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Delay Hypocrisy: The GOP Using The Schiavo Case For Political Gain

Tuesday 22 March 2005

This is a story of two people who could not be more different,
while at the same time, be so alike. More importantly, it is a
story about a whore of a politician who genuinely does not care
about either, but shows it in completely different ways. This is a
story about hypocrisy and how Tom Delay and the Republican Party
embody that principle.

The first person in this sad story is named Terry Schiavo.
Most people have heard about Mrs. Schiavo because she has been in the headlines on several occasions, for her current predicament.
Fifteen years ago, Mrs. Schiavo suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma, at the shockingly young age of 26. Today, Mrs.
Schiavo is 41, still alive due to medical advances that sustain
her through machinery. On one side of this story about Mrs.
Schiavo is her husband and legal guardian, Michael. Michael Schiavo insists that Terri would never want to live this way, kept alive only by machinery. He has been fighting the legal battle to have her feeding tube removed, which would ensure her passing away. On the other side of this battle is the family of Terri Schiavo, who do not wish to see their daughter/sister die, and in fact view Michael as wishing to essentially “starve her to death.”

Recently, Michael Schiavo won a court battle that allowed the removal of the feeding tube for his wife. Since the starvation process would take some time, Terri’s family immediately went back to try and fight the legality of this decision. What they got, was support from an unexpected source. Tom Delay and the GOP have now seized upon this story and are using it to further their own agenda and to paint their opponents, the democrats, in an awkward
position. In a feeble attempt to stop the removal of the feeding tube, Delay tried to subpoena Terri to appear and testify before Congress. An obvious publicity stunt, since Terri Schiavo has not spoken in 15 years, the attempt failed and the tube was removed.

Undeterred, Delay vowed to continue to fight this fight, declaring
the court’s decision a “moral and legal tragedy” and accusing the
judge of “trying to kill Terri for 4 1/2 years."

Delay of course has no idea what he is talking about since he has only been involved in this case for a few weeks, when it gained some political legs for him. There is a word for that where I come from. It is called hypocrisy. To further this allegation, ABC News obtained a GOP talking points memo which explained to Senate republicans why their involvement in the Schiavo case would be important. The talking points stated that the Schiavo case was an important moral issue and that the "pro-life base will be excited," and that it is a "great political issue — this is a tough issue for Democrats."
 
Did you notice that there was nothing about Terri Schiavo in their rationale for taking up this cause? Instead, the GOP has outlined that they need to align themselves on the side of Terri Schiavo because:
 
1)  It will excite the pro-life base
2)  It is a great political issue
3)  It is a tough issue for democrats
 
Is anyone else disgusted? When asked about the talking points, Delay denied they were GOP related and denounced them. Sure Tom, we believe you. After all, you have never been involved in anything unethical, right? Oh wait a minute, there were a couple of problems weren’t there? Let’s take a quick look at the ethics of Mr. Delay:
 
1)  Delay’s Political Action Committee is under criminal investigation for using corporate monies to finance political campaigns.
2)  Delay tried to bribe another congressman to vote for the Medicare Bill. He earned a public admonishment from the House Ethics Committee for this.
3)  Delay used taxpayer monies to fuel a partisan hunt for missing democrats in Texas. He was rebuked by the House Ethics Panel for this.
4)  Delay set up a children’s charity as a front to collect soft money from anonymous donors. Some of this money was then used for “dinners, a golf tournament, and rock concerts.” This allowed companies who wanted to win favor with Delay to do so without revealing themselves as campaign donors.
5)  In another rebuke by the House Ethics Committee, we saw executives at Westar Energy state that they believed their $56,500 contribution to the Delay PAC would get them a “seat at the table” when key energy legislation was going to be drafted. Delay also played in the Westar golf fundraiser, just as the 2002 House-Senate conference on major energy legislation was getting underway,
6)  Delay took $100,000 from a Texas prison company as a bill was pending that dealt with the privatization of Texas prisons.
7)  Delay received a “private rebuke” in 1999 for misusing his power to payback a trade group that had named a democrat to head their Washington operation. Delay had stopped two uncontroversial trade bills which hurt the trade group in question and told them that they would lose all GOP access unless they hired a republican instead.
8)  Delay accepted donations to his own defense fund from two individuals he then named to the very House Ethics Committee that had already been so critical of him. Did you get that America? The House Ethics Committee correctly rebuked Delay three separate times. In response, Delay removed those that would dare be critical of him, and replaced them with people who had already donated money to his defense fund.
9)  Delay took an opulent vacation in 2000, paid for by an Indian tribe and a gambling services company, both of which opposed legislation which Delay then voted against, two months later.
10)  Delay accepted a trip to South Korea, which was paid for by a South Korean lobbying group, a violation of House rules. The cost of this trip was in excess of $100,000.
11)  Delay proposed changes to the House Ethics Committee which “would prevent the committee from launching any investigation without the support of at least one republican - a restriction designed to protect the majority leader.”
12)  Delay tried to convince House leaders to abandon an 11 year old rule which required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted. Delay was facing possible indictment at the time. The idea was dropped because it “sent the wrong message.” Do you think?
 
