Monday, March 21, 2005


The Tail Wags the Blogosphere And The World Changed for Terri

The process remains infuriating in the Terri Schiavo case. The federal judge that has gotten it after yesterday's Congressional battle and the President signing the bill in the wee hours, has postponed any ruling until at least at a hearing this afternoon at 3PM Eastern. Please God, Please God, Please God.

Be not discouraged -- God's hand has clearly been evident. Friend Catez at Allthings2all quotes Luke's gospel this morning:
"He has shown strength with his arm
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts
He has put down the mighty from their thrones
And exalted the lowly
He has filled the hungry with good things
And the rich he has sent away empty"
- Luke 1:51-53
Even if this federal judge does not do the right thing, or do it fast enough - God Forbid! - I am thankful for what has happened and how it has happened.

In the first place the Congressional action over the weekend was extraordinary. This was not business as usual for our lawmakers by any stretch of the imagination. But despite the protests, it is also not unprecedented. Our federal government has steeped in before when the states were involved in serious evil. Anybody remember the Civil War, or federal troops forcefully integrating southern universities? No troops here -- much better way of doing things.

The Wall Street Journal has several excellent pieces this morning. This featured article is an opinion piece and you have to love this paragraph:
We'd have more sympathy for this argument if the same liberals who are complaining about the possibility of the federal courts reviewing Mrs. Schiavo's case felt as strongly about restraining the federal judiciary when it comes to abortion, homosexuality, and other social issues they don't want to trust to local communities. In any event, these critics betray their lack of understanding of the meaning of federalism. It is not simply about "states' rights." Conservatives support states' rights in areas that are not delegated to the federal government but they also support federal power in areas that are delegated.
Those that fought this effort have routinely trampled states' rights when it suited their purposes.

Editor James Taranto's "Best Of The Web Today" hits an absolute homer run:
But why do those of us who aren't right-to-life absolutists side with Mrs. Schiavo's parents, who want to keep her alive, over her husband, who wants her dead? It's a fair question, and it raises another one: What kind of husband is Michael Schiavo?

According to news reports, Mr. Schiavo lives with a woman named Jodi Centonze, and they have two children together. Surely any court would consider this prima facie evidence of adultery. And this is no mere fling; a sympathetic 2003 profile in the Orlando Sentinel described Centonze as Mr. Schiavo's "fiancée." Mr. Schiavo, in other words, has virtually remarried. Short of outright bigamy, his relationship with Centonze is as thoroughgoing a violation of his marriage vows as it is possible to imagine.

The point here is not to castigate Mr. Schiavo for behaving badly. It would require a heroic degree of self-sacrifice for a man to forgo love and sex in order to remain faithful to an incapacitated wife, and it would be unreasonable to hold an ordinary man to a heroic standard.

But it is equally unreasonable to let Mr. Schiavo have it both ways. If he wishes to assert his marital authority to do his wife in, the least society can expect in return is that he refrain from making a mockery of his marital obligations. The grimmest irony in this tragic case is that those who want Terri Schiavo dead are resting their argument on the fiction that her marriage is still alive.
I do think Michael Schiavo should be castigated, but otherwise, what a great piece.

At his blog, Hugh Hewitt describes this morning's WSJ piece from James Q. Wilson as "worth the subscription." I paid it and Hugh was right. As I write this minute, Laura Ingraham is reading parts of the piece on the air -- It is destined to be a classic. Wilson's very personal recount of his own travails coupled with a very powerful legal argument makes for great reading. Hard to pick a money quote, but I'll try
That moral imperative should be that medical care cannot be withheld from a person who is not brain dead and who is not at risk for dying from an untreatable disease in the near future. To do otherwise makes us recall Nazi Germany where retarded people and those with serious disabilities were "euthanized" (that is, killed).
Speaking of Hugh Hewitt, I really want to say how much it does my heart good to have him fully engaged in this battle. This comment appeared on one of my Terri posts from yesterday
BTW - did you know Hugh Hewitt initially didn't think blogswarming would be effective for Terri?
The commenter lists a site as back up, but I can't find it. However, I think it's true, Hugh got in the game pretty late and only after I know at least I sent him several emails begging him to get involved. If I did it, I am sure others did as well. Nonetheless, honor is due -- His involvement no doubt contributed mightly to helping what happened over the weekend happen.

But most of all -- I want to congratulate those of us in "the tail." In his book Blog, Hugh talks about a story reverberating through the tail of the blogosphere to gain a certain momentum. Hugh imagined the story starting from the bigs and reverberating backwards, but that was not the case here. The tail really did wag the blogosphere here. Blogs For Terri has risen from obscurity to near Hugh like levels in the Blogosphere in a matter of weeks. This was driven not by links from Hugh, or Powerline, or Malkin, or Reynolds -- it was driven by thosands and thousands of links from blogs that most of us have never heard of. This stands alone as the best victory of the blogosphere yet. Best of all this was a constructive action by the us, not simply destroying someone's reputation.

Good job -- very good job, my hat is of to each and every blogger that has posted on Terri in these last weeks. I am grateful for each of you.


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