Revisionist history strikes a beat; Into your heart it will seep: Latest example, a materially false opinion piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Jay Bookman. First, Bookman says he was appalled by “political overreaching,” the second of which involved Terri Schiavo. From “Rick Santorum and the Terri Schiavo Disaster:”
The second, and far more egregious, was the Terri Schiavo affair, in which Congress attempted to directly intervene in a family dispute in Florida involving a clearly brain-dead woman.
Bookman is displaying his own ignorance. Schaivo was no more “brain dead” than Bookman is. Brain dead is “dead.” She was profoundly disabled, either unconscious or minimally conscious—but able to live without most medical treatments other than a feeding tube. No kidney dialysis. No respirator. Just food and water. When was the last time you saw a corpse swallow her own saliva, for example?
I bring all this up because the person perhaps most responsible for that shameless act of political narcissism is now a leading candidate for the GOP president nomination. Back in 2005, then-Sen. Rick Santorum helped turn the Schiavo tragedy into a national morality play, with himself and a few others self-cast as its heroes.
Well, that bill in the Senate received unanimous consent in the Senate. Barach Obama did not object. Had he, and Terri’s Law as it was called, would never have passed. Ditto, Hillary Clinton. Ditto Harry Reid. Ditto Tom Harkin, and every United States Senator in office at the time. And 45% of the House Democrats voting approved for the bill, as well.
In actuality, Terri’s Law was one of the most bipartisan during the Bush Presidency. This revisionism is about using poor, dead Terri Schiavo as a political pawn in the very way that the critics complain about. It is political demogoguery and mendacious finger pointing. Nothing less.
I think this issue bears revisiting, if just for the sake of clarity and truth in advertising.