Patterico's Pontifications

3/30/2005

Instapundit on the Schiavo Case

Filed under: Schiavo — Patterico @ 9:00 pm

Instapundit says of the Schiavo case:

[T]his is one of those episodes that seems to bring out the worst in people. That’s why I didn’t really want to weigh in to begin with — I knew that I was unlikely to persuade anyone, because very few people seem to care about the facts, or about arguments.

(My emphasis.)

It does not seem to me a stretch to interpret this as saying: Those who disagree with me don’t care about the facts or rational argument.

I hope (and assume) that’s not what Glenn meant. After all, some of us do care about the facts and valid argumentation — we just disagree with Glenn on this issue.

UPDATE: Glenn e-mails to say that’s not what he meant. But it sounds like he is taking a lot of nasty abuse on this issue, which is unfortunate. I know full well that people on the right can be as nasty as those on the left when you disagree with them about an emotional issue.

UPDATE x2: Glenn has updated his post to clarify. He also gives an example of the sort of e-mail he has been getting. Some people have e-mailed him to say they hope that his wife suffers Terri Schiavo’s fate. Disgusting. It just goes to show you that there are totally classless people on both sides of the aisle.

29 Responses to “Instapundit on the Schiavo Case”

  1. That’s obviously what he meant. Because the only thing that enables a person to talk of Terri Schindler Schiavo’s possible “recovery” or of the value of therapy in restoring her to some normal state is a complete ignorance of neurology. Reynolds knows that there’s no way to satisfy those who slander Michael Schiavo as a bigamist or as a wife-beater or murderer. There’s no persuading people whose notions of human dignity and being are so literal and doctrinaire that they find themselves calling these judges murderers. That’s not a poke at you, Patterico, because I didn’t even know you had once alluded to judicial murder until you told me. But it’s worth noting that there are a lot of irrational people coming out of the woodwork over this —and they are bound to cause a lot of grief because they feel they have the sanction of our national leaders and their apologists.

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  2. Because the only thing that enables a person to talk of Terri Schindler Schiavo’s possible “recovery” or of the value of therapy in restoring her to some normal state is a complete ignorance of neurology.

    Depends on how you define “normal.” Did you read Joe Ford’s piece about bigotry against the disabled? I don’t think Terri Schiavo could be restored to a “normal” state. But I think there’s a chance she could have learned to swallow on her own.

    I don’t think it’s “obviously” what Glenn meant — and I hope not. It sounds arrogant, and I don’t think he is arrogant. I think he was expressing frustration with people who are indeed immune to reason — but in the way he phrased it, he left his words open to the interpretation that only people immune to reason could disagree with him.

    Patterico (756436)

  3. Toby, how is it possible to “slander” Michael Schiavo as a bigamist? Last time I checked, truth was an absolute defense.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  4. It is interesting how this has morphed. From a reasonable question as to whether or not Michael Schiavo has any credibility considering his prior testimony and an obvious conflict of interest this has evolved to the ‘not worth living’ position of the all knowing Toby’s of the world.
    The Schiavos have stated that they would honor any ‘living will’ wishes that Terri had expressed, but she did not and they quite sensibly do not consider her ex-husbands timely reversal of memory to be legitimate. This is not a right to die issue, since her wishes are not known, although Michael’s supporters have successfully portrayed it as such.
    For all the hate directed by the anti-religious left at Terri’s supporters, this is not a religious issue. It is about a woman’s right not to be killed for the convenience of her ex-husband.

    mikem (fd2aad)

  5. I’ve heard the complaint of abuse from many bloggers and media types. Of course, I have no idea what they get in their e-mail, but judging from the comments, I’m skeptical of the claim.

    There are reasons why people (especially legal types) shy away from this particular issue. It exposes the legal system as amoral and untethered. More the reason for legal types to confront the facts and argue their case. This issue is absolutely fundamental to the credibility of the entire US legal system.

    I would invite you, Glenn, and any other lawyer to debate this simple legal analysis. My bona fides are finishing top in my class in Constitutional law and having the good sense after that experience to go into engineering. For those still stuck in the system, this is your opportunity to offer a defense of that choice.

