Monday, March 21, 2005

I Admit My Error

I have two words for you today, but since I can't put those in blog print, I'll go with two other words: ability to pay. OK. Technically those are three words, but you get my point.

In an earlier post today I referred to a law in Texas, signed by then governor George W. Bush allowing hospitals to pull the life support plug on indigent patients. I suggested that this was an example of rank hypocrisy of the highest order when compared to Republican and Christian-conservative advocacy of maintaining Terri Schiavo's feeding tube on the basis of the respect for the "sanctity of life" although her husband and legal guardian, backed by years of trying to help her get well, and with the backing of medical evidence, wants it removed. The Left Coaster goes even further to suggest that the law in Texas may have racial implications. So as Mark Kleiman wonders, where's the outrage over this Texas law? What gives? Why do Republicans support the Texas law, that has already resulted in at least one death, but get all up in arms about Terri Schiavo? Isn't this law in Texas the most cruel, inhumane piece of garbage legislation to ever walk the face of this earth?

But now I have to offer my sincerest apologies. It now turns out that the Texas law isn't really all that.

According to K.J. Lopez, who writes for the National Review's "Corner", a right-wing blog, here is how the Texas law really works:

During the debate tonight, Democrats in the House have said that the president is inconsistent on Terri Schiavo because when he was governor of Texas he signed a bill that was recently used in a terrible case in Texas to deny lifesaving treatment to a baby against the child’s family’s wishes. But according to a source familiar with what went down in Texas, the then-governor signed into law something better than what Texas hospitals were already doing. There were not enough votes in the Texas legislature to require life-saving treatment to patients, which is what the governor would have preferred….

Wow. The Texas law really is OK, because although it commits murder, it really is a much better piece of law than what was there before. I'm really glad she said that. I'm glad she made the parameters of the Texas law plain for all of us to see, so that we can distinguish between it, and the Florida-Schiavo case. Because if she hadn't, I would have continued to believe that the Republican Party and its Christian Coalition-Randall Terry supporters laying seige to the Florida hospice and threatening Michael Schiavo were trying to pull the wool over our eyes in having us be concerned about the case of one woman in Florida that is enabling Focus on the Family and the National Right to Life Committee to fill their organizations' treasuries and giving Republican members of Congress something to scream about all the while ignoring the plight of other, equally at risk families elsewhere in the nation.

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