Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Life and Death

The Moose believes that progressives should embrace "a culture of life."

As the Moose has indicated, he is deeply conflicted over the Schiavo case. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of life. Charles Krauthammer seems to get it right,

"There is no good outcome to this case. Except perhaps if Florida and the other states were to amend their laws and resolve conflicts among loved ones differently -- by granting authority not necessarily to the spouse but to whatever first-degree relative (even if in the minority) chooses life and is committed to support it. Call it Terri's law. It would help prevent our having to choose in the future between travesty and tragedy. "

The Republican grandstanding, though, has truly been nauseating. If the GOP had a sustained interest in relieving the burden that countless Americans bear with medical bills and lack of coverage, the right would have more credibility on this issue. Their passion is social security private accounts, not ensuring that all Americans, born and unborn, have quality health care access.

Harold Meyerson perceptively writes,

"At its topmost ranks, and not only there, the party of Lincoln has become the party of Elmer Gantry. It peddles miracle cures and elixirs of life, to the benefit of the preachers, not the patients. When it comes to promoting real cures, today's Republicans are nowhere to be found. The Medicaid cuts pushed by the White House and passed by House Republicans last week would, if enacted into law, shorten the lives of numerous poor Americans living in conscious, not vegetative states. But that's a topic of no demonstrable interest to Christian conservatives, though I've yet to come across the biblical passage that exempts them from such concerns."

Republicans limit their concern for a "culture of life" to the pre-born and the question of euthanasia. For the right, there is no limit to federal power when it comes to these beginning and end of life issues. However, the tenth amendment kicks in when the concern involves the life period between the poles of birth and death.

Progressives should not blithely dismiss these vexing ethical life issues. That is why the Moose identifies with the "seamless garment" movement. Progressives should challenge sincere social conservatives and evangelicals to support life affirming proposals that would ease the dilemmas about end of life issues. There is a fundamental contradiction for those who want to nurture a "culture of life" and also support curtailing critical safety net benefits that maintain life.

"Life" should not be the province of one party.
-- Posted at 8:20 AM | Link to this post | Email this post