Terri Schiavo Haunting Jeb Bush’s Presidential Run

The ghost of Terri Schiavo seems to be haunting Jeb Bush’s run for the Republican presidential nomination, at least with the Christian right wingers that vote in the Iowa caucuses. For those people, Jeb Bush simply didn’t do enough to “save” Schiavo from being allowed to die.

To much of the world, it appeared as if Jeb Bush, then the governor of Florida, stood his ground against those who wanted to take Schiavo off life support. But that’s not the picture that emerged for some in a crucial constituency in the state with the first presidential nominating contest.

“I’m displeased with Governor Bush,” Gordon said in an interview this week. “He could have informed law enforcement, called up the National Guard, or told the county sheriff’s office not to let it happen.”…

But the issue that would seem to resonate most with Iowa social conservatives is his showdown with the state court system over a law to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tubes. The debate over Schiavo’s life, during which Bush’s advisers included one of Mother Teresa’s attorneys, received the attention of newspapers and television stations across the country. The Vatican weighed in, as did and then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician who watched a videotape of Schiavo and gave his diagnosis from the chamber floor. Schiavo’s fate has been a topic in Republican presidential primary debates in the 2008 and 2012 cycles.

“Every caucus-going Republican over 30 is going to know the Schiavo story, and certainly our Christian evangelicals are going to be incredibly interested,” Iowa Republican Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in an interview. “And they’re going to want more detail about that.”…

“Here was a woman who was vulnerable,” Bush said. “And the court, because of our laws, they were going to allow her to be starved to death. So we passed a law, Terri’s Law, that was a year later ruled unconstitutional. I stayed within the law, but I acted on my core belief that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line. They should receive our love and protection, and that’s exactly what I did.”

But that may not be enough for some social conservatives in Iowa.

“Just because a judge wants to kill somebody, that doesn’t give them the authority to do it,” said Brian Rosenor, a former chairman of the Woodbury County, Iowa Republicans. “Two state troopers in front of her door would have saved her life. Jeb Bush could have done more.”

Larry Klayman, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Mat Staver, and Alan Keyes met with Bush during that situation and asked him to do exactly that, order state troopers to guard her room to prevent the machines keeping her body alive from being turned off. He did not do that. Not long after that I debated Klayman on a radio show about Schiavo and he bombed completely. He had no idea what he was talking about and eventually just hung up.

What’s incredible to me is that people continue to pretend that the wrong decision was made despite the fact that the autopsy confirmed everything that they denied at the time. She wasn’t just braindead, her brain had become liquified. Keeping her “alive” would have been nothing short of ghoulish.

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  • JustaTech

    I was going to say that this is really hypocritical, but it turns out that Iowa hasn’t had the death penalty since 1965, so there at least a judge really can’t decide to kill somebody. But in Florida…

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I’m really happy to see someone digging that whole ridiculous meltdown up again. American needs to be reminded how totally unhinged, hyperemotional and totally detached from reality the Republicans are; and the Schiavo meltdown is a perfect indicator of that. Let’s also not forget that Jeb Bush had Terri’s husband Michael investigated for spousal abuse, and the investigation went nowhere, for the obvious reason. Then, after Terri died, he started ANOTHER investigation of Michael, which ended the same way as the first.

    Oh, and Bill Frist didn’t just diagnose Terri from his office; he did so based on nothing but a video that had been deliberately edited to make Terri look conscious and responsive.

    Hay, maybe we can dig up the Elian Gonzalez affair too…

  • JustaTech

    That didn’t work at all… Let’s try again:

    ” “Just because a judge wants to kill somebody, that doesn’t give them the authority to do it,” said Brian Rosenor, a former chairman of the Woodbury County, Iowa Republicans. ”

    I was going to say that this is really hypocritical, but it turns out that Iowa hasn’t had the death penalty since 1965, so there at least a judge really can’t decide to kill somebody. But in Florida…

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Mother Teresa’s attorneys

    Man, today is just weird. That was also the name of my motorcycle gang.

     

    Keeping her “alive” would have been nothing short of ghoulish.

    Obviously. It is the Culture of Life.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I acted on my core belief that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line. They should receive our love and protection, and that’s exactly what I did.

    At least as long as “love and protection” means using force and doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything. Care for children, the aged, the ill, or anyone else at public expense is obviously contrary to everything that America stands for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.criley jason the cripple

    So, they wanted to remove the feeding tube so that she could die. So this guy from Iowa says, “Put two state troopers in front of her door.” What, exactly, would that have accomplished? Feeding tubes need food to be put in them. Just because she still has the tube, if you keep the nurses out (or they were just told not to even go in) to put food in the feeding tube, she’s still going to starve to death.

