did just so they can win re-election is the lowest kind of politics. And it cost them the support of at least this Republican.

I have gotten hundreds of letters and emails from other Republicans who agree with me and many of them have joined me in leaving the party.

My message to moderate Republicans is: Pay attention. Learn what these people are doing in your name and with your votes.

 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Blah, blah, blah.

I expected nothing better from you, Mr. Henke.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Nothing says "completely out of touch with the American electorate" like a full-length blog screed that boils down to:

You stupid Amercan sheeple were tricked by Fox and the GOP into thinking that Terri Schiavo was an innocent human being who had a right to live! We Democrats are here to tell you that it was a GOOD thing that she was judicially slaughtered allowed to euphorically pass away by order of a judge so that her adulterous grieving husband could collect a boatload of insurance money find closure! Vote for us, not those mean-spirited and selfish Republicans!

Please, I beg you, repeat your message loudly and often. I want every American to hear what you espouse, and what party you’re rooting for.
 
Written By: Shad
URL: http://
I expected nothing better from you, Mr. Henke.
I wrote that as a guest post, hosted by Jon.

Do you have a substantive response?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Well, I am one libertarian who is cautiously receptive to the Donkey Team’s lure
I challenge that assertion. Based on some of your verbiags, you drank the Donk kool-aid long ago and now are better painted as a donk who is cautiously receptive to the libertarian allure:
handmaidens at Fox news
the GOP and its media minions
Most of the Bush-worshipping denizens of the leading conservative journal, National Review
co-ideologues’ deranged atmosphere
"federalist lawyers"
but shrill, hyperbolic contempt from pro-Bush blogger
This sounds like a Reid or Pelosi press-release, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t take the idea of a Demolibertarian alliance seriouly (I’m not a libertarian either and I couldn’t care less even if it did happen. 2 impotent forces joining together doesn’t equal a formula for success It won’t be happiness like a chocolate/peanut butter mixing that’s for sure)

If you could seriously consider anything a character like Kos says, you were half in the bag to begin with.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shad seems to think the GOP’s Schiavo mania was popular:
Please, I beg you, repeat your message loudly and often. I want every American to hear what you espouse, and what party you’re rooting for.
Yeah, that’s why the GOP has been running from the monstrous thing they did like vampires confronting the proverbial crucifix. It would be because of stats like this:

One year later, Americans’ views of the Terri Schiavo case are unchanged — more than six in 10 still say removing her feeding tube was the right thing to do.
Nope, the Elephants know they messed up.

From AP:
Nearly a year after calling for federal involvement to keep a brain-damaged woman artificially alive against her husband’s wishes, Republican U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez has said it was a mistake to become involved.

Martinez has said it was a mistake to become involved.

Martinez, who has just completed his first year in office, led the Senate charge pushing a bill that would have given federal courts jurisdiction to reinstate Terri Schiavo’s feeding tubes.

"If I had to take one lesson away, it’s perhaps decisions of this nature really belong in state courts, not federal courts," Martinez said in a taped interview for "Political Connections" that aired Sunday on Bay News 9.

"Perhaps this was not in the realm of federal concern. It may have been better left to state courts to deal with it," Martinez said.
More AP :
Frist says Schiavo case taught him a lesson
Senate majority leader: Americans don’t want gov’t involved in such choices
But their anti-federalist, crusading impulses remain.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
shark writes:
I’m not a libertarian either
Well I am, and I’m not speaking to you; I’m addressing libertarians.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Everytime I read about this case I become even more pleased that I was out of the country and missed the whole thing.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
Well I am, and I’m not speaking to you
So? The post was just as much about Republicans as it was libertarians, so I don’t suppose I was excluded from commenting....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"In March, three Senators during an extraordinary Palm Sunday session passed "emergency" legislation to throw the Schiavo case into the federal courts by a "unanimous" vote. The members of the House of Representatives rushed back from their Easter holiday to vote 203 to 58 for the bill. Those voting in favor included 156 Republicans and 47 Democrats."

Here’s the thing — this strikes me as a "Republican" issue only in hindsight. I don’t know who was present for the Senate vote (though it strikes me as odd that three Senators (hardly a quorum) could pass a bill on their own), but doing some quick mental math, the Dems appear to have broken roughly 45-55 on the issue. While Republicans were in charge, there were plenty of Democrats on board — enough so that I’m not entirely certain how differently it would have been handled had the Dems been in charge.

And quite frankly, I’ve never understood the huge affront to federalism here, though I confess that I am again working solely from memory. My understanding was that the Congress basically removed the case to federal court for review of whether any federal right was being infringed upon (after which, of course, the court quickly decided none was). While this might be a bad precedent to create for a single case, it doesn’t strike me as an assault at the heart of our federal system to determine that the scope of federal rights shall be decided by federal courts. Again if I’m wrong I apologize, but this is how I recall things.

But to look at the larger point: the basic way I look at my political allegiance is this — If I were voting with matters arranged as they were in 1905 rather than 2005, my allegiances might be different (I realize the parties had completely different issues that divided them in 1905, but bear with me and assume a similar personal/economic conservative/liberal breakdown as we have today). At that time economic liberty were well ensconsced, while personal liberties were very much still controlled by the state. Given that, I probably could have sacrificed some degree of economic liberty in order to achieve a greater degree of "personal" autonomy from the state.

