Thursday, March 24


I am disgusted by those who, like Richard Cohen, mildly criticize the congressional and otherwise politically engaged Republicans who have intervened in the Terri Schiavo case, but yet more largely blame Democrats for not taking part in a battle that they not only did not choose, but could find no reason to partake in.

It's not hard to understand why. A vote against the bill would almost certainly be used by some future campaign as a vote in favor of putting Schiavo to death. In a quick TV spot, that sort of stuff can do real damage. At the same time, a fair number of Democrats who were appalled by the bill were reluctant to put their colleagues on the spot. It might have been okay for Ted Kennedy or John Kerry to oppose the bill -- they come from Massachusetts, after all -- but it could be a different story for some Democrat whose state is not quite so blue. Out of consideration for the imperiled, some tongues were clearly held. Still, it seemed that the party's highest principle was to have almost none at all.
Say what you will about DeLay, he is not afraid to state his beliefs and fight for them. Say what you will about the Democrats, they are. That's why DeLay's called "The Hammer." What would you call the Democrats? Never mind. When they're ready, they'll call you.

So DeLay, in Cohen's opinion, gets points for being aggressive even if he is corrupt and politically opportunistic. Democrats are reviled because they haven't the same "in" to the media. I've heard, and read, plenty of Democrats on the Schiavo issue. So now we're in the wrong when we ccan't get major media exposure, even though we can't control or determine that exposure? We're supposed to bow to the Repugs framing of the issues, even when it's patently obvious this is a Republican issue and we won't get a dime's worth of reciprocal coverage? Why should we kowtow to a Republican-led initiative that is not only in opposition to traditional Democratic principles but, according to recent polls, to Americdan sensibilties at large as well?


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