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Posted by gustav at 11:01PM, Friday, December 03rd, 2004

The Point of It All

I think what people don't get when they work themselves up about Congress wasting its time on the non-issue of Schiavo is: what it is that it's actually useful for Congress to do in this situation -- for the betterment of Congress, that is, and for the people it serves (and no, that's not you or me.)

Of course attacking the authority of the courts, and falsely claiming that "activist courts," which are actually acting fully within their constitutional roles, are undermining the constitution, is disruptive, and possibly quite destructive. Of course there are more pressing issues -- to the public -- that Congress could be dealing with, than one brain-dead woman.

I'm not sure Congress actually, in its collective conscious hive-mind, knows this. But it does know that euthanasia is a nice, heated issue that's easy to get worked up about, and that it tends to highlight, at least partially, the cultural divide along party lines, giving lots of room and air-time to blustery speeches and righteous indignation. There's lots of cause for red-state, culture-of-life-spouting mouth-breathers to get themselves excited. There's lots of Republican and pseudo-religious hypocrisy -- life is sacred, except when Bush is executing retards in Texas, or signing legislation to let your health insurance pull the plug, or when Halliburton needs a new multi-billion-dollar contract so we have to invade someplace so they can sell their bombs. And, as usual, all of these things deeply impact (or end) the lives of lots and lots of people. But it's all noise.

Generally, I feel that if politicians are making a lot of noise about something, and you can't see why, you're not looking at the right thing. For instance, what else would Congress be talking about, if it weren't for Schiavo? We just passed the pesky anniversary of the war in Iraq. But a lot of congresspeople want to stay well away from focussing on that -- on the votes they cast, or the things they said. There's that bankruptcy bill. That's a touchy topic, too -- despite the propaganda, ordinary citizens overwhelmingly opposed their representatives in Congress giving oral sex to the credit card industry; yet lots of supposedly pro-regular-people Democrats helped ram it through our collective asses. Then there was that debate back a bunch of weeks ago, that was supposed to (and absolutely did) distract us all while they prepped the bankruptcy malarkey, and had everyone wondering why the Republicans were attempting to push through something so overwhelmingly unpopular... What was that all about again? It was something with no hope of passing... Oh yeah, social security elimination. Right. I almost forgot.

Clearly, there are lots of things of great import that Congress could be discussing. But if you don't understand why they're not, you might consider that it's simply because they don't want to. It is not in their interest to let us focus on the evil they serve us, when they can distract us, again and again. In a better world, we'd have a press that would point this out, a lot more loudly than they are.
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