Now, though, I find myself believing we are in very much a different position. Although there may be some barbarians at the gates, I find that much of our civil liberties jurisprudence has gone so far to the Left that it actually is further Left than I consider myself. Eg, we’re no longer arguing (much) about whether a state-authored prayer read over the loudspeaker at the beginning of every school day violates the establishment clause, but rather whether the inclusion of "under god" in the pledge is also a violation. The list goes on, but I find it much more likely that the heel of the jackboot will come to my door as a result of confiscatory policies of the Democrats than of some theocratic regime set up by Republicans.*

Like I said, these things change over time, and 10 years from now my personal realpolitik voting may reverse itself. But right now it strikes me that Republicans simply have a lot more to undo than do Democrats to achieve the party goals that I find most odious.

*It is true that Rs aren’t exactly fiscal tightwads, but let’s also remember that Dems aren’t paragons of respect for personal autonomy: one (1) senator voted against the Patriot Act and the opposition to the Schiavo bill wasn’t exactly overwhelming. I’m talking in generalizations and stereotypes; if we’re going to talk in reality my position is basically that there isn’t really a whole lot of difference between the parties these days.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
For the record I ended up siding with Michael Schiavo on this for very personal reasons. You don’t make these sorts of decisions lightly and I was satisfied he hadn’t. The autopsy supported his decision.

The right turned something which was very personal and very difficult decision into a venemous political circus.

I, along with many, found it to be disturbing. It was not their finest day.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Well, I am one libertarian who is cautiously receptive to the Donkey Team’s lure."
Well, "Mona", I have been reading your stuff for some time now. I have an opinion on this article which I will express obliquely so as to kill two birds with one stone.
Most of your stuff brings to mind the literary character who is a nineteen year old, highly intelligent female virgin who has read widely about matters erotic, but has no real clue. I am guessing that you have seen the major bucks being scarfed by Anne Coulter and you see a future for yourself as the "Libertarian turned Democrat By the Sheer Force of Democrat Party Beliefs and Positions". Unfortunately, the Democrats are not supporting your efforts by having very many coherent positions and programs to inspire such a conversion, but that is another point altogether.
Oh, you include many "Yeah, I’ve done it many times" type references to how you are a libertarian. You really need to burst forth at length in print at least once (so that you can refute doubters like me with a link) about a libertarian belief that you hold (not "used to hold") that is inconsistent with an important position of the Democrats.
Hint: An article such as this one needs to make some mention of the statements and actions of the Very Reverend Jesse Jackson and other prominent Democrats in this matter. But then, that would make it pretty non-partisan and what you really mean to do is...well, you see my point.
Jon Henke is a good role model in that regard. He can whip out a libertarian post, supported by a link, in a NYT minute. Quite a few, actually.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
notherbob2 writes:
An article such as this one needs to make some mention of the statements and actions of the Very Reverend Jesse Jackson and other prominent Democrats in this matter. But then, that would make it pretty non-partisan and what you really mean to do is...well, you see my point.
I put in a parenthetical "predominantly" in my asssignment of blame to the GOP. For I am aware that Rev. Jackson joined the frenzy, along with a handful of others on the left. But there is absolutely no doubt that this assault on federalism, the Florida judiciary, and the rule of law was overwhelmingly led by the GOP in the Congress and Executive branch, as well as by Gov. Jeb Bush, Randall Terry, GOP bloggers, Fox News and — as Derb identifies — the RTL movment in general.

I decline to substantively respond to your peculiar comparison of my writing to inexperienced 19-year-old virgins, except to say that it is creepy.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Would this paraphrasing help(observations about virgin 19 year olds all aside please)

"It would help if, prior to this, I hadn’t had the sensation based on your writings and postings that you were pretty much a capital D democrat".

Ditto for me - perhaps I haven’t read enough of your writing.
Perhaps the areas where you have posted, and/or I have commented have been areas where I drift by degrees much to the right of you.

In this case you can be observed deploying one of Jons previously mentioned ’well poisoning’ activities.
There were certainly some horrendus shinengans pulled during this case, certainly a great deal of medical opinion was wiped out by the continuous display of the videos that made her appear ’aware’ as much as would be possible. This was only natural for her parents to cling to hope I suppose.
And it was certainly Federal intrusion, led largely by Republicans at the national level.

As to the allegations she had been abused - yes, again horrendus, and probably
brought about because so many people didn’t like the idea he had moved on to some other woman while his wife’s ’shell’ was still not dead (I couldn’t really call it alive).

So, you see, you had enough ammo to dump on the right people, you didn’t need to scribble ’DIE DIE DIE REPUBLICAN PIGS’ all over it before you dropped it.

Personally I think they should have had the guts to actually administer drugs to cause the body to cease functioning instead of letting it starve to death.
(so humane, painless, etc)
They knew what the outcome from starvation must be, but were so cowardly they decided to pretend that starving someone (in this case, something) to death wasn’t the same as killing her(it). And I use those ’thing’ terms with the greatest reluctance, emotionally it’s hard for me to detach the ’personhood’ from the physical manifestation (her body), regardless of the reality of her vegitative state.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I wrote that as a guest post, hosted by Jon.

The fact that Mr. Henke is now providing Glenn Greenwald’s acolytes with blog space amply vindicates my decision to stop frequenting QandO.

Good God.
 
Written By: Brett
URL: http://
I’m not going to comment on this situation as a whole as I very cautiously side with those who believe this decision should not have been made by the federal government. Part of the reason for my cautiousness in taking that side is based on my belief that any government (city, county, state, government, world, galactic, etc.) should have nothing whatsoever to do with a decision of this nature. This is a decision that should absolutely be made by the immediate family. I could probably wade into this with both guns blazing since I certainly have a very strong opinion about this situation, but I refuse to be drawn into this since, again, I believe that this decision should have been made by the family and the family only. Not politicos, not pundits, not bloggers, not radio spin doctors, not physicians who have never seen the patient in person, not Ethel Merman, not the kid who throws the paper, etc.

