Two Reasons For the GOP's Focus On the Very Old
December 09, 2009
At fivethirtyeight.com, Professor Tom Schaller offers an interesting explanation of the recent obsession of Republicans with resisting any second look at health care costs for seniors. It's just a matter of identity politics, he says: Republicans point at Democrats in Congress and the White House and charge that they and they health care reform plans must be stopped because (a) they are going to cut seniors’ Medicare; and (b) they are going to institute “death panels” to pull the plug on seniors.
The Schiavo Saga and "Death Panels"
August 24, 2009
At HuffPo today, Sam Stein explores an irony that I've also been thinking about: many of the very conservatives who are ventilating claims that health care reform will interject the federal government into end-of-life decisions--with or without "death panels"--were hell-bent on Congress dictating an end-of-life decision in the infamous Terri Schiavo case in 2005: Some of the same conservative figures taking potshots at Democrats for wanting to fund voluntary discussions about end-of-life decisions between doctors and their patients were leading the charge four years ago to contravene the deci
January 07, 2009
Amanda Terkel over at Think Progress has noted that social conservatives are looking to resurrect the Terri Schiavo case as a way to go after Thomas Perrelli, Obama's pick for Associate AG. It seems that some on the right remain up in arms over Perrelli's representation of Michael Schiavo in Schiavo's efforts to have his poor, brain-dead wife's feeding tube removed. This bit from the Washington Times: Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, derided Mr.
May 08, 2006
Alan Wolfe: What the immigration debate tells us about who Americans are, and who they want to be.
What God Owes Jefferson
May 23, 2005
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It By Jim Wallis (HarperSanFrancisco, 384 pp., $24.95) Taking Faith Seriously Edited by Mary Jo Bane, Brent Coffin, and Richard Higgins (Harvard University Press, 381 pp., $29.95) The phenomenon of martyrdom demonstrates that political success and personal salvation do not generally go together. The faithful find grace not in building winning coalitions, but in worshipping God's glory. Gazing toward heaven means stumbling on earth, a small price to pay for the rewards that await. For a deeply religious society, the Unit
May 02, 2005
EARLIER THIS YEAR, when Bill Frist invoked some grainy video footage and his cardiology training to overturn the prevailing medical consensus about Terri Schiavo's brain, we marveled at the specimen housed within the Senate majority leader's own cranium--a mind at once cynical and craven, and with the capacity for ever-greater feats of cravenness and cynicism in his quest for the GOP's 2008 presidential nomination. Frist has not disappointed. Last Thursday, the venerable Tennessee senator announced that he would participate in an upcoming Family Research Council event called Justice Sunday.
May 02, 2005
MANY CATHODE-ILLUMINATED years have passed since the term "infotainment" settled into reality and started appearing without quotation marks. The devolution of the evening news into a hybrid sort of entertainment is an old tale. In its original form, it simply meant that hard news stories would still be broadcast, but that there would be fewer of them, and more segments about lifestyle issues, celebrity shenanigans, and the like. How quaint it all was.
April 11, 2005
Much of the press coverage of the Schiavo case focused on a now-familiar split within the Republican Party between social conservatives—who insisted nothing mattered more than prolonging Terri Schiavo's life—and anti-government libertarians, who tut-tutted about the Republican leadership's encroachment on local autonomy.
What Schiavo Taught
April 11, 2005
If Terri Schiavo will have been a martyr for any cause, it will be for the cause of moral reflection in America. This is not obvious, of course. The Schiavo "debate" has constituted one of the great degradations in modern American life. This controversy about virtue in America has been a perfect storm of American vices, as our grand national traditions of sanctimony and publicity combined to make a mockery of reasoned deliberation about difficult problems. And yet, the paradoxical effect of this rank and inescapable spectacle has been to incite an entire population to thought.
On the Shamelessness of Our Public Sphere
April 11, 2005
Even though the Terri Schiavo controversy has all but vanished from the news these days, the family's graphic amateur videos of Schiavo's body lying helpless in her hospice bed and broadcast all over the country still occasionally come back to me, especially the frozen image of Schiavo's mother supporting her once-lovely daughter's head with its now vacant eyes, slack, slightly opened mouth, and neck scarred from what appeared to be a tracheotomy incision.