Great NYT Column

From Bob Herbert of the New York Times...

Excellent article. Check out the rest.

Whatever term is used, the governor's continued pursuit of Mr. Schiavo in the absence of any evidence that he has done anything wrong is a clear example of government power being used as a club to punish someone for political reasons. The unwarranted harassment of an ordinary citizen by the most powerful political figure in his state is an affront to the very idea of freedom that Mr. Bush and his brother in the White House are so fond of preaching.

The political exploitation of this tragic case has been uniquely grotesque. Ms. Schiavo died March 31 following the court-ordered removal of her feeding tube. An autopsy supported Mr. Schiavo's contention that his wife had been in a persistent vegetative state. She was unaware of anything and incapable of recovering. At her death at age 41, Ms. Schiavo's withered brain was half the normal size for a woman her age.

Governor Bush was one of the leaders of the pack of politicians who vehemently opposed Mr. Schiavo's efforts to have his wife's feeding tube removed. Much of what was said was outrageous. Eleven days before she died, Tom DeLay declared: "Terri Schiavo is not brain dead. She talks and she laughs, and she expresses happiness and discomfort. Terri Schiavo is not on life support."

Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican and a physician from Oklahoma, said: "All you have to do is look at her on TV. Any doctor with any conscience can look at her and know that she does not have a terminal disease and know that she has some function."

All agree that Terri Schiavo is now dead, but Governor Bush insists on keeping the craziness going.


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