The only real point that I wanted to address here is Jon’s (or Mona’s) passionate defense of Michael Schiavo as a wonderful, beautiful, loving, caring Republican man. You know, as some have pointed out here, Schiavo’s behaviour really isn’t too representative of most of the Republicans I know, unless you want to count Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris (sometime Republican), and Bob Livingston. Regardless of your opinion of Schiavo’s ultimate decision regarding his wife’s life, let’s not forget that after she fell into a coma, loving, upstanding, caring Republican Michael decided that he’d rather cohabitate with another woman, have children with her, essentially (though not legally) create a common law marriage with her (which makes him a bigamist), and leave Teri, technically (and legally) still his wife, to rot in a coma blissfully unaware of the fact that her loving, caring, devoted Republican husband was openly cheating on her and had, in fact essentially abandoned her to the care of her parents to move on and start a new life. But then, let us not forget that Jon (or Mona) considers him to be a wonderful, upstanding, beautiful, shining example to Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Christian Democrats, etc.’s everywhere.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
The Poet Omar writes:
Regardless of your opinion of Schiavo’s ultimate decision regarding his wife’s life, let’s not forget that after she fell into a coma, loving, upstanding, caring Republican Michael decided that he’d rather cohabitate with another woman, have children with her, essentially (though not legally) create a common law marriage with her (which makes him a bigamist), and leave Teri, technically (and legally) still his wife, to rot in a coma blissfully unaware of the fact that her loving, caring, devoted Republican husband was openly cheating on her and had, in fact essentially abandoned her to the care of her parents to move on and start a new life
And how many upstanding people, once a spouse had been in a permanent vegetative state for several years, and doctors said it was virtually impossible she would reawaken to Terrihood, would not seek companionship of a sexual nature? Terri’s parents themselves encouraged Michael to see other women (this is documented in several Guardain Ad Litem reports in my link to the FL courts’ adjudications). Michael wanted children; was he supposed to impregnate Terri’s shell? (I would consider that rape, and the law might as well, given that there is no "she" there to consent.)

Further, Micahel never abandoned Terri’s care. That, too, is documented in the GAL reports and other court records. You are simply mistaken, and buying into the vicious propaganda that was spread about the man, which is wholly inconsistent with the huge volume of court records.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Nobody told me about the orgiastic sex.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Mona: "We libertarians are frequently caricatured as "Republicans who just want to smoke dope and have [my emphasis] orgiastic sex"..

Do I detect a double standard in your response? I am reminded of the Harvard professor who “got the vapors”. In other words, I disbelieve your statement that you find the reference “creepy” and I believe that your comment to that effect is sexist.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Who the hell is ’Mona’? and why is she posting on my favorite blog using exaggerated characterizations and hyperbole like ’GOP jihad’? I come here to read reasoned posts, not partisan hackery.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
Question for Jon.

I’ve been reading this blog for a year or so. I don’t ever remember any guest bloggers. Why was Mona granted the space? I am just curious.
 
Written By: IR
URL: http://
Fyro accuses me of
hyperbole like ’GOP jihad’? I come here to read reasoned posts, not partisan hackery.
How odd, you are offended that I refer to a "GOP jihad" when, as I quoted, National Review author and contributor to NRO’s The Corner, John Derbyshire (who must be a "partisan hack"), writes:
the grotesque carnival surrounding the death of Terri Schiavo last year, when a motley menagerie of quack doctors, bogus "Nobel Prize nominees," emoting relatives, get-a-life monomaniacs, keening mobs of religious fanatics, death-threat-hissing warriors for "life...
And, talk about (justified) hyperbole — on the subject of Schiavo Derb compares the senior editor of National Review to a:
Soviet Communist Party apparatchik, circa 1960, offering a grudging admission that Stalin and his cronies might, just once or twice, have been a tad over-zealous in dealing with class enemies.
Very odd, your standards. Also odd how so few here are responding to the substance of my post, and instead are howling in outrage that it is a "full length blog screed," it reads like like a "Reid or Pelosi press-releas," and in sum is unfit for QandO. But little substantive response; just shrieks and denunciations. Most peculiar, indeed.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
"...little substantive response; just shrieks and denunciations."
A perfect description of Mona’s comments.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
A perfect description of Mona’s comments.
Nope, she’s right. A pretty pathetic bunch of responses, or perhaps "non-repsonses" is a better description, to the substance of her post.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ I thought you own comments at your linked post were excellent, and agree with this in all but one particular:
And I’m now even more committed to the ideas of neolibertarianism and the hope that through this burgeoning movement we can, in some manner, have an effect within the Republican Party to again return them to the path of smaller and less intrusive government. This isn’t about some "cult of death" or some "right to life" argument. This is about letting families have the liberty to decide for themselves how to handle something intensely personal we all have to face in our lives ... death. That of our loved ones as well as our own.
Based on overwhelming evidence in the last several years, I see little to no hope of influencing the GOP to not pull another Schiavo-type inanity on some other issue, or to deflect it from highly intrusive govt in various personal matters, or much prospect of returning that party to federalism — the abandonment of federalism (about which I have written more expansively elsewhere) is a huge sell-out for me.

