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March 18, 2005

Noonan: GOP Will Pay a Price

Even cynical motives shoud animate them to act:

In America today all big stories have three dimensions: a legal angle, a public-relations angle and a political angle. In the Schiavo case some of our politicians seem not to be fully appreciating the second and third. This is odd.

Here's both a political and a public-relations reality: The Republican Party controls the Senate, the House and the White House. The Republicans are in charge. They have the power. If they can't save this woman's life, they will face a reckoning from a sizable portion of their own base. And they will of course deserve it.

This should concentrate their minds.

So should this: America is watching. As the deadline for removal of Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube approaches, the story has broken through as never before in the media.

If they were acting with the courage of their claimed convictions and honestly trying to stop this, but yet failing, they wouldn't pay a price.

But Congress took an early flight home rather than finish work on a bill that could have spared Terri, at least for several weeks as the bill's constitutionality was determined by the courts.

They had to get home to start raising money again from those whose beliefs they claim to champion. Everyone has their priorities, I suppose.

She's only partly right here:

There is a passionate, highly motivated and sincere group of voters and activists who care deeply about whether Terri Schiavo is allowed to live. Their reasoning, ultimately, is this: Be on the side of life.

There are a lot of us who are not ultimately "on the side of life," but rather believe "be on the side of life when there is considerable doubt as to a stricken patient's true desires, and the only evidence on the subject is the hearsay of interested parties."

That's not really a moral concern. It's a bare-bones-minimalist prudential one.


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posted by Ace at 05:33 PM

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