Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Comparing Democrat Executive Action to Republican Executive Inaction

John Fund compares the case of Terri Schiavo to Elian Gonzalez in today’s OpinionJournal.com.

The Clinton Adminsitration were celebrated by the MainStreamMedia when Janet Reno, defying a court order, used the Federal Government to take custody of Elian Gonzalez and return him to Castro’s tyranny. The Bush Administration(s) are kow-towed by the MSM into taking no action to save the life of Terri Schiavo, even when there seems to be Constitutional and statutory grounds for them to do so.

Discussions - 5 Comments

It will be interesting to see what fallout occurs in the wake of her death. Many, many people consider this simple murder, and the fact that Michael Schiavo insists on cremating her (against her family’s wishes) makes it even more suspicious. Who will the public blame for this death?

Ultimately, Conservatives balk at vigorous use of governmental power and authority. Recall the impeachment drama, Senate Republicans underwent a profound failure of nerve. Remember Trent Lott telling Henry Hyde: "You’re not going to drop this on us Henry...." And then Lott did not even hold a trial, mandated by the Constitution when the House actually impeaches. And so we had that 3 day farce.

Dain,
Other than the roughly 7% of the GOP base that FERVENTLY cares about this subject, it will be forgotten within three months. Every day, the television brings us some new drama, some new travesty, some new catastrophe, some new starlet romance or breakup. Our attention span has eroded as rapidly as our moral sensitivities.

Sad but true.

GW’s poll numbers slightly falling are due to fuel prices rising AND his comments regarding immigration last week. Calling Americans determined to patrol the border on their own "vigilanties" was brain dead, absolutely brain dead.


The leaders always set the tone. Bush thinks rhetoric is unimportant in domestic policy. He refuses to involve himself in causes that seem unlikely to succeed. He doesn’t want to be called names. He refuses, absolutely refuses, to call names even when amply justified.

Serious action cannot be built on this basis.

Mr Craig, you may want to check into your facts about Janet Reno and defying a court order. I believe the facts are this:

In the Gonzales case, as with Shiavo, the case was exhausted in the courts. The Clinton administration followed the law to the letter; namely, that in the case of the death of the mother, the custody of a child passes to the father. This is black letter law; unless the father is a crack addict, mass murderer or otherwise incompetent.

As with the Shiavo case, there was some talk in Congress, and lobbying, for legislation to alter to outcome of the court process. This didn’t happen for two reasons; one, Republicans knew that Clinton would veto it and, two, Republicans figured that the episode [could] hurt Al Gore in Florida.

The Feds raided the family’s house for Elian while executing a warrant that was issued because they [the family] refused to comply with a court order. What is very interesting is that, even though the raid looked over-the-top on TV, as Bill Schneider of CNN pointed out last week; Americans that supported the raid, 63%, Americans that supported removing the feeding tube, 63%. Hat tip to mschmidt73 at Progressive Nation

Actually, "Waco Janet" Reno herself overrode a FL family-court ruling and ignored a ruling from the 11th Circuit that Elian should not be seized from his relatives pending disposition of his case. Then she got a nighttime warrant from a federal magistrate and sent men with machine guns in to seize the terrified child (if the raid "looked over the top on TV," it’s because it WAS over the top, Sherlock--using heavily armed federal agents and SWAT tactics in a child-custody case is outrageous). If the legal process was "exhausted," it was only because Clinton, Reno, & Co. had deliberately acted to stop it with an armed fait accompli. At the time, no less a leftwing oracle than Laurence Tribe published a New York Times op-ed condemning Reno and the Clinton Administration for the lawless and bullying character of what they had done. The whole sorry history of the Clintonoids’ prevarications and kowtowing to a foreign Communist dictator is laid out in the John Fund article linked in the original post.

As for the polls, the Elian seizure might have been vaguely popular with an inchoate 63 percent (most of whom probably didn’t feel all that strongly about it either way, but gave an opinion when stopped by a pollster--though I have no idea what poll you’re actually talking about). But among a highly interested group of local citizens (i.e., the Cuban-American community in South FL), the raid was widely and intensely condemned. These voters took note of Al Gore’s prevarications and general spinelessness regarding the case (this was the Gore who slapped Clinton on the back at that sick postimpeachment-vote rally on the White House lawn and called him a "great" president). These voters are a big reason why Gore never became president.

I suspect that the full story of the Schiavo case’s political fallout won’t be told by a few stacked MSM polls done last week.

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