They need to be spanked hard, and the only way I can see to do that is to negotiate the best libertarian deal we can get from the Dems. Then, if a few years of defeat (but not in all branches - I don’t want that) beat some small govt sense into the GOP, I’ll go back to them.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
"Nope."
McQue, that means to me that you are saying that my opinion of Mona’s COMMENTS [as opposed to her post] is not correct. It is possible that what you are saying is "I am not going to discuss her COMMENTS, only her original post, which has been received with rather brutal COMMENTS which are not responsive to the points she attempted to make." Or something like that.
"She’s right."
That could mean that her COMMENTS are right; or it could mean that her original post is right. Or both.
I responded to the content of her post. She elected to not "substantively respond". Why are you running interference for this cream puff?
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
McQue, that means to me that you are saying that my opinion of Mona’s COMMENTS [as opposed to her post] is not correct.
I think it is more than apparent what I said and what I meant, Bob ... parsing aside. And, with your last comment, it continues.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Personally I think they should have had the guts to actually administer drugs to cause the body to cease functioning instead of letting it starve to death.
(so humane, painless, etc)
Looker, in the majority of cases which go to hospice, the patient, for lack of a better phrase, starves to death. That’s because they normally quit eating, and that, as they explain in hospice, is a natural part of the dying process.

I watched my mother and more recently my grandmother do exactly that. All both wanted to do was sleep, and sleep they did, until both passed away.

At that point, what’s the alternative? Force feed them or make them as comfortable as humanly possible?

Schiavo wasn’t an exception at all. Like I said in my post, hundreds if not thousands a day face that reality in this country alone. It is how the process of dying works.

Are you saying euthanasia should be legal? And if so, who gets to make that decision?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Nope, she’s right. A pretty pathetic bunch of responses, or perhaps "non-repsonses" is a better description, to the substance of her post
Really? I felt her responses to the comments were a pretty pathetic job. Some of us are questioning a central point of her argument- that she’s a "libertarian" leaning towards the Donk side. In fact, as noted, it sounds like a classic donk hit piece.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Some of us are questioning a central point of her argument- that she’s a "libertarian" leaning towards the Donk side. In fact, as noted, it sounds like a classic donk hit piece.
No such inquiries are responsive to my post. But if it matters, I am a life-long libertarian who has either taken Reason magazine since approximately 1980, or gone on the cheap and read their stuff late at their web site. (I am a known libertarian commenter at their Hit ’n Run blog since about ’02.) F.A. Hayek is my political hero. I voted twice for Reagan, but became disillusioned when he heavily ramped up the war on (some) drugs, and failed to abolish the Dept. of Education.

In the 90s, altho I joined the Republican Liberty Caucus, I didn’t vote and focused on issues advocacy, primarily drug policy reform. I did not vote again until ’04, for George W. Bush. A vote I deeply regret.

Now that my ideological CV is laid out, do you at long last have any substantive response to my post?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona:

Personally, I have a hard time taking any issue with your castigation of the Republicans for their (rather obviously) obsequious and self-serving political behavior during the whole Schiavo affair. It was disgusting to the core and pompous in a way that is rarely rivaled, even by career politicians.

That being said, however, labeling it an assault on federalism is a bit much. There was nothing extra-constitutional about the legislative maneuvering after all. And more importantly, isn’t the protection of life a "libertarian" pursuit? I certainly believe so. Regardless of how much I disagree with the manner in which the Rep’s carried out their little crusade, and even though I tend to agree with those who consider this sort of tragedy as best being handled by the family, there was a legal dispute amongst the family that required the court to intervene. Stepping in on the side of protecting life strikes me as noble (albeit as a mask for alterior motives in this case).

What I don’t understand in the least is your fascination with the Kos crowd. If you are truly interested in "libertarianism": shouldn’t the individual trump the state?; shouldn’t property rights by more important than rights created by the state?; shouldn’t freedom of choice be promoted over freedom from want?; shouldn’t freedom from intereference by outside actors be more important than "freedom" to pursue particular desires at the expense of others? Such thoughts do not get a fair ... indeed, any ... sort of hearing at DailyKos.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Michael W., on the federalism issue, I can only again quote Republican Con law scholar, Doug Kmiec:
Kmiec, a law professor at Pepperdine University and prominent conservative, called it a "constitutional abomination," because, he said, Congress had overstepped its authority.

The Constitution grants to Congress only certain powers, leaving the rest to the states. Kmiec said nothing in the Constitution gave Congress the power to pass the law, which, he said, sets a troubling precedent that Congress can simply order a federal judge to direct a person’s fate.
Kmiec, btw, taught me Con Law, and he is a thoroughly Republican, pro-life, social conservative who was in the Reagan DoJ. He is also, in my experience, intellectually honest. He knows that guardianship hearings about ending life support have always been matters left to the laws and jurisdiction of the several states.

You ask:
What I don’t understand in the least is your fascination with the Kos crowd. If you are truly interested in "libertarianism": shouldn’t the individual trump the state?; shouldn’t property rights by more important than rights created by the state?; shouldn’t freedom of choice be promoted over freedom from want?;
Yes, to all of that, in general, Hayekian terms. But how many of the candidates Kos supports are terribly egregious in these areas, and/or worse in such excesses than the current, populist, budget-breaking, expanded-Executive GOP is in theirs?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona, perhaps I have missed some of the details which emerged from the case as you linked to. For that I do apologize, however the proper solution for darling Michael would have been to wait until his wife was dead to continue on with his life. Had he waited until that point, he could now be happily dating and/or married and beginning his new life with his new wife and starting a family. Instead he took the easy, cheap way out (regardless of her parents giving him a permission slip or not). This is plainly and simply despicable behavior. Unless of course the point here is that if your spouse becomes an invalid, is rendered permanently vegetative, or some other debilitating condition which makes life with them simply intolerable (as you seem to indicate was Michael’s situation, since he wanted to be a good family man, have children, etc.), you should just abandon them and get on with your own goals and happiness.

