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Josh Trevino a/k/a Tacitus of Red State doesn't much like The Hammer's strong arms tactics against fellow Republicans:

What is the price of conservatism? What is the criteria for membership in the movement? What is demanded of those who seek the support of its eminences gris?

Morton Blackwell, Republican National Committee member from Virginia and a member of ACU's board, said Republicans are being told support for Mr. DeLay is mandatory if they want future support from conservatives.

"Conservative leaders across the country are working now to make sure that any politician who hopes to have conservative support in the future had better be in the forefront as we attack those who attack Tom DeLay," he said."

Well. It appears that the movement is now beholden to the furtherance of the haphazard career of Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay, who in terms of tugging at social conservatives for money and support -- and then stabbing them in the back behind the scenes -- among the worst the United States Congress has to offer. Tom DeLay, who threatened the career of a Congressman's son to help ram through the disastrous, un-conservative Medicare bill. Tom DeLay, who knew full well that Jack Abramoff was the sort of man that any ethical public servant would assiduously avoid -- and went on junkets with him anyway. Tom DeLay, who has had a grand jury chipping away at his inner circle for months. Tom DeLay, who helped erode the informal checks that maintain republican governance in America by pioneering the detestable practice of off-year redistricting. Tom DeLay, who is, unlike his Senate counterpart, not incompetent, but nonetheless dirty. (Update: I am reminded, too, that this is also the Tom DeLay who forced through changes in the House ethics rules on indictments to safeguard his leadership position -- another nail in the coffin bearing the corpse of GOP rectitude.)

Unfortunately (or fortunately, from a purely political Democratic perspective), Trevino (who is a staunch social conservative) is unique among Republicans, mostly a straight shooter. Almost always wrong, but honestly so. DeLay will twist arms effectively - he always has.

And he will play to his newly minted base for all he is worth. As I said in the beginning of the Schiavo travesty, the whole circus was primarily about DeLay's own political skin. What DeLay has done, and will continue to do, is whatever is necessary to preserve his political life, with no concern whatsoever about the harm caused to the Republican Party. Because DeLay is a quintessential Republican politician - insanely greedy for power.

Update [2005-4-2 12:32:45 by Armando]: Delay playing to his new base - see Georgia 10 on DeLay's War on the Judiciary.

Update [2005-4-2 12:51:46 by Armando]: Mikecan1978 points us to an intriguing statement from Cheney:

Cheney said he backed efforts to help save Terri Schiavo's life, but strongly disagreed with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who wants retribution against judges who blocked restoration of her feeding tube. "I don't think that's appropriate . . . There's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments," he said.
Rove v. DeLay?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We can only hope that his efforts to play to (4.00)
    his religious fundamentalist base exposes to the nation as a whole his and their real agenda, a biblically based government (and not from the kinder, gentler perspective that was espoused by Jesus).  
  •  Repuglicans Cannot Dump DeLay (4.00)
    It's sort of like how JFK and LBJ loathed J Edgar Hoover over at FBI, and longed to get rid of him, but couldn't because he had the dirt to end their political careers.

    If DeLay goes down, the hole in the hull of the Repuglican party will make the Titanic's iceberg look like a marshmellow.

    Repuglicans need to keep the lie going. If they were to loose control of the House next year, the years of stiffled and overdue investigations into tehir corruption would be unleashed like a season of caribbean hurricanes.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:29:47 AM PST

    •  Cheney is Helping DeLay (4.00)
      The can't and won't dump him.  In fact they are trying to help him.  Think back pre-election 2004 what was Cheney's role?  It was to keep the moderate Republican base in check - to ease their fears that Bush was not a radical Evangelical. Cheney paraded around saying "I have a gay daughter" in response to the gay marriage question.  Moderate republicans thought - see he won't let anything go too far.

      Now Cheney releases this statement.  It is not Rove v. DeLay it is Rove allocating the troops so as to make sure there are no objections to DeLay voiced by normal conservatives who just wanted lower taxes not supervision at their death bed.  He is assuaging their fears by sending Cheney out - the guy that crowd looks to when they get squirmish about what extremists like DeLay get a little too much publicity.

      Now the moderate constituency will stop paying attention assuming Cheney has it covered and DeLay can get on with it unfettered.  

    •  I don't want Delay dumped-for now (4.00)
      I want the stench of corruption and rightwing nuttery going in all its glory during the 2006 elections.
      •  Damn straight! (none)
        Don't bring him down quite yet, but keep him on the ropes. We need to have him available to be the poster boy for repug corruption. We also need to tar others of his ilk simultaneously because eventually Tom "the cockraoch" DeLay will go down and we will need a seamless transition to the next.
    •  "Rove v. DeLay?" (none)
      Don't make me choose! I can't decide! Can we just have them kill each other off????? Can I hope for that?

      *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

      by clueless on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:01:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "caribbean hurricanes" (none)
      Which, if you'll recall, devastated Florida!

      *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

      by clueless on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:04:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they could get rid of Gingrich, (none)
      the Republicans are certainly capable of getting rid of DeLay.  They got rid of Joe McCarthy back in 1954.  They can do it.  The question is whether they are willing to do it.
  •  I'm sorry--this is bullshit (4.00)
    You can't be a Republican and a conservative and distance yourself from DeLay. DeLay IS the Republican party. His corruption is their corruption; his agenda is their agenda. We're being kind if we believe this is really given in good faith. It isn't.

    Bush has shown us that Republicans are unfathomable in their depravity. It's not like Tom DeLay is the worst of them. He is them.

    "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

    by Marshall on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:30:01 AM PST

    •  Yep (none)
      That is the realization honest Republicans should be reaching.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:32:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Conundra (none)
          An honest Republican right now would have to have resolved the cognitive dissonance by being gone from the party and going Independent.

