Everybody Loses

O.K., I know we’re all sick of the subject, but an excellent column by Lucy Morgan of the St. Petersburg Times talks about how hard it is to be a “moderate” Republican when the wingnuts rule.

What ever happened to that Republican “big tent” that was supposed to welcome those with differing ideas?

Some members of the Florida Senate are questioning where the tent went and why they are being made to feel like lepers by the Christian right wing.

Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, and eight others were the targets of extreme pressure over the past week…

Democrats often say the GOP is in the hands of extremists. The Schiavo case supports that notion.

Instead of winning support for a bill aimed at restoring Schiavo’s feeding tube, many protesters angered senators who were bombarded with obscene telephone calls and death threats…

Jeb only made things worse for all concerned when he impotently hinted he might have the Department of Children and Families finish the job Bo Gritz started.

[Jeb] Bush didn’t do himself a favor when he said he believes he has the authority to seize custody of Schiavo and provide her with treatment…

Finally Bush surfaced briefly Thursday afternoon to say he would not violate court orders that have denied the state access to Schiavo.

By then it was too late to silence the clamor that was rising among vociferous protesters outside the Capitol.

Loudest among them was Operation Rescue’s Randall Terry, who said “there will be hell to pay” if Bush doesn’t intervene.

Somewhere in all of this the rule of law must prevail, or we are all lost. Bush’s brief flirtation with taking the law into his own hands was a serious mistake that could cost the GOP for years to come.

In the short term, a backlash is taking shape. But memories tend to be even shorter.

One by one, Republicans around the state began announcing: “Enough.”

“I am a longstanding registered, voting Republican, but after watching this disgusting display, I am gone,” wrote Ray Snyder of Crawfordville in a letter to the editor in the Tallahassee Democrat Friday. “I see the dark ages of the Inquisition being born again. Someone needs a large dose of sanity and common sense, but it may already be too late.”

Asked about the impact of the case on the GOP, Larry Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia, says he thinks there will be some temporary backlash but voters will have forgotten by the next election…

No one wins. And once again Florida looks incredibly stupid.

Grass Roots Org Counters Rightwing Pressure on the FCC

Washington Post:

A California woman has launched a Web site, www.speakspeak.org, meant to counter what she calls the excessive influence of anti-indecency groups, such as the Parents Television Council (PTC), that flood the government with complaints designed to spur fines against radio and television broadcasters.

Speakspeak Website:

Fighting indecency complaints, fighting groups like the Parents Television Council, doesn’t mean you’re advocating for prime-time smut. It doesn’t mean your a pervert. It doesn’t mean you hate America.

It means you believe in free speech. It means you know how to turn your television off. It means you don’t want a group of mobilized politicos to determine what is or isn’t suitable entertainment for you and your family.

In 2004, the FCC fined broadcasters over $8 million for indecency violations. But in recent months, the FCC denied over 40 indecency complaints filed by groups like the Parents Television Council.

In order to give life to this trend of sensible action on the part of the FCC, you need to speak up.

If you don’t, who will?

It takes approximately 42 seconds.

Click here for information on sending a letter to the FCC or your senator advocating the protection of free speech on television.

GOP Schiavo Judge Agrees to Quit Church

Over the five years that Pinellas County, Fl., Circuit Judge George Greer has had the Terri Shiavo matter on his docket, he has consistently ruled in favor of ending the young woman’s suffering. It isn’t surprising that these rulings have enraged fantasists on the right who believe Terri’s liquified brain parts might be healed one day. Judge Greer is now under the protection of armed guards, and friends say his family also is protected.

What is surprising is that Judge Greer is hardly the liberal activist judge often described by corrupt conservative pundits and pols on cable news shows. In fact, Greer is a rockribbed Republican, a former county commissioner, and Southern Baptist by faith. Or rather he was a Southern Baptist until last week when antipathy toward Greer in his home church forced him to quit the congregation, reportedly with the assent of his pastor. Sounds like very un-Christlike behavior at the Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Florida.

Culture of Lies & Hypocrisy

From the Los Angeles Times: Turns out Tom DeLay “murdered” his own father in the same way his supporters say Michael Schiavo and his henchmen on Florida bench are “murdering” Michael’s permanently incapcitated wife, Terri.

Sixteen years ago, as a result of household accident, Charles Ray DeLay lay in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and oxygen equipment. Faced with the prospect of his father living in a vegetative state for who knew how long, Tom DeLay, who was in his third term in Congress, faced a difficult decision.

[Today] DeLay is among the strongest advocates of keeping [Terri Schiavo], who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo’s husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls “an act of barbarism” in removing the tube. In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die.

“His father wouldn’t have wanted to live that way,” says Tom DeLay’s 81-year-old mother today. DeLay’s aunt says doctors advised that he would “basically be a vegetable.”

When his father’s kidneys failed, the DeLay family decided against connecting him to a dialysis machine. “Extraordinary measures to prolong life were not initiated,” said his medical report, citing “agreement with the family’s wishes.” His bedside chart carried the instruction: “Do not resuscitate.”

On Dec. 14, 1988, the DeLay patriarch “expired with his family in attendance.”

And there’s more. The DeLays sued the manufacturer of the equipment that they said had caused Charles Ray’s accident. DeLay is a noted critic of “frivolous lawsuits” and “predatory, self-serving litigation.”