    Paul Deignan (dad3ca)

  6. My apologies if I’m a bit off subject for this thread, but an interesting and thought-provoking article by Eric Cohen in the April 4 edition of The Weekly Standard entitled “How Liberalism Failed Terri Schiavo“. Subtitled “The question is not only what she whould have wanted, but what we owe her”.

    The editorial, “Evolving Standards of Decency” by William Kristol is worthy of a look as well.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  7. I understand that Schiavo will ascend physically into heaven after three days of autopsy and political posturing.

    The poor woman died of bulimia fifteen years ago. Let’s show our compassion for the living with stem cell research, universal health care, and private accounts for social security.

    Richard Bennett (c5751d)

  8. Sure, Bennett, this has everything to do with stem cell research. After all, if only Americans had been enlightened enough to elect John Kerry, all these amazing advances in stem cell research would have had Terri Schiavo springing out of her hospice bed. And she’d be pretty damned pissed, too. Or maybe not; maybe that offer was only open to Christopher Reeve, I forget.

    Just to save time, no, I am not arguing in favor of any religion, and I sure as hell am not arguing against stem cell research. Given your track record, if you think I’m arguing for or against anything else, chances are that that’s not it, either.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  9. Xrlqpbj, I actually hadn’t given much thought to what you may or may not be arguing for today.

    Does “the culture of life” involve any concern for genuine living people? The jury’s still out on that in my neck of the woods.

    Richard Bennett (c5751d)

  10. erm, I usually don’t post but I felt the need to say something here.

    Richard the only stem cell researched being questioned by “culture of life” people is the ethically ambiguous embryonic stem cell research. Adult and cord blood research (which by the way shows the best results and arguably the most promise) is enthusiasically supported by pro-life proponents. Before you start a broad generalization on whether or not “culture of life” people care about the disabled and sick, be sure of your terminology.

    Adult stem cells have been used to cure paralysis and are close to curing Type 1
    (juvenile) diabetes and other auto immune disorders like lupus and Crohns disease.

    Taleena (727c52)

  11. Right Taleena, the Culture of Life would rather flush these embryos down the drain than use them for medical research.

    Why bother with medicine if you Expect a Miracle?

    Richard Bennett (57f7ac)

  12. I really don’t get this Culture of Life stuff, other than the obvious abortion equality attempt; and a way to convert “letting someone die peacefully” to being a grand wizard in this Culture of Death cult.

    Presumably every family member who withholds medical treatment or nourishment under any circumstance, which results in a shortened life, is a member of this Culture of Death.

    Even if DeLay’s family was unanimous in their decision, should we take their word for it that their father wanted to die early? Who are we to say if this was murder? Let a jury decide that.

    Someone please explain how a Culture of Life member deals with terminally ill family members on their final days. It really is impossible for me to figure out what you guys are saying you would do.

    Ladainian (91b3b2)

  13. And the Compassionate Bennetts of the world would harvest organs from baby farms.
    Why bother being ethical when convenience is easier?

    Got some more sarcastic generalizations for us, Richard?

    mikem (fd2aad)

  14. ” It really is impossible for me to figure out what you guys are saying you would do.”

    As hard as you are working to not understand, why waste the effort.

    mikem (fd2aad)

  15. Very briefly, regarding terms and stereotypes, I reserve the right to clarify what I mean vs what someone else means.
    When the “Culture of Life” person’s 95 year old grandmother goes to the hospital, he wants the doctor to think a little bit about what might be wrong and what it would take to treat the problem. Especially if the 95 year old is alert, active, lives with one of her children, is visited routinely by children, grandchildren, greatgranchildren, and an occasional greatgreatgrandchild, and enjoys every minute of it. When the doctor says, “Oh, she’s old and has a very bad heart, I don’t think she will make it”, the Culture of Life person says, “I know she has a bad valve condition, she’s had it for over 10 years and still has normal left ventricular function as of the last Echo a few months ago, now what’s wrong with her?” The doctor admits he doesn’t know (he hasn’t done even the simplest of tests yet to find out), and gets the message he better get a better answer.
    I imagine a “Culture of Death” person says, yeah doc, you’re right, keep her comfortable. The greatgrandkids need to get used to her being gone sooner or later.
    I only imagine that is what a culture of death person says, because that is what the Culture of Death doctor wanted to hear.
    After communicating with the doctor as in example A, it was discovered that grandma’s heart still was functioning normally, and she had gallstones. After the doctor of death wanted to keep her comfortable to die of impacted gallstones she was transferred to another hospital for a 45 minute procedure to take out the gallstones. It worked well, and she was home seeing grandchildren again in a few days. Had the procedure gone wrong, and grandma developed life threatening complications for which the only possible treatment was an operation hopelessly dangerous, the operation would have been avoided and we would feel sad, but we would know that we had given her a good chance of pulling through to see those happy little faces again.