          Or would have to be suicidal and be gone, period.  

        •  But he is smarter than the rest of them. (none)
          Smart Republicans will not answer the call to defend DeLay. If the ACU gets its way, they will be bring the whole party down with Bugboy. That's why I'm rooting for them. Get all the Reps on record in support of their Leader. Then, watch them squirm when the indictments start coming down.

          The Media Is Dead. Long Live NewsCorpse.com

          by KingOneEye on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:47:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good luck (4.00)
            Of course, that logic demands that the indictments actually hurt DeLay. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Media say "those aren't real indictments--they come from a partisan, DEMOCRATIC prosecutor." You forget: the Media is entirely in bed with the Republican contempt for the rule of law. You saw it in Schiavo, and it will happen again.

            The Media won't punish Republicans for endorsing DeLay's criminality. They'll punish Democrats for excessive "partisanship," for being "outside the mainstream" and attacking the Democratically-chosen House majority.

            "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

            by Marshall on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:52:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow - You're even more cynical than I am. (none)
              That's a huge accomplishment, believe me.

              I generally agree that the media is worthless and Reps will try to define the indictments as partisan, but after Schiavo, wherein the media was blatantly pushing the Schindler story (Save our daughter), the public still opposed Congressional intervention and was in favor of removing life support. This will make the public somewhat less accepting of a media that is so mis-aligned with their own views (I hope).

              The Media Is Dead. Long Live NewsCorpse.com

              by KingOneEye on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:07:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If they think the indictments are partisan..... (none)
                just wait til DeLay arrives in prison! They are REALLY partisan in prison!

                Tell Bugboy to have a really strong rope on his soap! While in prison, Delay will have the opportunity to rethink his position on gay marriage!

                *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

                by clueless on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:12:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Bugboy. (none)
            That's the best name for DeLay that I've heard yet.
        •  I disagree (none)
          I think he is pretty straight forward, as much as political partisans are in the blogosphere.

          "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

          by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:54:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  verily (none)
          spoken by a guy who closes comments when they go bad for him. Oh well, no surprises here.
        •  excuse me (none)
          Aren't you the same Stirling Newberry that Tac publicly, and under no need to do so, yielded his Brookings Institution slot to in order to make for more balanced participation?

          I guess that's what kindness gets you these days.

        •  Yes, he is... (none)
          Look, you can run when things are fucked up or you can fight back and try to fix things.  Pardon the cruder language, but that's the case.  I think he's brave to stand out and say this, much like Danforth (you think THAT'S why he quit his U.N. job, the hypocrisy?), and he wants his party to return to its roots.  It's not a bad thing to do, and it doesn't make him dishonest.

          "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin

          by wolverinethad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:03:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where truth is fiction (none)
          Because it is surely dishonest Republicans who excorciate their own leadership (to disagreement from hyperpartisan me, among others); imply that a Republican President should be impeached; call their party to account for a bankruptcy bill created at the behest of credit card companies (again, a point with which not only I, but surely the Party leadership would take issue).

          I could go on.

          Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

          by TCrown on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:30:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As Tony Bennett Says Repeatedly To Stephen Boyd (none)
    In that cinematic masterpiece The Oscar, "you lie down with pigs, you end up smelling like garbage!"

    If the Ancient Roman doesn't like his B.O., he has no one but himself to blame for wallowing in the pigsty that is the modern Republican Party.

    And as he's proved many times in his comments on this site, he's as much of a liar as any GOPerative.

    "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

    by JJB on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:30:29 AM PST

  •  "quintessential Republican politician" (3.75)
    I think he personifies the greed and powerlust of the current Republican party, but I would not say Republicans quintessentially have been power hungry and this slimy.
  •  Tactics don't always make good strategy (4.00)
    As we Democrats know all too well, short term can stomp all over your carefully crafted long term plans. The more the Republicans thrash about trying to save Delay, the more they'll come up with situations like the Schiavo overreach that not only leave a bad taste in the collective mouth of the American people, but openly violate the avowed principles of the Republican Party.

     Core Republican supporters will wonder why they should stand behind people who no longer represent states' rights, limited government, and ethics, and the independents and moderates will see the dreaded "flip-flop."

  •  The word Hammer (none)
    gave me an idea:

    Use the old communist Hammer and Cycle on a flag
    with Delay's name.

    Not QUITE a perfect analogy - but it would scare the blue hairs who are the mainstay of Fox and cable News.

  •  Did you just out Tac? (4.00)
    Hmmm, didn't know his cover had been blown. It will be very interesting to see how reasonable Republicans like Trevino navigate this.
    •  He's out (none)
      I am not telling any secrets out of school.

      And it merits a disclosure from me here. I consider Trevino a friend.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:33:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just figured that out myself (none)
        following that link and seeing he posted as "trevino." Kudos to you, I guess, for being friends with a known Republican and admitting so here. More ammunition for the "Armando is bad for dKos" crowd! Heh.
      •  Josh Trevino? (none)
        Did he graduate from Furman University in 1997?

        Small world -- I think I know that guy! Back in college he wrote very right-leaning columns in our school newspaper (a conservative school, so not unexpected). I always disagreed with him, but I also always considered him to be a very well-read, intelligent guy.

        -A

  •  This is the kind of thing DeLay and his base (4.00)
    are after:

    Faith Based Court Ordered Rehabilitation

    Just happened to run across this diary and it seemed pertinent. The gist is that a man was sentenced by a judge to "drug rehabilitation" which turned out to be forced religious conversion with no treatment. When the man refused to convert, the judge sent him to prison. This is exactly what DeLay and his base want.

    •  Scary. (none)
      Big difference between rehabilitation and treatment for anything.  I get the queasy feeling that the wingnuts feel that those who are dependent on Medicaire/Medicaid for health care should be praying instead!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:37:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  unquestioned support (none)
    Where have we heard that before? What are they going to do? Make every Republican sign a loyalty oath to DeLay or be expunged from the party? This is political blackmail - pure and simple. In the words of Bush, "you're either with us or against us".

