Here I go again…

…harping about conservative hypocrisy. Useless, I know. Sadly, the answer to my co-blogger’s question is, yes, a little more can probably be said about the Terri Schiavo case —

“What this issue has done is it has galvanized people the way nothing could have done in any off-election year,” said Rev. Lou Sheldon, the founder of the group, acknowledging that the case of Ms. Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Florida woman, had moved many to open their checkbooks. “That is what I see as the blessing that dear Terri’s life is offering to the conservative Christian movement in America.”

That kind of opportunism might shock you if you hadn’t already heard what Tom Delay told the Family Research Council

“One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America,” Mr. Delay told a conference organized by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian Group. A recording of the event was provided by the advocacy organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others,” Mr. Delay said.

(Yes, relish that a moment: God brought Terri Schiavo to this point so that we could all see how Tom Delay is being persecuted.) And it might shock you if you hadn’t already heard of the memo Senate Republicans circulated two weeks ago…

“This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue,” that memo explained. “This is a great issue, because Senator [Ben] Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor [of the Schiavo bill] and this is a tough issue for Democrats.”

Instead, it’s merely disgusting and reprehensible. Much like the spectacle of Mr. Bush flying back to DC (not a few people have remarked on the blazing ironies therein) to sign a bill that apparently everyone knew would not automatically force the reinsertion of Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube. And what a fascinating change of heart Mr. Delay has experienced in the years between his own family tragedy and the more highly exploitable Schindler/Schiavo family tragedy. If there’s any good news to be had in any of this, it’s that the vast majority of Americans seem to be seeing through the whole charade. (In light of those poll numbers, the Bushies are now downplaying the president’s personal convictions in the matter, suggesting that he didn’t really want to sign the bill, a maneuver perfectly described by Kevin Drum as “galactically craven”.)

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