Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Limited Limited Government
by Lee

It looks like Fristy learned his lesson.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who took a leading role in the Terri Schiavo case, said Sunday it taught him that Americans do not want the government involved in such end-of-life decisions.

Frist, considered a presidential hopeful for 2008, defended his call for further examinations of the brain-damaged Florida woman during the last days of a bitter family feud over her treatment. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state.

The case became a rallying point for right-to-life advocates, an important segment of the Republican Party. It also drew interest from those supporting the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment and led to charges that the GOP was using a family tragedy for political gain.

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he had any regrets regarding the Schiavo case, Frist said: “Well, I’ll tell you what I learned from it, which is obvious. The American people don’t want you involved in these decisions.”

Anyone remember the good old days, when the Republicans were the party which believed that the role of government should be as limited as possible?  Here we are, not more than ten years later, and we’ve gone from the party of limited government and personal responsibility to the party of, “Gee, I was surprised to learn that the people don’t want government deciding whether or not someone should be kept on life support.”

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 09:09 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 01/30/06 at 10:16 AM from United States

Frist is a moron. I can’t believe he’s a doctor. I wouldn’t let him near me.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 11:05 AM from United States

That’s a bit of an oversimplification, Lee.  There were some real issues surrounding her husband’s credibility and whether she really told him she would not have wanted extraordinary measures.  I guess I’m just a religious fundementalist, but I don’t see food and water as extraordinary measures.

Posted by Drumwaster on 01/30/06 at 11:10 AM from United States

There were some real issues surrounding her husband’s credibility and whether she really told him she would not have wanted extraordinary measures.

And the resolution of this issue had a path to follow. At no point along that designed and designated path does “Emergency Session Of Congress For The Purpose Of Passing Crucial Legislation” appear.

Congress had NO business doing what it did.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 11:11 AM from United States

Gee, I was surprised to learn that the people don’t want government deciding whether or not someone should be kept on life support

Let’s re-write this straw-man so that it more reflects the reality of the situation:

Gee, I was surprised to learn that people were that uncaring regarding those who need caring the most.

Abortion, Elian Gonzalez, Schiavo; humankind has seen its heyday.  The “me” generation has morphed into the “even more me” generation.  What’s next, since we’re sliding down that slippery slope?

Anyone know where to buy stock in Soylent Green Corporation?  I need a way to invest, since Social Security’s not going to be around forever.

TV (Harry)

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 11:19 AM from United States

Congress had NO business doing what it did.

Yeah, Congress tried to do what it thought was the right thing for a change.  And the American public screamed in protest, the comments section here being a good microcosm of that effect.

We get the legislators we ask for, and they’re a reflection of the people they represent.  Frist is just realizing this now.  It’s really a pity.

TV (Harry)

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 11:30 AM from United States

Yeah, Congress tried to do what it thought was the right thing for a change.

The right thing? The right thing would have been to stay within the limits of their power.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 11:55 AM from United States

Yeah… the current Republican establishment needs to be booted out of office.  I’m about ready to vote for democrats in hope that when republicans come back they’re sane again.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 12:15 PM from Canada

I’m about ready to vote for democrats in hope that when republicans come back they’re sane again.

Sad thing is this won’t happen.  The Western world is heading towards the oppressive nanny state.  This is in reality what people want.  The thing is that the oppressive part is quietly ignored, whereas nanny means caring for the people.  I don’t think that it’s going to stop.  Being conservative in most cases means you will work to slow it, but not stop it.  Most people want the nanny state because they are affraid of self responsibility.  In democracy what most people want is what counts.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 12:24 PM from United States

Why are you upset that Frist said he’s “learned” etc.? When was the last time you heard anyone on the left say they “learned” anything, including “learning” that govt. may be too intrusive?

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 12:36 PM from United States

Why did Frist have to “learn” this? He should have known this already. Apparently, he wasn’t qualified for the job.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 03:03 PM from United States

Why did Frist have to “learn” this? He should have known this already. Apparently, he wasn’t qualified for the job.