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:38:30 AM PST

  •  The New York Post (4.00)
    Said that Cheney and I quote

    "On another issue, Cheney said he backed efforts to help save Terri Schiavo's life, but strongly disagreed with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who wants retribution against judges who blocked restoration of her feeding tube.

    "I don't think that's appropriate . . . There's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments," he said. "

    When Cheney is too the left of you, you know you've drifted to far right.

  •  Tacitus (4.00)
    is always on message. The Republicans are just trying to immunize on Delay so that the election can'be be persoanlized around him.

    Reptile talking point "Well I agree that Delay goes to far sometime, but we can get someone else in there after the election."

  •  An opportunity for Democrats (none)
    I remember someone from DCCC mentioning that "moderate" Rep. Chris Shays of CT voted with Delay 86%. Dems now hopefully can run those types of ads against so called moderates, or at least those who serve moderate districts. Put them on record if they support their corrupt House leader or not. As others have mentioned, Delay's woes had just hit the mainstream media a couple weeks ago(60 minutes story, TIME article). The Schiavo issue was supposed to make it go away, but now it seems more know who Tom Delay is. And now his stupid panel to review judges??? Amazing.  

    Check out an IMPORTANT 2005 Race: Tim Kaine for VA Governor

    by jj32 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:40:30 AM PST

    •  Yes, I think it's a gift (none)
      DeLay is definitely upping his profile, but in the worst way possible.  He's now God's Own Party messenger and his ethical troubles follow him.  Tying moderates to him will definitely hurt them.

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:55:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Delay upping his profile (none)
        is a calculated gamble. He has walked away from his crap before because the public at large had no face to put to the name.

        He is not stupid and probably realized that this visual anonimity was his strong suit so he must know that the his previous dealings have the potential to destroy his political career.

        Delay is gambling that whipping the wingnuts into a frenzy of hatred towards so called 'activist judges' will concentrate the media's focus away from investigations and serious discussion of his past conduct.

        He is using the Schiavo case to cut his losses.

         

        'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

        by stevej on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:25:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe the Dems should DEMAND (none)
      that DeLay resign. This will, of course, piss off every single repub.

      Which will force all the repubs to publicly support their good ole boy Tom DeLay!

      Which will, of course blow up in the repubs' faces like a clogged toilet when DeLay gets indicted!

      Waddya think?????

      *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

      by clueless on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:25:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hold on... (none)
      I wrote that we needed to support moderates like Shays, and he did lead the rebellion of House Republicans who voted AGAINST letting DeLay keep his leadership post. See Josh Marshall's site for more on this. So, don't get on his ass for voting alongside DeLay 86% of the time.  I'm sure there's some Democrats who sided with him on votes a good amount of the time too.  

      "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin

      by wolverinethad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:03:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's their liability, not ours. (4.00)
    The Dems should do everything they can to prolong the Delay investigations over the next two years.  As much as I detest him, he has become a huge liability to the Republicans and his position in their party is doing them far more harm than good. The public is now beginning to see Delay for what he is as well.  The last thing we want is a "clean Republican house" prior to going into the next election.  
  •  <pedantic left> (none)
    Er, en français, wouldn't that properly be "eminences grises"?  Concordance, Tac!
    </pedantic left>
  •  A fool a scoundrel (none)
    Tacitus is either a fool or a scoundrel or both.  Always has been.

    He'll end up figuratively against the wall, like all the idealistic revolutionaries (Danton to Trotski) who were the first to be purged by the machine they'd created.

    Shed not a tear for him; his voice is meaningless static in the wind and will not weigh an iota in DeLay's eventual fate.

    •  What about Cheney? (none)
      That is rather intriguing no?

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:51:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney'd die of gaol-fever waiting for trial (none)
        He's too old and sick to make it, but in the unlikely event he managed to survive, they'd drag his aged ass out there and stand him up against the wall, even if they had to have an oxygen tank and a tube in his nose to do it.

        The only guy who made it through by switching sides and pulled it off, iirc, was Fouche, father of the secret police system. I don't think Cheney's that quick witted.

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:58:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney = Krupp (none)
        I think of Cheney and his ilk a little like the Krupp of our neonazi empire.  If I recall Willian Manchester's THE ARMS OF KRUPP, the Krupp family did think Hitler was a bit extreme and worried that some of that extremism muight hurt their business a little, but didn't lose too much sleep on it -- until it was too late, of course.
        •  Interesting book (none)
          Wow, someone besides me who's read that book. It's a pretty amazing tale of the birth of the steel industry and the development of the modern-day arms trade. I also found the part about Allied bombing of Essen on a regular basis only to have Krupp rebuild and get production going within a day gave me perspective on how ineffective the whole "shock and awe" plan was.

          Sorry, off-topic I know.

          GOP: Party before Country
          Puppethead

          by puppethead on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:31:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  i agree (none)
      tacitus, sucks.  his handle and reference to the old roman historian aint so cool either.  i think the old tactius was the 'cnn wolf blitzer'.
      the fascists are playing hardball.
      i mean 'w' is praying for a fellow reactionary.
      they have something in common the pope and 'w' they have direct cell phones to jeebus.
      just keep ducking they are slinging the elephant poop everywhere.
      as for cheney.  big daddy knows best.
  •  This article just nails it (none)
    (in combo with Georgia10's diary).

    "Conservative leaders across the country are working now to make sure that any politician who hopes to have conservative support in the future had better be in the forefront as we attack those who attack Tom DeLay," he said."

