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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Schiavo update: the Fat Lady has sung. Aside from a feeble attempt by Jeb Bush to do an extra-Constitutional end run around every single judge who has either looked at or declined to look at the situation, it's all over. It is more than likely that Terri Schiavo's 15 years of imprisonment in a functioning body with what seems very much to be a non-functional brain will finally be over soon.

I think that yes, there should have been more science done in this case. And for crissake, there should have been Advance Medical Directives. If there is any good done by the Schiavo case, it is to bring to the attention of the public just how crucial it is to have that document drawn up, and revisited regularly. I have been remiss: I won't be for long. Anyone 18 years of age or older must sit down and do this. Chances are, the document won't be needed, or at least won't be needed until you are very old.

I would expect the lunatic fringe element to get even wilder before Terri breathes her last. This has gotten so nutty that a little boy has been arrested by the Pinellas County sheriff for trespassing because he tried to break through the police lines with a glass of water. I think the parents who put the kid up to this should be jailed for child abuse, for starters. But what if the kid got into Schiavo's room and tried to give her a drink of water? Guess what: she would drown, kiddo. Ms. Schiavo simply no longer has a swallowing reflex.

Anyway, it looks like the "real conservatives" in the country are starting to wake up and realize that George W. Bush is no conservative, that he doesn't want to "conserve" the Constitution of the United States, and that what he's really all about is fascism. One of the lefty sites I like dropping in on, DailyKOS, has a link to a neat essay about the death of what the essay calls "Goldwater Conservatism." I prefer to call it "true conservatism" or "Constitutionalist conservatism," and it's not our enemy. At this point the only party that remains dedicated to this kind of conservativism is the The Libertarian Party, and hopefully more "true conservatives" will find their way to them as an alternative to the GOP.

It's like what's been going on with the Dems: the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been held down for a long time by the center-right "New Democrats" whose most resounding success was electing Bill Clinton twice. Will progressive Dems have to start their own party or take over the American Green Party? I have some hope, with the election of Dr. Howard Dean as Dem Chairman, that this will be unnecessary and that the Democratic Party can be "taken back" by progressives.

However, the Christio-fascist wing of the GOP (some are Dominionists, some aren't, so calling them all Dominionists is not quite correct) is so firmly entrenched, it has such a strong death-grip on the GOP, that perhaps there is no hope for people like this thoughtful young man who runs the Balloon Juice blog other than leaving the GOP for the LP. My question is this: why haven't the Libertarians gone looking for these thoughtful, reasonable souls who believe in freedom and believe in limited government? Could it be that Right-wing PAC money holding them back? Could it be timidity? I want to take Badnarik and grab him by the scruff of the neck and yell "WAKE UP!" in his face. I'm sure this guy isn't alone in the US. If my father had lived...he died almost 30 years ago of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease...he probably would be a Libertarian by now.

He didn't live long enough to see the rise of Reagan as the Christio-fascist Golden Boy...he voted for Reagan for Governor, but I'm sure he would be alarmed by the theocratic tone of Reagan's rhetoric. I know that Nixon broke his heart. He was very pro-Nixon for the longest time, but I could tell even as a child that L'Affaire Watergate was weighing heavily on his heart. He was in ICU because of a hospital screwup when Nixon resigned, just ahead of the drawing up of Articles of Impeachment, so he was spared the final spectacle of the end of Nixon's aborted second term.

I know also that my dad wanted me to be Jewish, not assimilationist Christian-lite. When I was 8 years old, my dad said "No more Chanukah bushes, no more stockings next to the Menorah. We are celebrating Chanukah now." I hated him for that for the longest time, and my mom wasn't thrilled either. We both liked the festive aspects of "The Season" and the December after my father died was one where we went and got a fresh tree and rebought ornaments. But from the December dad banned the Chanukah bush to the December dad died, we celebrated Jewish holidays and only Jewish holidays.

The cozy relationship between the GOP and the Religious Right would have frightened him. Even though the "Rapture Index" Religious Rightists just loves them Jews, because The Lawd ain't comin' back without them, the Dominionists/Reconstructionists are pretty much anti-Semitic in their views. Judaism might have birthed Christianity, but Jews rejected Jesus and are accursed, in their viewpoint. The Dominionists/Reconstructionists share with anti-Vatican II Catholics and Identity Christians a deep, abiding anti-Semitism. Considering the inroads Dominionists have made into the George W. Bush Administration, he would be quite concerned about official anti-Semitism entering the picture in the future.

This is not a happy day for me. The Schiavo case is a true tragedy in every sense of the word. Mr. Schiavo is not evil. The Schindler family are not evil. They are good people to whom bad times have come. I hope they will eventually reconcile, something which will be quite difficult considering the heated nature of the rhetoric on both sides of the battle. And as far as Ms. Terri Schiavo is concerned, I weep for her. It was ultimately sexism that killed her: she was a Bulimic and Anorexic who had a heart attack because of her eating disorders and the electrolyte imbalances caused by them. If we weren't so goddamn size-ist and looks-ist and sexist maybe Ms. Schiavo would be a vivacious happy woman with children and a career. Instead, she is in a state of living death that will become true death when her body finally gives out. Think about that as we wait for the inevitable obituary.