Libertarian liberation (on the Schiavo case)

Libertarian liberation (on the Schiavo case)

: On last night’s Connected on MSNBC in the segment about blogs and the Schiavo case, I noted that liberals hadn’t had much to say until Congress and Bush invaded and politicized the case (see Kevin Drum on a “nauseating …abuse of Congressional power,” and individ and Dude Abides: “Here we have another instance of our President taking a “complex issue” and boiling it down to black and white. Did we elect him President, or did we elect him Moralist?”). On the inappropriateness of Congress’ politicizing the matter, Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley agreed (as did I).

I also said that libertarians were siding with Michael Schiavo because they oppose government imposing unwanted treatment on us; I mentioned Samizdata and Virginia Postrel (who’d been on the network saying this shortly before I was on). Monica asked whether this was causing a split in the red-state blogs.

I replied that this case will prove libertarians’ argument that they’re not conservatives; they’re their own thing.

: Other links from all the MSNBC segments:

: Catscape saying that Scott Petersen will have a more merciful death (and he emailed me today wondering how the heck I had found him… I replied: Technorati and Pubsub).

: Wesley J Smith saying that it has been hard to kill Terri Schiavo because the videos of her on the internet humanized her.

: RepublicanUnionGuy wishing President Bush could issue an executive order sparing her life; if Clinton could pardon felons, he asks, can’t Bush do this? And he adds: “I thought I married badly.”

: La Shawn Barber wishing for a blogger swarm to somehow save Schiavo.

: Musing Minds asking: “What is the standard of proof required to ends someone’s life? What should it be? In the criminal context it’s “beyond a reasonable doubt”…. What is the weighty factor that sits opposite life on the scale of justice? What is the harm in keeping her alive?”

: Ace of Spades saying “this is not the typical right-to-die case.”

: Mansfield Fox wishing for a stay from the Supreme Court or for Jeb Bush to send in the National Guard (!).

: My stand on Schiavo, by the way: I agree with the liberal bloggers that Congress is way out of line. I agree with the libertarian bloggers that this has long been settled in the law and in the courts.

Personally, I’m still not sure where I would stand for myself. I do believe that we have the right not to have treatment. I do believe that the law is clear giving a spouse the right to decide in a case where clear instructions are not left. But on a medical level, I do think it’s cruel to starve a person but the answer is not, I think, to keep them alive in a vegetative state forever but instead to bring death quickly and mercifully with narcotics.

: UPDATE: The evening news just said that Congress is trying to keep her alive to push this to the federal courts. Congress was out of line and is now even further out of line.

: LATER: Tom Watson says:

Tom DeLay needs to keep Terri Schiavo alive in the worst way, because her tragic plight is a political feeding tube for his comatose, scandal-ridden career.

Jim Wolcott says:

Just as bad is the almost pornographic glee with which ghouls like Dan Burton and Bill Frist and Peggy Noonan insist that Schiavo is a conscious being because she smiles and responds. They’re treating this poor woman as if she were their personal pet rock. I suprised Peggy hasn’t urged canonization for Terri, to declare her the first martyred saint of euthanasia.

One of the side-effects of the 2004 election revealed by this despicable exploitative schmaltzfest is that the media has to tippytoe around making any disparaging remarks about religious fervor and its pathologies.

(By the way, in that same post, Wolcott proudly wears the mantle of Eeyore.)