    Delay has co-opted the social conservatives to be his pawns, screw their political objectives. Those who aren't faith-based will begin to feel the pain soon. I personally know one who's told me that he "turned off Rush and the boys and hasn't suffered one bit." He finds his view of the world much improved, he's still conservative but not at the effect of propaganda. He's talking to certain political figures about making a change in the Republican Party.

    I can dimly remember long ago when the Republican Party was conservative, not motto mouthing wacko. Programs could be made "compromise" and logic and management counted.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:50:35 AM PST

  •  Every tyranny needs its gulls and shills (4.00)
    Tacitus is no different from David Brooks.

    No better, no worse, just another sanctimonious enabler of evil. A little more aggressive and hypocritical in his rhetoric, but that's only a matter of style.

    FWIW, I'm related to or acquainted with any number of conservative Catholics like him, including the infamous Robert Spencer (being, for example, one handshake away from JPII) and I can tell you without any doubt, as of Easter, that the "decent conservatives" are playing Three Monkeys for all they're worth right now. (Just like they did through the first ten years of the pederasty scandals.)

    --Oh, no, now we can't criticize evil - at least when it's done by our own - because that would be judgment!

    All they ever do is point out splinters while ignoring beams, and when their hypocrisy is pointed out, piously fold hands and plead good intentions.

    Faugh. The lukewarm shall be spat out &c.

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:54:56 AM PST

    •  Obviously I disagree n/t (none)

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:55:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but where's the evidence? (none)
        I've just been watching him posture on ObWi again, in all his loathesomeness. If there's any evidence that he's anything but sincere, as the people who have preached murder in the name of God have been sincere from the time of Gideon, I've yet to see it in a single post this past year.

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:00:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am waiting......... (none)
    for someone in the Republican hierachy to tell DeLay to shut the f**k up.  There is just too much silence from the boys........ Do you really think the repubs want all their dirty laundry out there??
    •  I hope so :). (none)
      I hope they dont tell him to shut up. :). I think partially why that hasnt happened is because Bush and Co just want it to go away, yet they dont want there to seem like there is conflict since there is already rifts developing in the party. Plus, if he did tell him to shut up, the Christian right would go nuts, thinking Bush has become their enemy.

      Check out an IMPORTANT 2005 Race: Tim Kaine for VA Governor

      by jj32 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:37:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting point (none)
        Bush does pride himself on the loyalty/tight ship aspect of the party, and not straying from the party line, but he's lame-duck now, and his image going into 2006 will likely be nothing like that going into 2002.  People aren't as likely to listen to him now, and this makes change much more likely.  The crack-up is coming, but sadly, the crazies will probably win out, because the moderates never get themselves angry enough to do something about it.

        "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin

        by wolverinethad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:07:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nope! (none)
      I sure as hell do, though!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:43:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my confict.. (none)
    I HATE HATE HATE how the religious minority is taking this country hostage.  

    In the 1980s, Regan used the religious conservatives to get elected and then hung them out to dry.  Sociologists have been wondering for years why the religious conservatives get duped into voting for Republicans time after time and are always ignored after the election.

    No it seems as though Delay and the conservatives in Congress are actually following through with their promises to the religious minority.  Which is terribly frightening and against the idea of majority rules.  

    I guess my conflict is, we get pissed when they ignore them and we get pissed when they are beholden to them.  What is the solution??? Your thoughts??

    (I'm being devil's advocate I HATE Tom Delay and the psychotic religious/rapture/repugnant right)

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:58:25 AM PST

    •  Understood (none)
      I hate the perversion of religious/moral/ethical/spiritual values into simplified politiacl mottoes by the wacko right. They remove all human consideration and ethical balancing from individual cases and people. Note that many religious people are members here and are very upset about this issue.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

      by Rolfyboy6 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:17:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am one of them... (none)
        My mother is an Episcopal Priest.  Both she and her boss detest this administration and are very troubled by the way they have hijacked religion.  It turns people off to any sort of spirituality which can be very healthy.  Bush and Jeb were both raised in the Episcopal churh.  W we know all about but I just recently found out that Jeb became a Catholic in 1994 after he lost the Gov. election in FL.  

        Its not easy being a Floridian.

        by lawstudent922 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 12:32:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think (none)
      years of being led on have had an effect.  The fundies weren't too happy with Dubya or Jeb regarding the Schiavo case.  The Republicans thought they could get a bill passed, then say they've done all they could.  The fundies were demanding they send in the troops to rip Ms. Schiavo out of hospice and re-insert the tube.

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:35:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you really think, with the liability issue,.. (none)
        that a doctor would reinsert the tube?  There would be no way to ensure the patient would survive and then what?  Plus if there was a court order in place, the doctor would be defying the order and may inturn lose his license to practice medicine....or never be able to afford malpractice insurance again!!!  Really, there is alot more here than meets the eye.  And for the life of me I don't hear any of the doctors squealing their heads off...they should and they could have!  

        Peace to Terri!

  •  The word Hammer (none)
    gave me an idea:

    Use the old communist Hammer and Sickle on a flag
    with Delay's name.

    Not QUITE a perfect analogy - but it would scare the blue hairs who are the mainstay of Fox and our other fine cable news shows.

  •  The republican box (none)
    They have to measure this against election cycles. If they act against DeLay now, and succeded in ousting him, they will be in good shape in '06. Of the few with memories that long, enough will view the repubs as having come around to doing what is right.

    If repubs think they can defend DeLay forever, they are just plain stupid. I think that is self-evident.

    My guess is that they fear they don't have the ammo to take out DeLay now, so hope to keep a lid on this until '07.

    Their hands are too full, putting out DeLay's brushfires, to sit back and see where this ultimately resolves. They don't have the luxury of time to think this through. And, I think DeLay's tipping point is closer than they realize.

    If I was a repub, I would want DeLay gone - YESTERDAY! As I am not, I hope they spend the next year rushing from one of Delay's brushfires to the next, untill they realize that the entire party is in flames.

