Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Terri: A final word?

Well, this is indeed a question because we will probably be talking about ramifications of this case for some time to come. More on that in a minute. But first, now that Terri is dead I guess it is safe to report,
the polls were wrong. But hey, that's just according to John Zogby. You remember Zogby, the gent I dubbed "the Demos' little cheerleader" during the election season. Yes, the same John Zogby who gushed first for Gore ... and then embarrassed himself by calling it for Kerry a couple of times, including on the morning of Nov. 2.

So, maybe he's trying to rehabilitate himself. But at any rate, check out the story on Zogby's Schiavo poll. There's some pretty interesting stuff, like:
"The Zogby poll found that, if a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, as in Terri's case, 43 percent say "the law [should] presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube" while just 30 percent disagree."
But there is more bad news for those who advocated the starvation of Terri:
"When there is conflicting evidence on whether or not a patient would want to be on a feeding tube, should elected officials order that a feeding tube be removed or should they order that it remain in place," respondents were asked.
Some 18 percent said the feeding tube should be removed and 42 percent said it should remain in place."
The bottom line is: The poll questions by ABC and others were designed to get certain responses, and they did. Now that Terri is gone, we finally get an honest poll ... and from some one who is hardly an advocate for pro-life positions.

And we find what some knew. I knew. I knew that most Americans, if given the facts, would have been against the starvation of Terri Schiavo. We are not The Netherlands.

So, the pro-starvation camp may have won the battle, but lost the war. Many people have been awakened to a new understanding of a number of issues that conservatives have had a difficult time in translating into real time, namely the intersection of real life and the pro-life agenda and the arrogance and unaccountability of the federal judiciary.

Also, we saw that there are politicians who will stand up and be counted, even when result-driven polls say they are swimming upstream. Gov. Jeb Bush, the Congress, and the President all did their part to save Terri Schiavo. Some pro-lifers still complain, but the fact remains that with more politicians like Gov. Bush, the pro-life majority in Congress, and the President ... Terri Schiavo would be alive today.

In sum, this is how it goes in the advocacy game. Sometimes, you get what you ask for ... and you lose. The pro-starvation advocates won in the sense that Michael Schiavo's wishes prevailed. But in "winning", the soft-underbelly of their arguments, agenda, and allies were exposed. Now, the public sympathizes even more with the cause of saving the lives of future Terri Schiavos.

And the public will come to understand and hold accountable the unelected, robed lawyers who have thwarted the will of the people to save one helpless life. Mark it down.

We lost the battle for Terri's life. But we can now win the war.