I accuse... Peggy Noonan of being a moron.
Now, reasonable minds may differ on the whole Terri Schiavo issue. Many, many people quite reasonably feel that the matter is a private tragedy that should be left to the family, specifically to the traditional perogative of a husband or wife to make the decisions regarding a spouse's medical treatment (isn't hat "traditional marriage"? See Genesis 2:24). Far fewer people think--sincerely and not unreasonably--that questions of life and death are matters of public concern that warrant government infringement on personal liberty and privacy.
But for any position to be reasonable, it has to be rational. And some of the conservative political activists currently giving out their opinions are simply not being rational. They are being morons, and former Reagan staffer Peggy Noonan is a prime example. Now, lots of people say that Peggy Noonan is really smart... but I rather think she is merely clever; kind of like how pigs and snakes can be clever without actually being intelligent. Case in point:
Peggy Noonan, who writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal and its online editorial page, Online Journal, has decided that the world would stop spinning on its axis if she didn't tell all of us how she feels about the "invaluable and irreplaceable human life" represented by Terri Schiavo's body, which has a vast fluid-filled hole where most of her brain used to be.
See what I mean? (I'll leave it to the reader's imagination what Peggy's brain might look like in a CAT scan.)
Peggy claims that she and her friends "do not want an innocent human life ended for what appear to be primarily practical and worldly reasons". Oddly though--and this is where Peggy goes off the deep end--she fails to mention the case of little Sun Hudson, the Texas boy who was taken off of life support this week only because his mother could no longer afford to pay for it. Reasons don't get more practical and worldly than that, Peggy.
But she doesn't care. Why doesn't she care? Because she is a Republican, and the law that allowed Sun Hudson's hospital to pull the plug against the wishes of his mother was enacted by a Republican legislature and signed by then Republican governor George W. Bush (in her column, Peggy refers to these as "the pull-the-tube people"). And, for that, she is a moron. She is a craven political opportunist of the worst sort... she says "life itself is the point" in the Schiavo case, but won't make the same argument for little Sun Hudson. Now, Peggy is entitled to her beliefs... but she is not entitled to apply them unequally. And she isn't allowed to lie about them. She can't respect life as much as she so crassly claims, because her outrage is so fickle.
Perhaps it would do to remind Peggy of something she said recently: "Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures; there is a hole, an empty place, and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen." Sound familiar, Peggy? That's what I mean about Peggy just being clever... she might seem bright and interesting, but there is something missing. In this case, it's Peggy's integrity that's missing.
You see, there is nothing wrong with infringing on personal liberties in the service of a broad social principle. That is because the principle ensures that the infringement is even-handed, consistent, and meaningful. But what principle is Peggy offering here? She obviously doesn't really care about human life in principle, because she can't even bring herself to mention Sun Hudson. If true principle were involved, she would care about Sun and his mother. But she doesn't. And it isn't applied consistently, because Peggy isn't crusading for Sun and his mother. And that is where the danger lies, because the infringement on personal freedom that she is espousing is not in the service of a greater principle, but merely in the service of political opportunism and rallying the base. And it only protects those favored by the political elite. It cannot be tolerated by a free people.
Peggy also says "Part of courage is simple consistency." Let Peggy know that simple consistency would mean standing up for little Sun Hudson, even if it meant going against her party and its corporate contributors, just as much as she stands up for Terri Schiavo. That's integrity. She is entitled to her sincerely-held religious beliefs and she's entitled to express them. But that isn't what she's doing. If it was, her column would have at least given a mention to little Sun Hudson and his grieving mother. Republican party hacks should not be allowed to get away with being such hypocrites, and they shouldn't be using private tragedies to get their own names in the papers. Let her know what you think about her lack of integrity and her fickle (and therefore suspect) moral outrage:
We now have the proof that Peggy Noonan was an idiot on this issue. The autopsy of Terri Schiavo proves that half of her brain had died. A healthy brain in a woman her size weighs about 1250 grams. Terri's weighed 615 grams. The entire part of her brain that once contained her consciousness and her personality were completely gone (also gone was her visual cortex, so when Senator Frist said that she was responding to visual stimulation he was obviously full of crap). But don't expect Peggy Noonan to make note of that.