March 21, 2005

Failing the Litmus

I think I've got to thank Judith Weiss for saving my sanity this morning with a beautiful collection of opinions, plus her own two cents, regarding Terri Schiavo. Were it not for this:

It looks like your position on the Schiavo case is also a litmus test on how you feel about government regulation of when life begins and ends.

But some of us ornery folk who make up our own minds about things don't like litmus tests. We didn't like the antiwar movement telling us that the Iraq war couldn't possibly be just if it was initiated by a Republican. We don't like social conservatives telling us that they are going to block any pro-choice candidate from being considered for the Republican presidential race.

--I, too, would need a picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head*.

I've just got to get this off my chest right now: One bit of idiocy that needs to die is the ranting and raving about what an abuse of government power it is that Congress got involved**. Let's at least be clear about why Congress got involved: It's because people have been bothering the living daylights out of them. It's called representative government. The obvious complaint about representative government is that it cannot possibly represent every view, all the time.

It's great if you don't like what Congress is doing now--but then, please, call and email and fax your representatives telling them exactly that. Get off your ass and participate. Don't just whine that the Bush administration is Trampling Democracy to Promote Its Not-So-Seekrit Right-to-Life Theocracy, as though the federal government were a naughty pet that slipped its leash to go leave poop circles all over the living room carpet***. You've got a representational government; now REPRESENT.

One more peeve: Quit tying this to abortion. Please. I'm begging you. I am both pro-choice and anti-tube-pull in this case. Have the courtesy to grant that one might hold both views simultaneously without resorting to doublethink.

And keep away from me with these idiotic litmus tests. All of you.


*It is strangely soothing, actually.

**That said, I do think it's fair to debate whether this is one more nail in the coffin of federalism. You can get a little more of this argument in the comments here, if you're interested.

***Now I think of it, though, that's as good a metaphor for government as any.

Posted by Ilyka at March 21, 2005 04:00 PM in news

Stare at the bunny. Become one with the bunny. Let the bunny sink deep into your consciousness. And then you will feel at one with the universe. Or really hungry for Hasenpfeffer.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 21, 2005 04:27 PM

Like it or not this case IS becoming a litmus test, and like it or not it IS tied to the Abortion debate.

Take a look around the Blogs, especially generally conservative or Republican Blogs that come out on the "wrong" side of this case. The tolerance of the Right for different opinions seems to be fading.

Posted by: oceanguy at March 21, 2005 04:31 PM

And keep away from me with these idiotic litmus tests.

Fair enough, but we'll need a litmus test to determine which litmus tests are idiotic. :)

Posted by: Shawn at March 21, 2005 04:39 PM

Instead of commenting on Schiavo/abortion, I offer this inert opinion-it's a fucking rabbit with a carbohydrate on it's head, and yet it still got the right-click, save-as, forwarding across mankind from me.

People are so screwed up.

Will now make it my wallpaper, thank you.

Posted by: Helen at March 21, 2005 08:00 PM

Should I ever be in her plight, my family knows - and I hope respects - my wishes. I just hope the legislatures of our states decide that a human should be treated with the same compassion as specified in the laws pertaining to animals.

Posted by: John Anderson at March 21, 2005 08:56 PM

Will now make it my wallpaper, thank you.

Seriously, how cute is that bunny?

Posted by: ilyka at March 21, 2005 11:26 PM

Thank you for the bunny. I really REALLY needed that.

Posted by: Margi at March 22, 2005 12:05 AM

When and how can these thugs be prosecuted? Michael and Greer both need to be charged with and tried for murder. It was a horrible, stomach churning two weeks and for me it's still and probably will always be very disturbing.

My daughter was comatose for six months and she was hit by a drunk in Fla. Many years ago, but we got her out of that state as promptly as we could.

I dearly hop that the principles in Terri's case can be condemmed, fired, jailed, ruined. they deserve the very worst.

Posted by: bill Janes at April 10, 2005 06:45 AM