    This is one example. I have patients to tend to now.

    MD in Philly (1b0bc5)

  16. Xrlqpbj,

    That was sooo much funnier the 17,982nd time.

    I actually hadn’t given much thought to what you may or may not be arguing for today.

    Neato, but it’s not about me, it’s about your general tendency to accidentally-on-purpose read all sorts of crap into everything anybody says that doesn’t fit neatly into your world view. First everybody who didn’t want to starve Terri to death was a seven-day (or six, technically speaking) Creationist. Then Dean Esmay wasn’t a real atheist because he didn’t hate religious people enough. Then Patterico wasn’t a real attorney because … aw hell, just because. Lord only knows what kind of idiocy you’ll cook up next.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  17. It wasn’t a real starvation, it was a dehydration.

    Richard Bennett (c5751d)

  18. X:

    Toby, how is it possible to “slander” Michael Schiavo as a bigamist? Last time I checked, truth was an absolute defense.

    Has the legality of the “sacred institution” of marriage become inconvenient for you? Michael Schiavo was legally the next of kin to Terri Schindler Schiavo. That’s what the law says. He is now, certainly, the common-law husband of this other woman by whom he is a father. But at what point was he an actual bigamist in the eyes of the law? I really don’t know. Patterico?

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  19. Patterico:

    I don’t think it’s “obviously” what Glenn meant – and I hope not. It sounds arrogant, and I don’t think he is arrogant.

    True dat. He seems to be a very decent guy.

    I think he was expressing frustration with people who are indeed immune to reason – but in the way he phrased it, he left his words open to the interpretation that only people immune to reason could disagree with him.

    Maybe. But you’re too much of a forensic grammarian, anyway, so that’s the way you went.

    Glenn Reynolds is not on the side of the Republicans on this. You have to know that. I suspect that he and Charles Johnson and a few other big-timers have been shell-shocked by the actions of the Congress and are dealing with it as reservedly as possible. This has caused a huge rift among the conservatives. Completely self-inflicted, unnecessary, and Jekyll & Hyde as hell. What is going on?

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  20. Wow Richard! A little hostile there. I said “ethically ambigous”. If folks agreed on a law that said “this far no further” then there would be less agitation. It is the lack of clarity, the use of euphemism around the ethical debate that makes me nervous about slippery slopes. When a pro-embryonic research bill was introduced in my state, the muddy language and misrepresntation (and omission of) key facts made me wary. If you have nothing to hide, why not makes all the facts known?

    Taleena (727c52)

  21. Toby, let’s not get too clever here. Technically, Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centzone are living in open adultery, not in a “common law marriage.” For one thing, Florida does not recognize common law marriage. For another, no state I know of that does, allows a common law marriage to arise between any man and woman if one of them is already legally married to someone else. Non-technically, however, people who call Michael Schiavo a bigamist (which, technically speaking, he’s not) rather than an adulterer (which he is) are merely being a little sloppy with the terminology, no more so than you yourself were when you called Schiavo and Centzone’s illegal living arrangement a “common law marriage.” That’s hardly the same as “defaming” somebody, any more than it is defamatory if a newspaper inadvertently refers to an embezzler as a thief, or vice-versa.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  22. As proof of my belief that the courts are making decisions about our lives that they have neither the wisdom or the expertise to make, I offer this -Ted Kennedy said, “I believe that the courts are the fairest forum to do what is right in this case”.
    Naw – it isn’t proof. It’s just an indication of the kind of people that think the courts are just peachy for running our lives.