This may have come across as a bit harsh and perhaps it is, but let us please not make a hero out of a putz.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Kmiec, btw, taught me Con Law, and he is a thoroughly Republican, pro-life, social conservative who was in the Reagan DoJ. He is also, in my experience, intellectually honest. He knows that guardianship hearings about ending life support have always been matters left to the laws and jurisdiction of the several states.
I respect Kmiec, whatever his Republican affiliations (I should note that I am not, nor have I ever been one). However, the jurisdiction of the federal courts is clearly a power granted to the Congress in the Constitution. Congress may have overstepped its bounds in this case based on tradition, but constitutionally they were definitely within the bounds of granted authority (although I would agree that they perverted the intent of that grant of power in this case).
Yes, to all of that, in general, Hayekian terms. But how many of the candidates Kos supports are terribly egregious in these areas, and/or worse in such excesses than the current, populist, budget-breaking, expanded-Executive GOP is in theirs?
Well, pretty much all of them. Of course, the Republicans claim to be on the side of small government, while their stye of governing is nearly indistiguishable from that of a typical Democrat (from a liberty standpoint). But which Democrats even feign an interest in individual rights over those of the state? And of those who dare to do so, who among them are embraced by the Kos crowd?
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Mona seems driven to the Kos Kids because of the Schiavo incident. And she begins her post with a quote from Kathy Young at Reason.
I hold the Kos Kids in low esteem because of their hostility to Iraq and our soldiers. I too will offer a Kathy Young quote which, instead of convincing me it repulses me. Read the rebuttal to Kathy here
Fallaci, who is currently facing legal charges of defaming Islam in Italy, has many defenders who describe her as a passionate anti-Jihadist unfairly accused of racism. Yet her recent writings do have an unmistakable whiff of racism...
"Whiff of racism." Yup, Kathy, let’s send Orianna to prison for intemperate words. Nice libertarian touch there.
I was disgusted by the Schaivo incident but feel it pales in comparison to the Islamist Jihad.
I too was a long time subscriber to Reason magazine. But when Virginia passed the reins to Nick it became impossible to remain serious about it’s content. The old contributors like Bovard, Sullum, and —my favorite—Walter Olson just kind of faded away. I anxiously awaited for my subscription to expire.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
For those who seem perpexed that I find the federal response to Schiavo to constitute an attack on federalism, the libertarian Cato Institute has issued a superb report documenting the many power grabs and constitutional sins of George Bush and the current GOP Congress. Entitled Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush (pdf), in a section entitled Is Anything to be left "Reserved to the States...or to the People"?, the Report declares:
The [federal Schiavo] bill showed utter disrespect for state legal procedures and the competence of State Courts which which the Constitution entrusts them...Throughout his tenure President Bush has repeatedly intruded into areas reserved to the States.
Do read the whole thing.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
You are all rather giving the Daily Kos and Markos Moulitsas a rather one-sided, stilted image to those who haven’t actually been to the site with any regularity, or if at all. In fact, Daily Kos is a multifaceted site with many diarists with many different points of view and topics, all of which can be discussed in comments as in this site. Daily Kos is not a purveyor of hate rhetoric. Do they like to point out the foibles of our incompetent GOP in charge? Hell yes. But they also point out the foibles in the democratic party when it is merited. And there is debate. In the GOP, there is no debate, either you’re "with them" or your a reviled liberal. Markos described himself in a recent post as a libertarian democrat. That is his right. He is only describing himself, not his blog or his diarists. Furthermore, Daily Kos is only one progressive, left leaning blog. Most progressives do describe themselves as being of an open mind. Unfortunately, as we have seen here with some of the comments, GOP libertarian’s minds are incontrovertably shut, issues are not open to debate and indeed, anything that does invite debate only seems to invite attack, and not on the issues. Sad, so very sad.
 
Written By: Mary
URL: http://
Well now that we’ve sized up the Schiavo situation vis-a-vis everyone’s political doctrines, let’s go off book. The Republicans over-reacted, but not without reasons:

1. The images of Schiavo smiling for the camera were indeed very startling, and ran contrary to most people’s idea of being in a "vegetative" state.

2. Michael Schiavo’s sudden remembering of his wife’s wishes nearly a decade after her tragic coronary event appeared, from the outside at least, untrustworthy.

3. These two issues led to the third, that of a tenuousness being exposed in our common law where the unwitnessed hearsay of a new (at the time) spouse over-ruled the wishes of direct family absent any written wishes of the afflicted individual.

It was very unfortunate that this case turned into a very large and very emotional political football, but the truth is that was a direct result of the actions of Terri Schiavo’s direct family acting in desperation but not bad faith, to "save" their family member.

So I try to take the optimistic view and regard the whole situation as an episode of common law evolution where nearly all of us are forced to learn and grow. There will not be a uniform legal result that will allow for a perfect solution to all future cases in all places, but that’s not really one of our options. That fact may ultimately wind up being the most important lesson of all, making this entire episode a reaffirmation of the wisdom of Federalism. Therefore I take most if not all of Mona’s points, but I find her insinuation of bad faith on the part of social conservatives in general and Republicans in particular to be uncompelling and a tad gratuitous.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Mary writes:
Markos described himself in a recent post as a libertarian democrat. That is his right. He is only describing himself, not his blog or his diarists. Furthermore, Daily Kos is only one progressive, left leaning blog. Most progressives do describe themselves as being of an open mind. Unfortunately, as we have seen here with some of the comments, GOP libertarian’s minds are incontrovertably shut, issues are not open to debate and indeed, anything that does invite debate only seems to invite attack, and not on the issues. Sad, so very sad.
Unfortunately, I’d have to agree with your assessment of the comments in this thread, but not all mindlessness resides at QandO’s comments (which are not usually this vacuous). I was very offended by Tristero’s attributions to me in his post at Digby’s on the subject of my post here (Tristero’s claims therein are frequently not supported by anything I wrote), and I am also insulted by the generally ignorant and closed-minded assertions about libertarians in his comments section. Those "progressives" had better not complain too loudly to me next time Coulter or someone starts one of their "all liberals are [fill in the blank with negative accusation or pejorative and inaccurate characterization]." At least not until my temper has cooled.