Not content to mangle the ethics of the House of Representatives, Mr. Delay has now decided to venture into the realm of the ethics of social consciousness. The problem for him is ethics are ethics and if you do not have any, it will become apparent regardless of the forum. He expects us to believe that he has taken up the Schiavo cause for a reason he does not comprehend, ethics. The talking points reveal all we need to know, this is not about Terry Schiavo for Tom Delay. It is another opportunity to use someone for his own advantage. Michael Schiavo referred to it as a mockery and he is correct. He stated this week, “These people in Congress are walking all over my personal and private life. I’m telling you, the United States citizens, you better start speaking up, because these people are going to trample into your personal, private affairs." On this point, Michael Schiavo is right. He is right because Tom Delay could care less about Terry Schiavo. She is only a political weapon for him to wield. You can be sure of this because for every Terry Schiavo, there is a Sun Hudson, who never gets the attention of the Tom Delay’s of the world. Therein lies their hypocrisy.
 
Sun Hudson is the second person in our story. Sun was 17 pounds and six months old when the staff at Texas Children’s Hospital removed his breathing tube and allowed him to die this week. Sun was born with a fatal form of dwarfism characterized by short arms, short legs and lungs too small. This condition is often found in utero, but Sun’s mother had no pre-natal care, so the condition went undiagnosed. Placed on a ventilator, doctors eventually recommended withdrawing treatment but Sun’s mother, Wanda, refused. Unfortunately for Wanda Hudson, Tom Delay’s home state of Texas has a law which allows hospitals to discontinue life-sustaining care, even if a patient’s family members disagree. Where was the self-righteous Tom Delay in the case of Sun Hudson? His silence is deafening in its hypocrisy.
 
I do not pretend to have the answers to what is moral or correct in either of these situations. I just prefer to be consistent. If you believe all life is life and must be protected at all cost, then stand up for it at all times, not just when it is politically beneficial. In the battle over Terri Schiavo both sides claim things are not as the other side claims. Terri’s family says she is responsive to stimuli. Michael, her husband insists that his wife would not want to live like this and that this is about mercy.
 
In the case of little Sun Hudson, the doctors paid to defend the hospital’s decision to end his life said, “This isn’t murder. It’s mercy, and it’s appropriate to be merciful in that way. It’s not killing, it’s stopping pointless treatment." It sounds like Michael Schiavo and these doctors can agree about a lot. Wanda Hudson had this to say after finally getting some media coverage, “I wanted y’all to see my son for yourself. So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious." It sounds like Wanda Hudson and the family of Terri Schiavo could agree about a lot as well.
 
That is the point isn’t it? There are two sides to these heart-wrenching stories. Both sides have their valid points and are deserving of their rights and privacy. Both sides are legitimate in their defense of what they truly believe in. The ethically bankrupt Tom Delay on the other hand, should be ashamed to politicize the issue of life and death. He should be embarrassed to drag his own hypocrisy into the arena of public opinion, just to “excite the pro-life base” or to give the democrats a “tough political issue to handle.”
 
Terri Schiavo is a real person and deserves better than to be treated as a political football to further the cause of the GOP. That is hypocrisy. This is the same hypocrisy that says that George Bush believes in a “culture of life” while waging war to no end. It is the same hypocrisy that sees so many people in the right-to-life movement cross-enrolled in the National Rifle Association supporting armor piercing bullets for “hunters”. It is the same hypocrisy that sees a man such as Tom Delay, devoid of ethics; decrying the ethical state of affairs in the Terri Schiavo case at the very same instant they are removing the tube from Sun Hudson, killing him.
 
