Monday, March 21, 2005

The Tipping Point

I might be wrong on this, but I'm beginning to wonder if the congressional overreach by the Republican leadership in the Terri Schiavo affair will be remembered as the time that people moved away from the Republican party. The Centerfield Blogcites and ABC News Poll that states 63 percent support removing Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube. Sixty percent disapprove of "Terri's Law," and 70 percent thought it was "inappropriate" for Congress to get in the middle of this controversy in the way it did. The big one is that 67 percent believe that Congress wants Ms. Schiavo alive more for political gain than anything else.

So, clearly the public is against this and can see through the Congressional smokescreen. End of life issues are personal and never easy. As a ministerial student, I had to spend some time as a chaplin. I met families who hoped their loved one would get better even though there was no hope. I can in some way understand the pain of the parents. They desparately want life to be normal again and can't accept that it won't. It never will.

But Congress took on this issue not out of any concern for Ms. Schiavo or her parents. They did it to save their hides. The Moderate Voice notes that Robert Novak reports the GOP could lose as many as 25 seats in the House next year; effectively losing control of the House. Here's the money quote:

Analysts at the Republican National Committee have sent this warning to the House of Representatives: The party is in danger of losing 25 seats in the 2006 election and, therefore, of losing control of the House for the first time since the 1994 election.

Although some Republicans on Capitol Hill believe the RNC is just trying to frighten them, concern about keeping the present 232-202 edge pervades GOP ranks. The second midterm election of an eight-year presidency often produces heavy congressional losses for the party in power.

This is why Congress stuck it's nose in a private matter. The GOP wants to keep its base in check and screw that little piece of paper called the Constitution.

Things may change in 20 months. But I do wonder if voters will ever forgive or forget the GOP for this egregious act. We shall see, come November, 2006.


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