  •  I don't think (none)
    DeLay is a quintessential Republican politician - insanely greedy for power. I think he's a reactionary, opposed by all men and women of conscience regardless of party.

    It's time to stop tarring good republicans. We need them. There are many of them in and out of government. Like Judge Greer. Like the two retired miliary brass who've joined the ACLU to sue Rumsfeld over torture. Defenders of our Constitution.

    the country is under attack by extreme reactionaries. Traditional liberals and conservatives are the two teams who play on the playing field. The reactionaries are destroying the playing field. Just as traditional distinctions between liberal and conservative didn't apply in the judicial reaction to Schiavo, I don't think they do in politics any more either. There are two camps that count now. Those who are rubber stamps for tyranny and those who aren't. I don't give a damn what their political party is.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:02:25 AM PST

  •  If Rove knows anything (4.00)
    it's how to read a poll. A number of polls, actually. Despite the rabidness of the extreme religious right, they sure as hell aren't a plurality. I think perhaps the Repugs had forgotten that until they overplayed this issue. Backpedal and backpedal as they may, they've put themselves in a sticky situation, and have their own arrogance to blame for it. Making it even more intriguing is Jeb's role in all of this. How do disavow DeLay and his tactics without disavowing Jeb? Are we seeing the first conflict about who's going to be the heir to the White House?
    •  re: Heir to the White House (none)
      If your opinion/question is correct, is possible that cheney wants to be and is trying to make himself more "reasonable".

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:49:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should clarify (none)
        their hoped-for Republican heir to the White House--I'm thinking the Frist/DeLay cabal vs. the Jeb cabal, where I'd assume Cheney/Rove would be. If my speculation is correct, how they'd  maneuver Jeb into the "reasonable" category after all this is a mystery. Kind of fun to watch them squirming, though.
    •  Does Bush/Rove care? (none)
      Bush won't be running again, ever, so does he realy care about poll numbers?  Jeb says he isn't running for President in 2008, so...  

      But I would love to see a wedge driveen between Bush and DeLay...at least that would give true conservatives cover for not being loyal to Tom, which loyalty may hurt them in 2006/08.  Bush has to decide which Republican Party he want's to leave behind.  I suspect he won't though, as that would require leadership and decision making skills, which, as we all know, he lacks almost completely.

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 12:11:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Delay controls too much money (none)
    in terms of contributions to various PAC's that he won't easily be disposed of.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by Cordelia Lear on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:11:44 AM PST

  •  Rove v. DeLay? (4.00)
    The SA v. the SS?
    •  Heh (none)
      Godwin.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:17:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rove v. DeLay (none)
        You're so naive, Armando.  Most of your posts exude genuine indignation that gambling is going on in this establishment. It must be your legal training.  You're shocked, shocked.

        It's very endearing, admirable even, and I'm all in favor of keeping the indignation levels high, but I can't help chuckling at someone who still drags Godwin's Law today.

        If the SA v. the SS stretches your limited imagination, the try Danton v. Robespierre.

        •  Naive? (none)
          Well, if you think people other than me can get past the Nazi reference, well I think one of us is naive, and it ain't me.

          It's a question of effective rhetoric. Nazi references are spectacularly ineffective. Hopefully you will learn that some day.

          BTW, my tone here is entirely justified by your reply.

          "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

          by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:28:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  du jour (4.00)
            I think you are spectacularly misinformed if you think the Nazi analogy has not become du jour.

            From a variety of serious articles comparing the situation in Germany in the 1930s to ours, to often humorous photoshop montages (on White House.org) to the notorious Billmon (I think?) competition comparing posts from LGF to Goebbels' rantings, the Nazi analogy is most definitely in force today.

            If you don't see it, too bad for you.

            And since we're having this chat (remember, you started the snarkiness), yes, I do get tired of your "this is yet another outrage, how dare they do this?" rethoric.  

            Of course they dare.  They have dared in the past and they will dare even more in the future.  That you can still be surprised that they dare at all is beyond me.  

            What do you expect them to do???? Be like you????

            We're brothers in the same fight, yes, but your approach reminds me of the folks kept trying to negotiate with the Martians in Tim Burton's MARS ATTACKS and were constantly surprised at being zapped by death rays.

            You're genuinely appalled over the ghastly Alberto Gonzales torture abomination because your heart is in the right place and, somehow, you think our government, our country, is better than that. It is not, Armando.

            If you recognize the Beast for what it is, you cannot be surprised.

            My Danton v. Robespierre analogy also carries within the Democratic Party. You're a Danton and I'm a Robespierre.  It is not the Dantons that will defeat this evil regime, but the Robespierres.

            In many ways, I very sincerely hope that I'm wrong about all of this, and that nice folks like you are right and will prevail.  It would be better for everyone concerned really.

            But in the pit of my stomach, I don't think so.

            •  Well (none)
              You have your views and I have mine. I think your notion of what it means to be spectacularly uninformed is rather absurd.

              Clearly, this not a fact question, but rather a question of opinion.

              "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

              by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:44:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  the times are different and very similar (none)
              you are not supposed to use the 'f' word. fascism.
              america is very afraid in a fractured way. what to do with this disney approach to reality. america has to face the fact that the oil aint gonna be affordable and around. therefore  conquest.
              they have bred a very complacent base, the wallmart nation.  they just cannot get people of color to cooperate becausee they are on the bottom. like the oil problem the empire has a color problem.  also the people of color are outnumbering the rulers. how to control them?  
              so many problems.
              empire has to control, delay is perfect and so is w and so is condi and so is rummy.
              but they are very insecure and that is why they smash ancient civilizations and act reckless.

              same ole same ole.
              it aint germany butn very similar and we get to witness the complete horrow show unfolding.
              i mean they must have air bused the crowds from the terry s. debacle to rome.  springtime for hitler indeed.
              interesting times indeed.