And hey — great way to look for coalition partners, you progressives over there! Insult libertarians, describe us all as greedy, as rich white men etc...misstate and caricature our views, and reduce our commitment to human rights to the most crabbed and shallow rendering possible. We are super receptive to all of that, just as you guys are to Rush and Coulter’s descriptions of liberals.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I was very offended by Tristero’s attributions to me in his post at Digby’s on the subject of my post here (Tristero’s claims therein are frequently not supported by anything I wrote), and I am also insulted by the generally ignorant and closed-minded assertions about libertarians in his comments section.
But neither Tristero or his commenters are at all unusual or atypical.

If what you say about Democrats is true, they have a lot of homework to do if they want to attract libertarians.

My guess is they’ll find us more incompatible than compatible if and when they do.

If Tristero is indeed typical of the left in general it is a true Mars/Venus thing.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If Tristero is indeed typical of the left in general it is a true Mars/Venus thing.
I don’t know that he is typical; Kos seems to be trying on the "libertarian" label, and to sell a pitch that Dems really need not be for tons of big govt. Tristero is one of two writers at an (albeit highly popular) left-of-center blog.

Ultimately, however, what matters is how the Democrats and their candidates deal w/ issues impt to libertarians, and how that weighs against the grotesquely un-libertarian excesses of the current GOP. (And also, of course, the pragmatic value of gridlock.)But it certainly would help if the Dem/progressive/left blogosphere didn’t call us anything but decent human beings and utterly misstate our beliefs, motivations and views.

Let us not forget, however, that for a libertarian such as myself to seriously criticize George Bush on any matter pertaining to national security (and to some extent, on Schiavo), such as his wholesale violations of FISA and his stated view that he is authorized to violate the McCain torture ban as well, when I point out such unpleasantries at many pro-Bush blogs, the viciousness can be boundless.

There is more than enough cretinism and ignorance to go around.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
"which are not usually this vacuous"

That’s funny. The person calling other person’s comments vacuous is one who can’t answer simple questions and can only appeal to clay-footed authority instead of posting her own thoughts.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I don’t know that he is typical; Kos seems to be trying on the "libertarian" label, and to sell a pitch that Dems really need not be for tons of big govt.
But they do, it’s all they’ve got with which to pay off their constitutencies. Their constituencies are too disparate and narrow to hang together on common principles.
Tristero is one of two writers at an (albeit highly popular) left-of-center blog.
Oh hey! Progress. It is addmitted by Mona at this time Tristero is a lefty!
Ultimately, however, what matters is how the Democrats and their candidates deal w/ issues impt to libertarians, and how that weighs against the grotesquely un-libertarian excesses of the current GOP.
Grotesque compared to the Democrats? Where you been?
(And also, of course, the pragmatic value of gridlock.)
There is no pragmatic value to gridlock. Government continues as before. Improvement is not possible with gridlock.
But it certainly would help if the Dem/progressive/left blogosphere didn’t call us anything but decent human beings and utterly misstate our beliefs, motivations and views.
But they have to. There is no truth in modern day liberalism, there is nothing good they bring to the table.
Let us not forget, however, that for a libertarian such as myself to seriously criticize George Bush on any matter pertaining to national security (and to some extent, on Schiavo),
Oh heavens! ;^) He didn’t continue the policiies that produced 9/11 and he wants a stringent standard applied before the state kills a person.
such as his wholesale violations of FISA
A law that doesn’t apply to actions taken pursuant to declared wars, unless some other law says otherwise, and none does.
and his stated view that he is authorized to violate the McCain torture ban as well
And if a law is that poorly written and thought out, and serves primarily a lawmaker’s vanity—that it is perfectly easy to evade without breaking it—what’s the harm? Good job George!
when I point out such unpleasantries at many pro-Bush blogs, the viciousness can be boundless
.

Leftism delenda est, before it kills us all. Its a vicious truth.
There is more than enough cretinism and ignorance to go around.
Too easy. I’m not going there.

High road and all.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Great essay. I wonder if any reigning party (Congress, SCOTUS, and POTUS) can stick to its fundamentals.
 
Written By: W. Zeallor
URL: http://
Minor correction: Elizabeth Whelan is not a physician. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from the Yale School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, respectively.
 
Written By: Jay Gold
URL: http://
Hmmm. Mona, I went back and re-read Tristero’s post/comments and methinks all he was sayin’ was: there’s a lot about the democratic party with which you might have a problem. But hey, if you can get past some of that, Welcome Aboard!

And he did call you his "friend."

But you know, you could rebut him yourself by writing a comment to his post. As a matter of fact, I was rather disappointed that you have not.

I thought your post was excellent BTW, by way of which I came here via: Tristero!
 
Written By: Mary
URL: http://
I was very offended by Tristero’s attributions to me in his post at Digby’s on the subject of my post here (Tristero’s claims therein are frequently not supported by anything I wrote), and I am also insulted by the generally ignorant and closed-minded assertions about libertarians in his comments section.
Having missed tristero’s post originally, I read his after reading this one. It was not the rant I was expecting, and except for the "basic human rights" interpretation seemed reasonable.

Also, having been through the comments both here and on tristero’s post, the one’s here are the more close-minded of the two.

One thing I would point out is that there is a general stereotyping of libertarians (and liberals) that leads to many of the "ignorant and close-minded assertions" you seem to have perceived in tristero’s comments. I say that as a liberal/progressive/term du jour who has an image of libertarians as essentially no government is good government free-marketeers.

