Schiavo: Process, Not Ends



I'm enormously pleased, in an entirely smug, cryptofascist, self-satisfied kind of way, @ the way large portions of the right-of-center blogosphere have reacted to the latest in a string of congressionally-driven debacles, ludicrous non-issues elevated to the status of legislative hysteria by a rampantly hubristic Republican majority in the legislative. Makes my heart grow two whole sizes, the sights & sounds... well, mostly sights of centrists & moderate righties reacting in the right way to this barrage of stupidity & opportunism from what is, or is supposed to be, "their side."

-- harm

Well, JYB has been a bit mean to me, and doesn't seem to grasp the point of my argument -- which has been that passing Congressional legislation designed to influence the outcome of a particular case doesn't fit well with notions of federalism. Mickey Kaus can airily say "federalism, schmederalism" and note that if it were up to him he'd get rid of states and divide the country into ten convenient administrative districts, but one doesn't expect to hear similar sentiments from conservatives. Bryan sees this as libertarians telling conservatives what to believe, but I think it's more a case of libertarians being disappointed to see that what they thought of as common ground wasn't so common after all. It's not hypocritical for liberals like Kaus, or Bill Clinton, to ignore federalism, because they've never cared about it. I thought that conservatives did.[...]

Patterico emails to ask if I'm saying that people who disagree with me can't handle facts or logic. No -- though if you read the incredibly nasty emails I've gotten the last few days, hoping for the InstaWife to suffer Terri Schiavo's fate, etc. -- you might forgive me for taking that position. But I know that emailers aren't a representative sample: The best may not lack all conviction, but the worst are always full of passionate intensity.

However, the fact that so few have bothered to read what I've actually written is disturbing. I've been accused of wanting to see Terri Schiavo die out of some twisted love for death, when I actually wrote that if it was up to me I might well put the tube in and turn her over to the family. But what I've been writing about isn't outcomes, it's about process -- and contempt for the Constitution and the responsibilities of different branches of government -- and I'm absolutely appalled at the people who posit deeply implausible judicial conspiracies, or say that they don't care about the Constitution if it stands in the way of getting what they want. I'm not prone to hold grudges of the sort that Bryan fears, but I'm deeply disappointed to hear a lot of folks acting like the lefties they usually complain about.

-- Glenn Reynolds

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