    Boman (d4dcea)

  23. Toby,

    Of course I know that Glenn is not on the “save Terri” side. What I was questioning is whether he sees those who are as immune to reason. He has made it clear that he doesn’t — but he is getting a ration of abuse from people who are indeed so immune. That’s unfortunate.

    Patterico (756436)

  24. X:

    Toby, let’s not get too clever here. Technically, Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centzone are living in open adultery, not in a “common law marriage.”

    When Bob Schindler encouraged the young Michael Schiavo to date other women, as he had his whole life ahead of him, did Schindler suppose that this wouldn’t lead Schiavo to “adultery”?

    For one thing, Florida does not recognize common law marriage.

    Then your little retort that “truth was an absolute defense” against slander is literally impossible. Correct?

    For another, no state I know of that does, allows a common law marriage to arise between any man and woman if one of them is already legally married to someone else.

    Then he cannot be a bigamist.

    Non-technically, however, people who call Michael Schiavo a bigamist (which, technically speaking, he’s not) rather than an adulterer (which he is) are merely being a little sloppy with the terminology, no more so than you yourself were when you called Schiavo and Centzone’s illegal living arrangement a “common law marriage.”

    Nice save. But adultery is a loaded term, even if a legal one. The point is that life must go on. Bob Schindler recognized that a long time ago —with respect to his daughter’s husband— before he decided to make what uses he could of his daughter’s situation.

    That’s hardly the same as “defaming” somebody, any more than it is defamatory if a newspaper inadvertently refers to an embezzler as a thief, or vice-versa.

    Well, I’m not sophisticated enough to know the difference between an embezzler and a thief, so thanks for drawing that out for me.

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  25. Patterico:

    Of course I know that Glenn is not on the “save Terri” side. What I was questioning is whether he sees those who are as immune to reason. He has made it clear that he doesn’t – but he is getting a ration of abuse from people who are indeed so immune. That’s unfortunate.

    You both put a lot of store by finesse, but I say your first instinct was correct: Glenn Reynolds —unemended— is embarrassed by the faith-over-reason crowd. Bully for you to make him tack like that, but let no one demean politics these days.

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  26. When Bob Schindler encouraged the young Michael Schiavo to date other women, as he had his whole life ahead of him, did Schindler suppose that this wouldn’t lead Schiavo to “adultery”?

    Obviously, you wouldn’t know a law if it bit you on the ass, so allow me to clue you in. There is no “But my father in law encouraged me to commit this crime” defense to an adultery charge, nor to any other criminal charge for that matter.

    Nice save. But adultery is a loaded term, even if a legal one.

    My point exactly. That’s why it’s so stupid to accuse someone of “slander” solely for mixing it up with bigamy. It’s not as though they accused someone of murder when his real crime was spitting on a sidewalk.

    The point is that life must go on.

    Actually, that wasn’t your original point. Your point was to make petty, hair-trigger charges of “slander” against those who were telling the truth for the most part, and in any event weren’t accusing Michael Schiavo of doing anything worse than, or even all that different from, what he actually did.

    If the point were that life goes on, then life should have gone on. Instead, Michael Schiavo insisted on having it both ways, insisting on remaining Terri’s legal husband even while living a life wholly inconsistent with that, and as a result, an innocent life was snuffed out for no reason whatsoever.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  27. X:

    Your point was to make petty, hair-trigger charges of “slander” against those who were telling the truth for the most part[…]

    Ha, ha, ha! That’s rich. Thanks for the laugh.

    (X, until the GOP’s weird outburst of self-destructive and ultra-alienating nonsense happened, you might have even recognized me as one of your own. That is to say, I can pass.)

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  28. Can pass what? I see you are very capable of passing along frivolous slander charges, but I don’t think that’s what you meant.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  29. Well, I can’t pass up a good semantic argument.

    Xrlq, in Forida, bigamy is a felony – a serious crime – you know, like murder. Adultery is a misdemeanor – you know, like public disorder, or, oh, spitting on the sidewalk.

    So when you say it’s “not as though they accused someone of murder when his real crime was spitting on a sidewalk” – actually, that’s exactly what it’s like.

    On the other hand, to the extent we’re talking about written stuff, it’s actually libel, not
    slander.

    jjeremy in NYC (4fa800)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2508 secs.