I second Mary’s suggestion - address his concerns, and counter some of the assertions of the commenters. Open the dialog. I do believe that there is much common ground, though as tristero notes, with "caveats".
 
Written By: gatb42
URL: http://
I don’t know that he is typical; Kos seems to be trying on the "libertarian" label, and to sell a pitch that Dems really need not be for tons of big govt.
But they do, it’s all they’ve got with which to pay off their constitutencies. Their constituencies are too disparate and narrow to hang together on common principles.
Wow, thanks for my laugh of the evening. Hard to believe that there are still some people out there on the right who talk about Democratic ’big government’...as though the biggest, scariest, most intrusive, most authoritarian, most secretive, most sanctimonious, and least honest REALLY BIG government weren’t sitting right on their shoulders. And it’s all Republican.

Wow. I didn’t know anybody still had that much cotton stuffed in their ears and eyes.

When it comes to big government, the Republicans really have no business saying diddly to the Democrats anymore. Not after this administration.

So I think I’ll take the big government party that wants to provide health care and protect the environment, rather than the one that claims the right to imprison people forever without charge or trial, and torture them. Just common sense.

Wow.

 
Written By: Taylor
URL: http://
First of all, I very much like Mona, and I certainly wrote nothing intended to offend her in a personal way. If she took it that way, I apologize (I’d also appreciate knowing what was so personally offensive so I don’t do it again). Neither of us have ever kowtowed to a faux sense of civility in framing our disagreement with the other. That said, my intention has never been to offend her, or dismiss her. She is a valuable voice, passionate and intelligent (and often, imo, wrong). It would be a shame to lose her when in the mood for a smart argument.

Second of all, while nothing was intended personally, a liberal can’t help but be deeply offended by some of the implications of libertarian ideas. I think some enable racism to flourish and can only lead to a dreadful, illiberal society. If my response to those ideas caused offense, then they accurately conveyed their intent. Reactions to offensive ideas *should* offend.

I know for a fact that Mona has an open mind. That means she has the rare, admirable capacity to examine her expressed ideas, defend them and change them. People with open minds are not contiguous with their ideas, because their ideas change as more information appears to refine and focus them. I have enormous respect for Mona’s intelligence and openness; they are signs of genuine character.

I am not saying Mona is a racist nor do I believe she is. I am saying that many libertarian ideas enable racism to flourish. As a liberal, I feel an obligation to identify and propose various ways to prevent that flourishing. Racism is a moral wrong to liberals. As I’m sure it is to Mona.

Third, as someone above noted, my post was in good part about how good a fit the Democratic party would be for Mona. I’m not sure. As to whether it is a Good Thing for liberals if the Democrats embrace libertarianism, I’m also not sure. It depends upon very serious head-banging over what seem to be patently illiberal positions in the libertarian worldview (from a liberal’s standpoint, this includes an awareness from Libertarian Democrats that, as Kos says, corporations don’t have a Godlike tropism for the Good in a mythical absolutely free market, that democratic government is an instrument no more intrinsically evil than any other human technology (except Diebold voting machines which are worse!), and an effective, commonsense foreign policy blinded neither by Cumbaya or Exceptionalism ).

Fourth, Mona has expressed her offense (for which I’ve apologized and will apologize again if she remains personally offended) but hasn’t yet addressed the substance of what I said, to wit:

1. "Basic human rights" sounds like code for "affirmative action stinks." Am I wrong, or do you, Mona, support affirmative action? If not, what do you propose to address the underlying problems which affirmative action was intended to address? Or do you think racism is gone as a national problem and if so, why?

2. All government action, including neglect, is social engineering. Do you disagree? If so, I’d like to understand more about your disagreement.

3. Do you support Social Security? Was I offbase in implying that you don’t? (By SocSec, I mean a gov’t program, not the priviatization bamboozlement of GWB.) If I was, I will publicly apologize.

4. What do you mean by "federalism?" I said as clearly as as I could that I didn’t know what you meant and I’m happy to repeat it. With a little research and recourse to my own prior readings, I hazarded some guesses. If I am wrong, I will loudly correct any implications I drew about your politics or libertarianism.

Mona, you can certainly ignore my questions and objections because I made them, you’re offended, and I’m not that important. But you can’t ignore them forever.

Sooner or later, someone who you can’t dismiss will raise the same points, because they are real issues and they simply must be addressed.
 
Written By: tristero
URL: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com
Second of all, while nothing was intended personally, a liberal can’t help but be deeply offended by some of the implications of libertarian ideas. I think some enable racism to flourish and can only lead to a dreadful, illiberal society.
Replace the phrase "libertarian ideas" with "freedom". It means the same thing, has the same implications. You are arguing that, because things you dislike can happen when people are free, they ought not be. "Libertarian ideas" might "enable racism to flourish", but so does freedom of speech.

The ease with which you (and Democrats, in general) dismiss the importance of liberty is a big reason why libertarians are so uncomfortable in your coalition. For all the rhetoric about, e.g., intolerant social conservatives, the Left doesn’t seem to be making a principled objection.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Tristero, you can glean a good deal about my views regarding federalism in my guest post writing as Hypatia at Greenwald’site.(And in the comments, where Greenwald’s views are also somewhat on display.

No more time now; more later.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I wanted to address some significant errors in Peter’s comments.

>1. The images of Schiavo smiling for the camera >were indeed very startling, and ran contrary to >most people’s idea of being in a "vegetative" >state.

Except those 4 1/2 minutes of video were edited from over 4 hours of video - the rest of the video doesn’t show a response:

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/11/10/Tampabay/Schiavo_tapes__snippe.shtml

>2. Michael Schiavo’s sudden remembering of his >wife’s wishes nearly a decade after her tragic >coronary event appeared, from the outside at >least, untrustworthy.

