A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Monday, March 21, 2005

The Saga of Terry Schiavo: So Much Hanging in the Balance Posted by Hello
Morning and welcome aboard to all who have made their way onto this blog, or, this "man-o'-war" as I like to think of it. Don't want to get too convoluted or "wrapped around the axle" on the subject of the tragic situation that is the Terry Schiavo case, but I thought it was pertinent and appropriate to make some points concerning this issue. Before hitting the rack last night, I turned on CSPAN and just happened to catch the last hour and a half of the debate that was raging in the House of Representatives concerning the fate of Terry Schiavo, in terms of taking the case out of "state hands" and placing it squarely in the federal court system. I have to tell you, it was not only riveting and emotionally compelling, it was also amazing to watch this Constitutional "push and pull" between federal power and state power (at least amazing to those of us that have political science degrees...we can't get enough of these civics lessons). To the point, I simply want to make some key observations, in bullet form: (1) To be sure, this is an extremely heart-wrenching dilemma, probably the most heart-wrenching domestic story I've ever heard of or experienced (if it isn't unprecedented in terms of the human story, than the only other one I can think of is maybe...well, I can't think of one). Fundamentally, we are watching the breakdown of kin and the ensuing civil war between family members. This is a family that has courageously endured great emotional pain and struggle since 1990 and have reached a point of utter desperation; this painful saga centers around a lovely young woman that collapsed into tragedy 15 years ago and slowly made her way onto the national radar. Folks, I'm a Marine, and this woman's story has got me going every which way in terms of emotions. (2) Tom DeLay is enemy, as far as I'm concerned, however I find myself strangely on his side...this is very uncomfortable to admit, but true nevertheless. DeLay may or may not really care about Terry Schiavo and her terrible situation (the jury is still out on that, in my mind, considering DeLay's present status vis a vis the accusations and allegations of ethics violations that have been swirling around him like an Oklahoma dust storm). From the cynics' perspective, DeLay has orchestrated a powerplay that has (no doubt) taken some of the stench off of him (although temporarily, because the allegations of ethical violations and just downright illegality are far too serious to dismiss outright) and (in my opinion) helped to send the GOP into the stratosphere when it comes to claiming the political mantle as the party of life, morality and standing up for the helpless. Of course, I don't believe the GOP truly represents any of those qualities, but I'll bet this is the common consensus of opinion that is solidifying in the hearts and minds of the American electorate. In short, this woman's tragic plight (and the exploitation of said plight) has been a major coup for Tom DeLay in the short run, the GOP (as a whole) in the long run and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's 2008 presidential ambitions in the longer run (regardless, Senator Frist probably won't win the presidency nor the nomination for that matter...the man is about as electrifying as a tuna fish sandwich). (3) Now, for my team...the Democrats. This is a very dangerous story/situation for the Democratic Party and the way the party handles it will affect our chances in 2006 and 2008 (probably 2006 more than 2008, because of the tendency of the American public to forget things so quickly...but 2006 is a critical "logistical" step in terms of the 2008 campaign). Democrats don't want to come across as monstrous ghouls that are trying to stop GOP "goodness" and "benevolence" from prevailing. In other words, we don't want this situation to be framed as the "cold-hearted, clinical, hyper-intellectualized, purely academic, pointy-headed" Democrats frothing at the mouth and, with snapping jaws, constantly ramming home the callous points of "...this is a state matter..." or "...she's brain-dead..." or how Terry Schiavo is in a "...vegetative state..." (that's the wrong strategy, as far as I'm concerned. It makes us look like a bunch of heartless, brattish whiney jerks); all the while, the public will perceive the Republican Party as the "warm-hearted", "empathetical" and "nurturing" party that continuously and unwaveringly places the focus on this lady's irrefutable humanity and uses eloquent rhetoric to espouse on this poor woman's absolute value and diginity. Folks, Democrats will lose everytime (and for a long time) if this is how we allow the issue to be framed. The way Democrats are handling this (in terms of the Democrats in the House) is about right; the vote (via suspended rules) was called last night, the special legislation was passed and the President signed it. Democrats should now step back and let the federal legal machinery kick in and do what it does. (4) Lastly, in my humble opinion, Terry Schiavo's husband Michael should step aside, relinquish "command and control" to the Schiavo family and get on with his life. It seems as if Michael Schiavo has already started a new family (having 2 kids with another woman who he plans to marry) and (again, in my humble opinion) thus no longer has any real vested interest in Terry Schiavo, I mean you can't serve two masters at the same time, can you? There's even some scuttlebutt that upon Terry Schiavo's passing, Michael Schiavo will come into a crap load of money. That right there makes an already foul situation stink even more. Again, Michael Schiavo (as well as Terry Schiavo for that matter) would be better served if he just let it go, walked away and let Ms. Schiavo's immediate family come in and take care of her as they so desperately seem to want to do. That's my take on the situation. Take care and good luck. Semper Fidelis


Blogger CmdrSue said...

To me that is the confusing bit - why her husband didn't just give up. So I'm assuming he hasn't given up because he loves her and is convinced this is what she wants.

Otherwise he is a media whore or worse.

What surprises me more than anything is that there wasn't legal precedent for this that made it 'easy' to see who could make what decisions. Goes to prove that we should all have living wills. Honestly without one I would be more likely to have my husband linger than he would probably like.

It's all very sad. I'm sorry that anyone has to go through this sort of trauma, much less on the national stage.

By the way, could you set you comments to 'pop-up'? I find the regular blogger comments very, very annoying...

8:43 PM  
Blogger J. said...

I'm surprised at your attitude, but I guess one cannot typecast liberals. While I agree with you that the Dems have to frame this discussion carefully (seeing how they abandoned the initiative early on), you can't be serious about the Repubs gaining for highlighting this woman's "absolute value and dignity." She's been relatively motionless for 15 YEARS and fed through a tube going into her belly. What dignity she may have had was lost when her parents ignored her husband's attempts to give her a dignified death and created this media circus.

Why hasn't he abandoned her and given custody to her parents? Because he's a moral and loving husband that vowed not to run out on her in his wedding vows. I would do the exact same thing - no way I would abandon my wife to her parents. To do otherwise would be to say you never really loved her. He's doing the right thing - Terri died more than ten years ago when her brain turned to mush.

10:32 AM  

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