Oh, Jesus, what a crock of bullshit.

He was responding to the overwhelming outcry of a certain important group within the Republican party.  In other words, he did what politicians do - responded to his constituents.  Because of this, he’s not qualified for the job?  I may be a might confused here, but I thought that WAS his job.  He misjudged the American populace’s silent majority.  That was a political mistake, NOT a misqualification for the job.

Look, nothing Frist, or the Republicans, did was illegal or immoral.  If he had, THAT would have showed he wasn’t qualified for the job.  The whole damn fiasco ran its course, it went through the courts, and the only people shafted where Schiavo herself, and those who wanted to help her.

So what they hell are you still bitching about?  You guys got your way, didn’t you?  The system did it’s thing, and it came out the way you wanted it to.

Christ.

TV (Harry)

Posted by Lee on 01/30/06 at 03:10 PM from United States

That’s a bit of an oversimplification, Lee.  There were some real issues surrounding her husband’s credibility and whether she really told him she would not have wanted extraordinary measures.  I guess I’m just a religious fundementalist, but I don’t see food and water as extraordinary measures.

It’s a principle thing, I guess.  What you’re using as justification here is exactly the same logic that the left uses to justify the welfare state.  In other words, they identify a social wrong (say poverty) and then insist that it’s the job of the government to rectify that injustice by any means necessary.  As I said at the time, you can believe that Terri Schiavo deserved to live, but you can also believe that it was not the right thing for the US Congress to get involved.  If the Congress finds the power to intervene in something as personal as a family matter like this, then they can literally intervene anywhere.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 03:22 PM from United States

Because of this, he’s not qualified for the job?

I was being facetious. But, just because his constituents want something, doesn’t mean it’s his job to do it. There are limits of government. Frist participated in a gross overstepping of authority. It is his responsibility to conduct himself appropriately.

Furthermore, he’s a quack. Wasn’t he the one who watched a video of Terri and concluded that she was responsive only to have that claim proved false by the autopsy? Screw him.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 03:23 PM from United States

If the Congress finds the power to intervene in something as personal as a family matter like this, then they can literally intervene anywhere.

Duh.  The Congress intervenes all the time.  Look at all the friggin’ laws surrounding healthcare, childcare, social services departments that look out for the welfare of children.  All laws that intrude on how you interact with and raise your family.

Unlike the Left I don’t consider government to be a “cure-all”.  Direct government intervention is a last-ditch effort.  Plenty of us believed the “husband” had ulterior motives, did not have Terri’s best interests in mind, and did not present credible evidence of Terri’s wishes.  There was evidence the judge in the case blew the analysis of one witnesses testimony, dismissing it based on his incorrect understanding of when a certain conversation occurred.  All this led to the belief that Terri was going to be starved to death for no good reason when she had a family that loved her and wanted to take care of her.

But hey, if you think it wasn’t the government’s place to get involved and try to straighten out a terrible situation you’re entitled to that opinion.  After all, why should the government be concerned about the welfare of the people?  It’s a family matter.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 03:30 PM from United States

Does it matter that the autopsy falsified the claims made by the moralists like Frist? Do you actually think they really cared that much about this one person? I don’t.

Posted by Drumwaster on 01/30/06 at 03:30 PM from United States

After all, why should the government be concerned about the welfare of the people?

The People, yes, but not a person. And it IS a family matter. Differing opinions were held as regards what qualifies as “family” when differing opinions occur (as they inevitably do), so the Florida State Legislature did what legislators do in those cases - they debated the issue, figured out a plan, wrote a law defining that plan, and then put it into action.

This is not the first time the wishes of a non-responsive patient have needed to be determined ex post facto, especially not in the Retirementville of Florida (which has the highest average age for its citizens among the 50 States). The judges took the data they had available to them, looked at the law and how past cases like this were decided, and rendered a verdict.

All appeals were eventually exhausted. The situation may be tragic (in more ways than one), but you don’t get the Federal Government involved over a single person. They need to be caring about the People.

