It's hard for me to put my finger on what's so disagreeable about the politicization of the Schiavo--I don't even know what to call it--medical situation, I guess. But when I read in today's New York Times that the Republican leadership in the United States Congress--Frist, Hastert, DeLay-- are trying to save "Terri's" life, by issuing a desperate last-minute subpoena for her to testify before a congressional committee, hence delaying any removal of life support, I didn't know whether to bang my head against a wall--possibly creating a similiar "medical situation" for my subsequent caretakers--or cry, or laugh, or sell all I have and move to Costa Rica. The statement from Hastert and Delay announcing the subpoena says, "This inquiry should give hope to Terri, her parents and friends, and the millions of people throughout the world who are praying for her safety. This fight is not over."
When we suddenly have nationally important Republicans on a first name basis with someone they never met personally who has been in a persistent vegetative state for some years now, I think we are seeing the dark legacy of Karl Rove, whose genius has now become generalized within the Republican party the way the response to blood in the water has become generalized among sharks. I would hesitate to call it genetic, but it almost seems like it.
Liberals, trying to murder a helpless injured woman. View it now, from the Republican grandstand!
The actual situation for the few people involved for whom this is reality and not a news event, and who are really suffering, is very sad, and as a husband whose wife died three years ago, I can understand the feelings of the husband, and as a father I can understand the feelings of the parents.
But I don't think you have to be either a spouse or parent to at least have compassion, if not understanding, for the real people enmeshed in the dispute. By real people I do not mean the Republican congressional leadership. I know they are real people, at some point, at home maybe, when no one is looking, but they certainly don't let on in front of the cameras.
And that line "Have you no shame, sir?", so effective the first time, has lost its power (possibly also the legacy of Karl Rove) now that we need it even more.