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  • Reversal

    Posted by James R. Rummel on March 22nd, 2005 (All posts by )

    One of the major stories that has been getting some play in the US media is that of Terri Schiavo. (If youíre unfamiliar with the case, the author of this blog has written up all of the info you need in a thorough and non-biased way.)

    Unlike many pundits who are interested in this case, I canít say that I have any direct opinion. But I was rather startled by how people have become sharply divided along political lines, and the positions that have been assumed.

    If my impressions are correct, the Republicans want the Federal government to step in and overrule state law in order to keep Ms. Schiavo alive. Basically theyíre advocating central control and increased government involvement in private affairs.

    Democrats want Ms. Schiavoís feeding tube removed. They say that not only should an individualís wishes be respected, but that itís wrong for the Feds to interfere and trample statesí rights.

    I was under the impression that the two major parties usually have ideologies that are directly opposite to those shown in this case. Isnít it the Democrats who usually say that big government is desirable, while the Republicans want to limit the growth of powerful central authority?

    Just wondering.


    10 Responses to “Reversal”

    1. Val Says:

      That’s one way of looking at it, James. I believe that this Republican-Democrat divide can also be explained by the fact that the issue has become part of the culture war.

    2. Steve Says:

      I agree, James. It’s a perverse role reversal.

      I am concerned about the effects this may have on our individual rights to self-determination.

      If the government can assert some purvue over our families’ private health decisions, what’s to keep them from illicitly invalidating an individual’s Living Will?

      And what repercussions does this perverse congressional activism have on our nation’s debate over socialized medicine? If everyone’s to be saved from illness or death through governmental intervention, why not just instate Hillary’s National Healthcare?

      Its a grand overreach, and I’m embarrassed for my President’s party right now.

      Maybe the Libertarian Party can come out of the woodwork and capitalize on the Big-Governmentalism of the new Republican Party. A revolution may be in the offing.


    3. Bob Says:

      “illicitly invalidating an individual’s Living Will”? You mean Living Wills which are created by governments in the first place?

    4. Richard Heddleson Says:

      The Republicans want to see the Federal government protect each individual’s right to life and liberty for which they enacted in the 19th century Civil War Amendments and which they further implemented in the 20th century with the civil rights acts of the 1960’s which would not have been adopted without their strong support to override a Democrat filibuster led by Robert Byrd, among others. They supported the use of the FBI and civil rights prosecutions in the 1960 to end the domestic terror of the KKK. They have opposed the misconstruction of the constitution by a creative Supreme Court to deny life to the unborn without due process through abortion.

      While one may disagree with the positions the Republicans have taken, they have not been inconsistant in their effort to use the power of the Federal government see that no individual is denied their right to life without due process of law.

    5. Fûz Says:

      After months of gutwrenching talk radio—Hewitt, Ingraham, and Glenn Beck—and now seeing Fox hack at it, then reading Abstract Appeal, my opinions have gone full circle. They have come to final rest where they started.

      Let Terri go, for Chrissake. She’s being used as a pawn in the abortion debate. I too saw the irony of Barney Franks arguing for the rights of States.

      Not appalled, not disgusted, just disappointed.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      [deleted by admin]

    7. chel Says:

      Yes, I agree.

      I totally don’t even see the GOP as the small gov. party and the Dems as the big gov party. I mean no one knows how to increase goverment spending like the Republicans. And the Dems have been taking some strong libertarian positions (gay marraige, pro-choice.)

    8. Jonathan Says:

      I agree that she is being used as a pawn but that doesn’t mean there are no important issues.

      There probably isn’t a good solution, but surely the welfare of Ms. Schiavo ought to weigh heavily in any calculation. The fact that our rules are inadequate for this situation does not imply that any outcome is as good as any other, or that following the rules overrides all other considerations. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for Congress to intervene to protect someone who isn’t being protected by her State or local governments.

    9. Steve Says:

      Bob, they build them, they tear them down. All us individuals can do sometimes is just do our best to stay the heck out of these lumbering goliaths’ paths.

      Unfortunately centrist politics in this country means being everything to everybody.

      Chel, I commented on the Dem’s move to grab the Libertarian agenda back from the Repubs after another excellent C-Boyz post on “Pragmatic Libertarianism”. If they can do a better job of wielding the Lib philosophy than the Repubs, they will win back power handily and soon.

      Don’t tread on me.

    10. Disputo Says:

      I was under the impression that the two major parties usually have ideologies that are directly opposite to those shown in this case. Isnít it the Democrats who usually say that big government is desirable, while the Republicans want to limit the growth of powerful central authority?

      You have to stop swallowing the PR and start looking at reality.

      Both the Dems and the GOP are in favor of big gvmt whenever it binds their constituencies more closely to them.

      The main reason that people have been fooled into believing the myth is that until recently, the GOP did not have complete control of the gvmt.

      It’s high time that you-all rub the cobwebs from your eyes.