Well, We Had to Get Around to It Eventually...
The idea behind this autopsy is to prove to the "right-of-life"-ers that Terri was, in fact, not alive. The idea is, we are led to assume, that if Terri is proved to have been irreversibly brain-damaged, the arguments of those who have been so vehemently advocating for her "rights" will have been nullified, her mental capacity over the last five years firmly established as lima bean-esque.
I'm skeptical. The Frist-DeLay-Colburn crowd seems to thrown all their eggs into this one particular basket on this one, and it would be a huge loss of face if they had to retract their previous assertions of moral rectitude. They've set up a three-ring circus, and it doesn't seem their style to disassemble it in the face of either the latest in a series of court throw-downs or a withering level of public dissatisfaction at their actions:
Delay, in particular, is stuck in between a rock and a hard place. His prominent role in public outcry in favor of the life of Terri Schiavo has thrust him into the national spotlight at exactly the moment he did not need it. Facing four judicial probes at the moment, DeLay impassioned (and recklessly self-righteous) speech in which he compared the plight of Terri (I am spelling it Terri because I see it both ways in "the media" and I like the i better) and himself. His disdain for the rules of order of the very chamber he serves as a leading member of may not stick, but it would seem that all this abuse of power is finally starting to hinder him as a public figure. Today, the Wall Street Journal, ivory tower bastion of rabid liberalism that it is, finally ruled in an opinion piece that Delay, quite literally, stinks:
By now you have surely read about House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics troubles. Probably, too, you aren't entirely clear as to what those troubles are--something to do with questionable junkets, Indian casino money, funny business on the House Ethics Committee, stuff down in Texas. In Beltway-speak, what this means is that Mr. DeLay has an "odor": nothing too incriminating, nothing actually criminal, just an unsavory whiff that could have GOP loyalists reaching for the political Glade if it gets any worse.
The Beltway wisdom is right. Mr. DeLay does have odor issues. Increasingly, he smells just like the Beltway itself [...]
Taken separately, and on present evidence, none of the latest charges directly touch Mr. DeLay; at worst, they paint a picture of a man who makes enemies by playing political hardball and loses admirers by resorting to politics-as-usual.
The problem, rather, is that Mr. DeLay, who rode to power in 1994 on a wave of revulsion at the everyday ways of big government, has become the living exemplar of some of its worst habits. Mr. DeLay's ties to Mr. Abramoff might be innocent, in a strictly legal sense, but it strains credulity to believe that Mr. DeLay found nothing strange with being included in Mr. Abramoff's lavish junkets.
Nor does it seem very plausible that Mr. DeLay never considered the possibility that the mega-lucrative careers his former staffers Michael Scanlon and Mr. Buckham achieved after leaving his office had something to do with their perceived proximity to him. These people became rich as influence-peddlers in a government in which legislators like Mr. DeLay could make or break fortunes by tinkering with obscure rules and dispensing scads of money to this or that constituency. Rather than buck this system as he promised to do while in the minority, Mr. DeLay has become its undisputed and unapologetic master as Majority Leader.
Whether Mr. DeLay violated the small print of House Ethics or campaign-finance rules is thus largely beside the point. His real fault lies in betraying the broader set of principles that brought him into office, and which, if he continues as before, sooner or later will sweep him out.
I know Dan will want to highlight this as an example of the nefariousness that is allowed to simmer on in the Republican Party, but I am going to to take WSJ's side here and say that Delay (a) is not going to be convicted and (b) is not going to be House Majority Whip much longer. Remember Newt Gingrich's mistress? DeLay's trespass is bigger, but less gross, because we don't have to picture anyone having sex with Tom DeLay.
What is the point of all this Schiavo nonsense, then, in the end? Nothing and a tuppence, because it turned out to be a disastrous miscalculation for Bo and Luke (Tom and Bill) and the Dems finally stood to the side while the Republicans ran up on their own swords for a cause that would seem to be precious to a tiny portion of America. Now for the apologies:
To Terri Schiavo- I'm sorry for spelling your name wrong. If there is a God, you are with him, but I doubt it, so I make jokes about your IQ approaching that of an English breakfast. If you are actually in there listening, or in heaven, I am sure that you will rain fists down on my ass like a WWE wrestler in order to straighten me out. This concludes the apologies.
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