    It’s like the Republican thinking that defunding DHS will somehow get Homeland security to start deporting people? “You’re not deporting enough people, so we’re gonna take away your funding so you can’t deport even more people.”

  • colnago80

    Former Governor Bush further enraged many on the nutcase right by not calling up the National Guard and removing Ms. Schiavo from the nursing home and transporting her to a secret location. If he had done so and she had died while en route, Bush could have been charged with murder.

  • D. C. Sessions

    jason, it’s all about appearances. Symbolic gestures are what really count.

    For instance, bombing a poor country until the rubble bounces is a gesture that shows how tough and manly we are. Running drugs to finance running drugs to terrorists so that they can overthrow an elected government proves our devotion to Freedom and Democracy. That kind of thing.

  • Die Anyway

    I think JEB is probably the Republicans’ best hope for a mainstream candidate. If the radical right can take him out early, this is going to be an interesting race (to the bottom?).

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “… or told the county sheriff’s office not to let it happen.”

    Waitaminnit – in most sectors of Wingnutistan, the Sheriff is the highest (human) office-holder, and nobody gets to tell him (her, in my county) what to do!

    Why do these Iowans hate the holy Constitution?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I think JEB is probably the Republicans’ best hope for a mainstream candidate. If the radical right can take him out early…

    They won’t. They’ll scream and throw a tantrum, and thus maybe give Bush an excuse to cave to a few of their demands; but either way, they’ll dutifully fall in line and vote for whoever their party nominates in November, with or without shrieking about “betrayal.” And their opposition won’t hurt Bush at all; it will help him, by making him look “moderate” to people who know the right-wing extremists are full of shit, but still desperately want an excuse to vote Republican anyway.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Modusoperandi:

    Man, today is just weird. That was also the name of my motorcycle gang.

    You totally outdid yourself, there!!! Still chuckling..

  • John Pieret

    She wasn’t just braindead, her brain had become liquified.

    That might explain the wingnuts’ affinity for her story.

  • peterh

    @#13:

    Borderline poor taste – but quite likely accurate. Schiavo was well and truly dead long before the matter came to Bush’s door. Notice how the fervently faithful fear death in any form, real or imagined.

  • Jared James

    If his moral cowardice in not telling the Jesus-leg-humpers to go piss up a rope loses him even ten votes, great.

    If, as the Raging Bee and I suspect, it simply makes him look moderate by comparison to the inhabitants of Fixedstareistan, we can at least throw a few kidney punches his way for more generalized moral cowardice.

  • John Pieret

    peterh:

    Borderline poor taste

    I’ll have to work on my coyote game at crossing the border.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josef.mulroney Josef Mulroney

    alan keyes and the rest of the ridiculous right seem to operate just fine with liquified brains, so i can understand their concern for ms shiavo.

  • dingojack

    ““Just because a judge wants to kill somebody, that doesn’t give them the authority to do it,” said Brian Rosenor, a former chairman of the Woodbury County, Iowa Republicans.”

    Meanwhile in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, North & South Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, Delaware, California, Nevada, Utah, Tennessee, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Kanas and New Hampshire…

    Dingo

  • lorn

    I think you are reading the fact that she was brain dead wrong. Brain dead is item number one on the GOP’s checklist for political candidates, and the perfect wife. There was great hope on the right that Shaivo might be propped up Bernie style and be put forward as a candidate. Imagine, Palin without the speech impediment.

    Fact is that they were hoping that Shaivo was going to be the exemplar of the new conservative woman. Quiet, undemanding, willing to stay home, and, with a bit of magic, still be able to get pregnant and pop out an endless string of kids.

    Jeb Bush can’t win for loosing on that case. It is what happens to even hard right demagogs who dare to take one step toward reason. The right is pissed that the Frankenstein, “She’s alive”, act has to end because it robs them over their one chance for good Christian men to be in charge of the creation side of life and bend the essence of life itself to their will. The left is mad because it took him months to face up to reality and see that the silly games that were played over the symbols of life were an insult to human dignity. The guy with the plastic cup of tap water was the epitome of the sad, empty pantomime of caring about humanity.

  • JustaTech

    Hey Dingo (@18), just for the record, Washington (and Oregon) currently have moratoriums on the death penalty in place.

  • colnago80

    Re Dingojack @ #20

    California hasn’t executed anybody since 2004, and is notorious for the length of time inmates spend on death row. Most of the inmates on death row will die of natural causes, like the Night Stalker Richard Ramirez who spent 24 years there before succumbing to natural causes. I suspect that Scott Peterson, who has been on death row for 10 years will probably die before being executed. The Peterson case is rather interesting as he was convicted of capital murder despite there being no forensic or eyewitness evidence and no cause of death for his victim.