      •  OT.... (none)
        You know, I never heard of Godwin's Law before (and, to think, I actually consider myself pretty damn knowledgable about internet culture/folklore), and since you mentioned it the other day and just now, I finally looked it up.

        By this law, shouldn't Scarborough Country be only about 5 minutes long? :-)

        Thanks for forcing me to look stuff up.

  •  Cheney vs. DeLay - NOT Rove vs. DeLay (none)
    There's a huge difference. Cheney is, IMO, among the last of the Reagan Republicans with any power.

    My belief is that we're watching the end of a fight for the heart of the GOP. I think the fundies have won. The days when the party pandered to the religious right, while working to line the pockets of the rich, are over. The religious right is calling the shots.

    The fat-cats may still get their dough - but they can no longer expect to get that money and NOT have the fundamentalists empowered.

    Cheney is a quintessential fat-cat GOP man. He's happy to have the religious right's vote, but his primary concern is to line his own pockets and the pockets of his crony industrialist friends. he may even believe in exportation of democracy via war as a way to solve the world's ills - but only when it can be done profitably.

    Now, suddenly, the fat-cat GOoPers typified by Cheney have to be amazed. The genie won't go back into the bottle.

    And we all get to watch as a sitting president flies back to Washington DC to sign into law a clearly un-constitutional bill, because he was forced to the the fundamentalists who gave him his presidency.

    Rove, unlike Cheney, knows exactly who wields the power. I doubt we'll see Rove saying anything supportive of the tenure of judges. Nor will we hear Bush say anything of the sort...

    Rove's goal is GOP domination of the USA for a generation or more. Bush II is just a part of that goal. The fundies have given Rove those votes. Rove knows he can't alienate the fundies. If he does, the GOP loses power.

    It is a myth that there are any moderates in the GOP with any power. They don't exist. The power is now ALL held by people like DeLay, Hastert, Frist, and Santorum. The Specters of the world are too scared to say boo.

    -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

    by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:24:49 AM PST

    •  Rove not aligned with Cheney? (none)
      That is just wrong in my opinion.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:29:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just wrong? (none)
        That's not an argument.

        Cheney's days in office are numbered. He's of little use to the GOP as a person who wins votes, and his refusal to bash the judges who dared to stand up to the fundamentalists puts him at stark odds with those fundamentalists.

        Cheney is openly supportive of his gay daughter. Compare him to Keyes. Keyes' candidacy - did you follow any of the Freepers' wars over Keyes? Keyes, for the Freepi, is a true believer. Keyes is the kind of guy they WANT to vote for. The kind whose beliefs allow him to toss out his own daughter...or utter not-so-veiled threats to sitting judges.

        It wasn't the fiscal conservatives or the fat-cat GOP voters who got Bush into office. It was the GOP base - and a huge chunk of that base is made up of people who oppose abortion, people who want evolution taught in schools, and people who think homosexuality is a sin.

        Things have changed. Those people are calling the shots now. Ask Specter. Ask Christie Whitman. Ask Bush, for Christ's sake.

        -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

        by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:38:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What argument? (none)
          Whether he is or isn't is not subject to argument. We have no way of knowing one way or the other.

          It's sheer specualtion, by you and by me.

          Why would there be an argument on this? What would such an argument look like?

          "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

          by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:41:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would look like... (none)
            ...recitation of comments by Cheney and Rove that might confirm or deny the idea that Cheney or Rove are either with or against the fundies.

            It's not speculation. Cheney is a far cry from DeLay, or Pat Robertson. The GOP is calling for those who are pro-life to stand up for DeLay, right now. DeLay is calling for a review by the House of what to do about uppity judges.

            What might such a review lead to? What else, but setting up some way to oust judges whose opinions the fundies disagree with?

            Activist judges - it's the new mantra. Never mind that more than half the judges in this recent fracas have been GOP appointed judges. They're activists, going against the "will of the people".

            Cheney'd never support that kind of looniness, but DeLay does.

            Rove will, too, because that's just the sort of looniness the fundies (who voted Rove/Bush into power) love.

            -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

            by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:01:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (none)
              Since these folks say anyhting, I think it requires more than a face value analysis, i.e. - it requires speculation.

              "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

              by Armando on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:06:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The only other explanation... (none)
                ...for Cheney's moderation may be just that - to appear moderate.

                He carried the same role in the election, of course, with the emphasis on his gay child. "He can't be that bad, see, his own kid is gay".

                But, in this instance, I think it's different.

                DeLay has people like Gary Bauer equating the attacks on DeLay with an attack on the GOP's "values". DeLay made similar statements himself at a press conference during the Schiavo fracas.

                I will be very, very surprised if DeLay falls from power. The fundamentalists are the real power behind the GOP, and they love DeLay.

                It's a new day, and the Cheney's of the world are gonna have to make room for the Frankenstein they created. No, that's wrong -  Frankenstein will have to decide if he still wants Cheney around.

                -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

                by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:17:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  re: Cheney's days in office are numbered. (none)
          What about plans for the future?  That's alarming!

          The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

          by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:53:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Keyes and the fundies? (none)
          Keyes is the kind of guy they WANT to vote for.

          I really doubt that.  Besides being black, Keyes is a very committed Catholic.

          •  The GOP is actively courting Catholics (none)
            It ties in very well with their pro-life agenda, and at the same time forces a wedge between the Dems and the Catholics, who used to vote Democratic.

            Read NRO's Corner, or LGF, or Freeperland - those people loved the Pope. They managed to do this by ignoring the things JPII said in criticism of US policy.

