Anger at Bushes Over Schiavo
USA Today reports that there is substantial anger among Terri Schiavo supporters at President Bush and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for not doing enough to save her.
[The protestors’] ire was directed at Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, who successfully petitioned the courts to have her feeding tube removed; at state judge George Greer, who has ruled consistently in his favor; and increasingly, at President Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “If Gov. Bush wants to be the man that his brother is, he needs to step up to the plate like President Bush did when the United Nations told him not to go into Iraq,” Randall Terry, a protest organizer, said of the governor. “Be a man. Put politics aside.” Sharon Mull, who drove here from St. Augustine, said she had written three letters to the governor in the past few days. “It seems like he could have intervened more,” she said. “At this point, it’s getting too late to help this woman. She’s being tortured. She’s being murdered.”
Last Monday, President Bush signed an emergency bill from Congress enabling Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, to have federal courts hear their appeal to restore her feeding tube. Gov. Bush asked state courts for permission to take custody of Schiavo. But the Schindlers have been turned down by every court, and the president and the governor have said they can do no more. Among the messages on protest signs Sunday: “Barbara Bush: Are you proud of your sons now?” “Stop the American Holocaust!” “Send in the National Guard!”
Tension mounted outside Woodside Hospice here, where Schiavo was in her 10th day without food or water. Bobby Schindler, Schiavo’s brother, told the protesters they aren’t helping his family by getting arrested. Karl Henderson, 25, of Denver Bible Church, took issue with Schindler. “We should be able to take her water if she’s dying,” he said. “You’re not speaking for our family,” Schindler said.
Sunday’s protest played out throughout the day. Several members of Not Dead Yet, a disability rights group, lay on a driveway in front of their wheelchairs. Jerry Layne, a Baptist street preacher from Chattanooga, Tenn., delivered a fiery sermon, saying the multiple court rulings in the Schiavo case are part of the nation’s moral decline.
These people represent a lunatic fringe, so I doubt these sentiments are particularly widespread even among the small minority of Americans who think Terri Schiavo should be kept alive despite her wishes and those of her husband. Still, it serves the Bushes right for intervening in an affair outside the scope of their executive offices.