The court relied more on Joan Schiavo’s testimony, who discussed with Terri Schiavo her wish that she "would not want any kind of life support," specifically in the context of a friend’s very ill infant who was eventually removed from life support.

The birth family was not able to provide any testimony (after she becaome an adult) as to her end of life wishes.

BTW, when you are relating in court something someone told you directly, it’s not hearsay.

>3. These two issues led to the third, that of a >tenuousness being exposed in our common law where >the unwitnessed hearsay of a new (at the time) >spouse over-ruled the wishes of direct family >absent any written wishes of the afflicted >individual.

The problem is that the birth family (the Schindlers), in their sworn testimony, made it clear that they would never remove the feeding tube, even did they know beyond a doubt it were their daughter’s wish.

http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

page 14:

"Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony
by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that
they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs.

Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family
members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent
gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and
would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, would perform open
heart surgery...

Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her
intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it."
 
Written By: Bill
URL: http://
Bill!

Thanks for the response. You obviously payed very careful attention to this case. I’m afraid I may not have made it clear in my post that I wasn’t arguing one way or the other regarding the particulars of Schiavo’s case, but rather was expressing an opinion about how the situation was generally perceived by the public, and thus, it’s political implications. For instance, prior to Schiavos fame, I’m sure most people thought of "vegetative state" as I did, involving unconsciousness, a lá Karen Ann Quinlan, instead of someone with their eyes open, turning their head and making gutteral noises. Charles Krauthamer made an important point when he pointed out that if Schiavo was "brain dead," why wasn’t anyone talking about harvesting her organs?

And my point about the common law wasn’t that the matter didn’t receive due process or was even improperly or unfairly decided. The problem is that common law is full of "holes," if by saying holes one means cases where the proper legal ruling produces an undesirable outcome. But that’s just the way common law is. In the end, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. The system is designed to conserve the experiential knowledge of our forbears to help us in our own lives while simultaneously allowing for growth and change with the times. As a political experiment I would rate it as a smashing success. But that doesn’t change the fact that legally, I must sign legal papers in the presence of a certified notary and witnesses to sell a used car, but Schiavo’s mortal fate was decided by a witness recounting of an alleged conversation in the context of a TV show. I’m simply stating here that I believe the public generally perceived this to be a very thin legal reed on which to base such a weighty decision. Oh, and I’m sorry if I misused the term "hearsay."

Personally, I’m just glad that her autopsy revealed that clearly, no one was "home" in the body of Terri Schiavo in spite of the fact that some of the lights were flickering. May she rest in peace, poor thing.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
tristero

Your end of the exchange with Mona seems to have vanished from your blog, at least as it is revealed to me. Any chance of a link, or if it really is gone, of getting it back?

Jody
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
Sean wrote:
"I find it much more likely that the heel of the jackboot will come to my door as a result of confiscatory policies of the Democrats than of some theocratic regime set up by Republicans."

Then you haven’t been paying attention. The current Republican administration is actually picking American citizens up off the street and locking them up indefinitely without charges (Jose Padilla).

After that, and Gitmo, and the "signing statements" where Bush declares himself above the law, and "extraordinary rendition", and the NSA’s illegal warrantless wiretapping, "free speech zones", and much, much more, it’s quite clear that Bush has been establishing a police state quite effectively.

And with very, very few exceptions (Ron Paul), the Congressional Republicans are cheering him on. A vote for them is a vote to give the administration the unfettered right to declare you an "enemy combatant" and torture you in a black hole forever — simply on the whim of the "Decider", George W. Bush.

Think about it. Seriously. You have to vote for the Democrats, because the alternative at this point is full-blown totalitarianism. The jackboots are here, they just haven’t decided to torture you — yet.
 
Written By: Anon.
URL: http://
MichaelW wrote:

"Of course, the Republicans claim to be on the side of small government, while their stye of governing is nearly indistiguishable from that of a typical Democrat (from a liberty standpoint)."

Well, no, not at all. Their style is far, far worse.

There’s the massive warrantless wiretapping. The claims of "state secrets" whenever anyone complains about any government action. The habit of ordering scientists in the employ of the government to shut up or be fired if their science doesn’t agree with Bush’s politics. There’s the backdoor draft. There’s telling people that they should "watch what they say" when they criticize Bush. There’s Jose Padilla, and Maher Arar, and Gitmo, and secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe; there’s the PATRIOT Act (which all too many Democrats supported, but which *every* Republican supported); there’s the signing statements declaring the President above the law (including the "don’t torture people" law). And of course there’s the torture. That’s strictly the province of Republicans.

None of this happened under Clinton. (Or George H. W. Bush, or Reagan, or Carter, or Ford, etc.)

"But which Democrats even feign an interest in individual rights over those of the state?"

Russ Feingold, all the way, every time. And he’s the real deal; he’s not feigning anything. Extremely popular at DailyKos.

Oh, and Howard Dean. Likewise popular there. Look up what he *actually* believes, votes for, and does, not the widly inaccurate media descriptions of him. Also not feigning anything.

Gen. Wesley Clark as well. Also very popular there. Those three are off the top of my head.

Really, take a look at the parties. They aren’t what you remember them being. The Democratic Party is a mish-mash, and the current rising stars — particularly the ones most popular on DailyKos — are the libertarian-inclined ones. The Republican Party is an unholy combination of theocrats, corporatists, and plain old crooks (often all in the same person), who are actively installling a police state.

It obviously wasn’t anything like this ten years ago. You need to have been paying attention to have noticed what happened. Luckily, more and more people are beginning to notice what happened to the Republican Party.
 
Written By: Anon.
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