            -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

            by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:10:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, the GOP is courting the Catholics. (none)
              But what do you think the fundies think about that?  (Hint: visit some right-wing discussion boards.)
              •  I have visited those boards (none)
                There's a real trend of anti-Catholic bigotry among many hardcore conservatives, but they're still seeking to curry favor with the catholic voters.

                This isn't about belief systems - it's about power, and the men running this show don't hold ANY of their beliefs as dear as they hold power.

                If the Bauers and DeLays and Frists of this world can firm up their control on the government by allying with Catholics, they'll do it in a heartbeat.

                Rove, of course, is well aware of the possible gold mine the Catholics represent. Be on the lookout for Shrub to spew out a slew of "culture of life" speeches praising the Pope.

                -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

                by Toadvine on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:00:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Lynne is Cheney's religious fundamentalist (none)
      The man can be the reasonable fat cat who brings home the bacon while his wife stirs the far right religious soup.
      •  I don't think the fat-cats will starve (none)
        The fundies are war-mongers, after all, and war is good for business.

        I just think that all those issues the fundies have dreamed of for years - abortion outlawed, evolution education done away with, abstinence education, birth control erosion, homosexuality demonized - all that stuff will come to pass.

        The fundies may even sit by and allow the dreams of the fat-cats to come to pass, too. Even lower taxes on the rich, even less environmental regulation (who cares, Rapture is near?) the end of the social welfare system - these may come to pass, but only if DeLay can get the fundies riled up enough about homos and abortion.

        -What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.

        by Toadvine on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:22:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  DeLay will be marginalized (none)
    Bush has isolated DeLay. In the same manner that Ken Lay was sacrificed for the moment, so goes DeLay....Bush and Co. will be standing by the funeral pyre warming their hands during the fall of the 2006 election. There are many who are fellow travellors with Bush..some risk getting burned but think it worthwhile to attach themselves to a "winner".
    The Bushes are about their own interests and are ultimately loyal to only a select few in their band of thieves. If you become a political gamble to keep, good-bye and close the door behind you.
  •  Infighting (none)
    The average person can't see the infighting and the nuances of one republican against another.  They aren't us.  So lets hope they stay distant enough from the news ,  yet somewhat aware.  That way just glancing at news stories, thay come to see Delay as  symbolizing the entire republican party, and they move to get rid of them(2006) in large numbers .

    When there is a big wave of change based on a few very obvious,newsworthy,obnoxious wackos like Delay, and Santorium, that is when the less curious, underinformed ,non current event voters become beneficial to us.

    Of course I'm deluded, and more hopeful than I should be (all due to Dailykos).  Keep dreamin'

    If Travino would put out a Tip Jar, I would give him a 4.

    •  average person is busy but needs to take notice (none)
      Yes I agree with "Infighting" by hopscotch...I suggest one show up with a clean shirt and a tie or your equivalent "best clothes" and be ready to speak capably and clearly. Do not bring beautiful fancy puppets, artful masks and music, this is not about lifestyle it's about our country. March quietly in high numbers and carry your message boldly and clearly on well written banners. Bring your children. Do not be threatening or confrontational.
      Do not feel ashamed of optism...For the fellow travellors of Bush (but outside the inner circle) their optimism is based on a false assertion that American worldwide corporate dominance is welcomed by others. They are now finding out it is not true. Our is based on what's good for the planet and the majority of its people. This is true.
  •  re: Cheney (none)
    "There's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments."

    Talk about covering your ass!

    The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

    by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:29:49 AM PST

    •  He's good at it... (none)
      you know:

      Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. . . . With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People . . . ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to."

      ...snip...

      "At this point . . . my own preference is as I've stated," Cheney said. "But the president makes basic policy for the administration. And he's made it."

      •  re: he's good at it. (none)
        As I was reading your post, I started to wonder.  Is it possible that cheney is attempting to attract currently dissatisifed republican voters?  (Maybe I'm just imagining it, but his quotes sound almost like a potential candidates.)

        Think about it.  He also knows the polls.  By his exploiting the fact that his daughter is gay, he is appearing to be more "reasonable"/tolerant than the wingnuts.  

        The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

        by Street Kid on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:59:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (none)
    dangblastit!  I just wrote the longest prose-iest, well-reasoned and premonitory response.  Hit the wrong button & lost the whole thing.

    here's the  long and the short of it (since I don't have the energy to fish up all the same effort)

    pivotal struggle-- two things at stake-- DeLay's future & the nature of the last arm of the gov that is not wholly dominated & subservient to BushCo.

     (notice I didn't say 'republican' because I personally gained a lot of respect and reassurance from the way that conservatives in the judiciary last week refused to submit and salute. I for one am beginning to think that we ought not to call Bush and the neo's and theo's & pluto's (who dance to his siren song_ Republicans.  They've hijacked that party, but they're not really republicans any more than the anti-immigration monomaniacs seeking to seize control of the Sierra Club are ecologists.)

    This is the last stop on the road to complete and utter domination of the US government.

    Minor point, but only in comparison.  All the polls went against them on Schiavo.  But this did not seem in any way to affect the coverage.  On the contrary.  The RWEC was at full volume.

    One of many cosequences of that-- I guess it's obvious but worth repeating, even so-- is that individuals/families planted in front of their individual tvs are constantly given the impression that disagreement is in the minority.  It's not reflected on the tv. Therefore it must not exist.

    Way back when the Dean campaign began, I remember how startled (and elated) I was to discover that I was not alone, not marginal, not fringe.  There were all those people.  Who'da thunk it?

    And I pay attention.

    The first big disconnect from GOPer-mania was the impeachment.  Remember?  "Where's the outrage?"  But Gore & the D's behaved as if that were not true.  They made it true by the way they shunned big Dawg.

    Resistance is everything.  Which is why--though I am no organizer (a great follower, and attendee, however)-- I sincerely hope marches and demonstrations are being planned to support the right to filibuster & the protection of the judiciary.