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 04:05 PM from United States

There are limits of government. Frist participated in a gross overstepping of authority. It is his responsibility to conduct himself appropriately.

Gripe, I know what you are getting at - I just don’t agree with it.

Exactly which authority did he overstep?  Like I said, if he overstepped his authority, where are the articles of impeachment?  Why hasn’t there been an investigation?  Why is there no outcry from the people to have Frist removed (other than from some of the posters here)?

He didn’t overstep any authority.  Lee’s argument comes closest to addressing this point, but he still misses (slightly):

If the Congress finds the power to intervene in something as personal as a family matter like this, then they can literally intervene anywhere.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Congress already CAN invervene practically everywhere.  We already have welfare.  We already have the department of social services, and child protection laws on the federal books, for a few examples.

I’m no fan of Congress, but I think the blame is better placed elsewhere - with the constituents.  It is THEY who insist that it’s the job of the government to rectify injustice by any means necessary.  Congress is just a reflection of those people.  I guarantee you - if there were no outcry, Congress wouldn’t have made the moves it did; and if there were no contra outcry - Congress wouldn’t have stopped pursuing this case when it did.  Regarding the idea that Congress’ power is limited - well, that horse left the barn ages ago.

Repubs in Congress made a political miscalculation - just like Donks in Congress who voted in Pelosi, thanks to those squeaky wheels at Dem Underground, Kos, etc.  In the Schiavo case, nobody overstepped any legal/ethical bounds, or there would have been more than just political repercussions to pay.

TV (Harry)

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/30/06 at 04:11 PM from United States

Michael Schiavo was a creep and the parents were sadly delusional and allowed themselves to be used by whackos. There were no winners in this one. Maybe next time politicians will think twice before they decide to use this issue to grandstand on.

Posted by Drumwaster on 01/30/06 at 04:31 PM from United States

OT: The Senate just shut down any chance of a filibuster, by passing a cloture vote 72-25.

Alito will get about 60-61 votes in favor tomorrow (at about 11am EST), and be sworn in so that Bush can introduce “Associate Justice Samuel Alito” during the SOTU speech.

Posted by Drumwaster on 01/30/06 at 04:39 PM from United States

Like I said, if he overstepped his authority, where are the articles of impeachment?

Senators are not “impeached”. Only Presidents, Federal Judges and Ambassadors can be “impeached”.

Mjusane

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 05:00 PM from United States

Gripe, I know what you are getting at - I just don’t agree with it.

Exactly which authority did he overstep?

The court, the state, doctors, court appointed guardians?

I suppose it’s just been a gradual growth of power beyond what was originally intended. It’s like a lot of things. They just keep chipping away little bits until people stop questioning.

Regardless of the lack of a technical breach, Congress should not be acting this way. I called it authority. Maybe we should just call it “sticking their noses where they don’t belong.”

Posted by on 01/30/06 at 08:07 PM from United States

I dunno, Gripeboy, I think it’s endearing when people say things like “the Federal government trumps the State”.  They end it right there, like they had an epiphany and they are sad that you can’t participate.

Seventh grade civics took care of this for me.  States are supposed to have more power than the Feds.  Really.  Look it up.  The Federal Government is only supposed to have the powers enumerated to it IN THE CONSTITUTION.  There aren’t that many of those.

I had a guy today, self-confessed “libertarian”, try to stump me on my “War on Drugs” stance.  He asked if I would change my opinion if some loser sold my kid drugs.  I asked him “how would that change anything”?  Just because I am affected doesn’t mean we “all of a sudden” have to have a multi-billion dollar campaign against it.

That is being a libertarian.  I struggle with most of it, but I do know that the steaming mass of chemicals that (in theory) is flogg is exactly the same thing as anyone else.

Posted by on 01/31/06 at 06:52 AM from United States

Alito will get about 60-61 votes in favor tomorrow (at about 11am EST), and be sworn in so that Bush can introduce “Associate Justice Samuel Alito” during the SOTU speech.

What are the current odds on Ted Zeppelin’s head exploding like a giant zit when that happens tonight?

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