Where is the outrage for Sun Hudson? Who cries for Sun Hudson? Wasn’t the life of Sun Hudson as important as the life of Terri Schiavo? The easy answer is yes. Unfortunately, the truthful answer is the life of Sun Hudson was just not as politically valuable. That should cause us all to at least pause for a moment and realize that the value of life should never be measured politically.
 

Anthony Wade, a
contributing writer to
opednews.com, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies
and abuses of the government. He is a 37-year-old independent writer
from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple
websites. A Christian progressive and professional Rehabilitation
Counselor working with the poor and disabled, Mr. Wade believes that
you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies
and excess.

http://www.opednews.com/wade_032005...

Forum posts

  • Just looking at DeLay and his pious act makes me want to puke.

  • Maybe if "liberals", or whatever pills limbaugh is feeding his herd these days, just offered the gop bigger bribes, a trip to bangkok for some R&R, and more political favors, they’d do our bidding instead.

    It’s too late to "fix" the system. You can’t fix a cesspool of corruption, you just need to outbid the last criminal to get what you want.

    We should start a seperate fund: Donate money to our corruption campaign!

    "we have allot of money, we’re just looking for the right politician who wants it, are you a broke down american with no job? run for office and we’ll give you all the money you need, all you have to do is what we say and your hired!"

    • This is a great idea. Since these whores in the government only respond to large suitcases full of cash, we should start fundraising to get our government back on a track that remotely represents any of the citizens here if just we could raise more money than the big corporations maybe we could have our country back sort of.

  • I just read about Sun. How saddening. Terri could have done something about this whole issue by having a living will in place before this all took place. Sun on the other hand could not.
    May Sun’s memory be eternal.

    With humble bow,

    Chrysostomos

    EOCBB

  • First off the thanatophoric, the first word of the babies diagnosis means FATAL or DEATH. Not to mention, Sun Hudson was anacephlic, which in medical terms means NO BRAIN. I haven’t seen the media tossing that one around. Not only was his rib cage so small that he probably wouldn’t have survived on a ventilator, but his head was compressing his spinal chord causing severe respiratory problems. His poor little body was so misshapen that if he had any realization at all it was probably pain increasing daily. I feel for the mother of this child. I’ve never lost a baby. But, do you really think she understood for ramifications of this child’s illness? I think there may have been a little denial going on, not that I blame her for it. I do blame the media to have picked the story up and run with it like a “George W. Bush killed this poor black woman’s baby story,” without even mentioning the above, is irresponsible journalism.
    About Mrs. Schiavo, just let me point out that I think it is ironic that this woman is in the condition she is in because she was starving herself in the first place. I don’t feel for her parents. I know I could not sit and watch my children suffer with their extremities stiff, twisted and completely immobile, which by the way, no amount of physical therapy could ever have help. Passive range of motion will not ultimately prevent contractures. To prevent contractures of muscles one must be able to perform active range of motion, which Terry could not.
    Now, I wonder if half of the crazy people, who obviously have no jobs, and are trying their Florida, hillbilly best to, “Get on the TV,” realize that being immobile for several years causes your bones to weaken and therefore, when the muscles start to contract, bones break. I’ve seen it happen, and they don’t usually set them on persons like Terry.
    There are other things that go along with complete immobility. This woman probably has at least a couple of stints in the hospital each year to get treated for various pneumonias. Immobility causes hypoventilation and atelectasis of alveoli which eventually leads to pneumonia. Also having a feeding tube puts this woman at a great risk for aspiration pneumonia. Not to mention the degradation of lying in one’s own excrement and not even knowing it. I believe this woman is in a vegetative state just like the experts have said for years. I also think it is selfish of her family and her caregivers to want to keep her around like a little pet who might blink and look at a balloon once in awhile.

  • Geez, how corrupt can a politician be these days and still be in office? That is a very long list of overt conflicts of interest and/or crimes. And Tom Delay thinks the Terri debaucle will save him? Looks like it has backfired. Hopefully the American people can now see how corrupt our congress has become. They have been letting Tom Delay and Bush get away with murder.

  • How amazing? What have we come to. This lady expressed her wishes for her situation and the best we can deliver is starvation? This is medical ethics? Anyone concerned about the future and the direction medical science is taking has a right to be worried. We have the means to make this womens suffering end peacefully and quickly. Instead we all watch as she starves to death. Kill someone and you will be humanely put to death; your animal is suffering and it’s humanely put to death; an innocent women trapped in her body is forced to suffer for years and now her death is by "starvation". What has happened to us?