The politics of the situation, however, are another matter entirely. Conservatives are up to their eyeballs in hypocrisy here, and Democrats should make them put their money where their mouth is. As Barbara O'Brien noted (tip: Kevin Drum), somehow all this support for "life" flies out the window once the government has to step in and make sure the poor have access to the care necessary to sustaining and protecting their lives.
"We need a list of politicians and commentators, including bloggers, who have been calling for cuts in Medicaid but who now have joined in the 'save Terri Schiavo' cult. These people need to be challenged to take her off Medicaid and pay for her maintenance themselves. If you know of any such people, please add their names to the comments.
The righties are going to say, it's not about money, it's about principle. But the principle is that there are people right now who are not receiving health care that they need because they can't afford it, and their lives may be shortened as a result. But there is plenty of taxpayer money to keep Terri Schiavo alive, even though she has no hope of ever being conscious.
Why? Because she's politically useful, that's why. That's your 'principle.'"
Even the American public, notoriously gullible with regards to GOP culture war putsches, isn't buying the facade that DeLay and Company actually care about Schiavo and others like her. Indeed, when the choice is between saving money and prolonging life, Conservative activists have been mysteriously silent. Much hay has been made over the fact that Schiavo's parents are willing and able to pay for her care. That's wonderful, but what of those who don't have the bankroll to care for their loved ones? Apparently, the answer is: pull the plug.
Nobody should die simply because they cannot afford to live. If there is one, basic obligation of our society, it is to ensure life to all citizens. We can debate about the other stuff later, but life has to be a baseline. It's why I consider myself pro-life on abortion, and why I consider programs like Medicare/Medicaid to be moral imperatives on society, not just "liberal entitlement programs."