    Somehow, though, I don't bet on it.

    "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

    by Tulip on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:43:01 AM PST

  •  Cheney and Rove (none)
    Does anyone think that maybe they are in cahoots to turn into the "reasonable" parties to this, and betray the Bushies for their own gain?
  •  I don't know if you all remember (none)
    but Bush and company pushed Trent Lott out the door in 2002 after the Strom Thurmond remarks, and if DeLay becomes too big a problem, they may lean on House Republicans to shove DeLay out the door and/or run someone against him in the primary if that doesn't happen.  We may despise Bush for so many of his actions, but I've never underestimated him, and he knows (or should know) that if they want to keep the majority, he's got to get that albatross off his back.  I'm hoping that he doesn't do it, but don't think it isn't possible, and we have to be ready to still run a campaign that can hit on other fronts.
    However, for our own good, I would advise leaving alone moderates such as Chris Shays, Rob Simmons, and Olympia Snowe.  They have worked across the aisle, and that is something we shouldn't work to undermine.  They can lead their party back to sanity, and should be left alone.
    Now, Chafee, on the other hand, should be enticed as much as possible to join the Democratic caucus.  It's not like the GOP even wants him there anymore, why not make a gain without having to run a rookie against him?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."-Benjamin Franklin

    by wolverinethad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 01:58:06 PM PST

  •  life long nebraska publisher dumps GOP (none)
         Anderson has endorsed every GOP presidential candidate. In Nebraska he is one of the most influential GOP repubs, he blasted dems regularly. The World Herald is a right wing paper that consistently backs the GOP

    Published Sunday
    March 27, 2005

    Harold W. Andersen: Republicans have way to protest party's takeover by religious right

    BY HAROLD W. ANDERSEN

    WORLD-HERALD CONTRIBUTING EDITOR  

    The "let Terri live" voices are by far the loudest, but three national polls have indicated that the majority of Americans, relatively silent as the controversy continues, feel that the most compassionate treatment for Terri Schiavo - as well as the proper legal course of action - is to let her vegetative existence end, as advocated by her legal guardian, her husband.

    The majority of Americans are simply outgunned when it comes to anything like "equal time" in the debate and legal maneuvering.

    Representing the minority viewpoint are people with their hands on the levers of power - President Bush, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (and isn't he a fine one to be lecturing on the "moral" way to handle the Schiavo case) and Senate Majority Leader William Frist - holders of the most powerful positions in the U.S. Congress and all members of the Republican Party. What do members of the relatively silent majority do? How do they speak out?

    For Republicans who consider their party a captive of the religious right on matters like medical research and right-to-die legislation and now legislative intrusion into the judicial system, there is a way to at least feel more comfortable with their political consciences.

    That way is to leave a party whose leadership is currently attempting to leave behind in the dust of American constitutional history the principle of separation of powers that has served this country well for more than 200 years.

    Republican-mandated congressional action last week attempting to intrude into areas traditionally reserved to the courts was tragic, yet not without almost comic opera overtones. For example:

    CNN's live coverage of proceedings in the House of Representatives included repeated references to the "save Terri Schiavo" bill as having been "passed unanimously" by the Senate earlier that day.

    But only three senators were present when the bill was rushed through what has sometimes been referred to as the world's greatest deliberative body. (Under rules in the House of Representatives, there did have to be a quorum present - that is, at least 218 of the 435 members - when the House voted on the measure "unanimously" passed by three senators.)

    The press, in my opinion, have generally done an inadequate job of coverage. For one thing, the fact that the Senate's "unanimous" vote involved only three senators has received too little attention.

    And I've been reading story after story and listening to broadcasts on the Schiavo case and it wasn't until two days ago that I read that Terri's husband, Michael, was not alone in recalling that his wife had said she didn't want to be kept alive by extraordinary means if her case appeared hopeless.

    In one of the many judicial proceedings - more than 20 in all - Michael Schiavo's brother and sister-in-law testified that Terri had said "I don't want to be kept alive on a machine" and made several similar statements.

    And there has been too little public discussion of two other factors that seem to me to be of considerable relevance:

    Presumably, the religious conservatives deeply involved in the case believe in an afterlife - eternal life in circumstances considerably more appealing than lying in a hospital bed in a vegetative state for 15 years, being kept alive by food and liquids fed into your body through a hole in your abdomen.

    Wouldn't the more compassionate course be to release Terri from a vegetative existence in the belief you are sending her on to a better life after death?

    Also scarcely mentioned is the great irony in this fact:

    Conservatives who excoriate judges for intruding onto legislative turf by "legislating" in some of their decisions are now applauding legislators for intruding onto judicial turf by telling the courts they must yet again review the Schiavo case.

    Incidentally, I wonder if those fighting to continue to allow Terri to exist believe that those televised hospital room scenes are helpful to their cause in that they show Terri with mouth and eyes open, from time to time turning her head and seeming to smile.

    But I believe those pictures - including the shot of nurses' hands inserting feeding tubes into Terri's abdomen - can be interpreted as tending to confirm medical experts' testimony as to Terri's vegetative state.

    Whatever the motivation, the pictures seem to me a cruel invasion of what should be the privacy of pathetic Terri Schiavo's hospital room.

    * * *

    I would think that I'm not the only Republican who feels the party's leadership has engaged in an irresponsible and perhaps unprecedented effort to subvert the traditional separation of government powers. How to express our disapproval?

    I'm going to the Douglas County Election Commissioner's office on Monday to change my political registration from Republican to Independent, while continuing to feel sympathy for Terri Schiavo and her parents and believing that the most compassionate course is to free her from her sad existence, Republican Party politicians to the contrary notwithstanding.
    * The writer, retired publisher of The World-Herald, may be reached at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, Neb., 68127. The telephone number is (402) 593-4553.

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