Politics & Policy

The Corner

Sen. Flake Slams ‘Wedge’ Conservatives for Terri Schiavo

Another day, another conservative blaming other conservatives for the political mess and divisions in the country.

Well, whatever gets you on Face the Nation to tout your book Conscience of a Conservative.

Not that conservatives haven’t contributed to the problem, but if there was a vitriol meter, the Left would outscore the Right going away.

But that’s not why I post. This always bugs me. Flake blames conservatives for engaging in wedge politics in the Terri Schiavo case.

Wrong. The Terri Schiavo federal law was one of the most bipartisan passed during George W. Bush’s presidency.

How bipartisan was it, Wesley? Well let me ask readers:

How many Democrat Senators voted no to the bill? Let’s make it multiple choice: A. 45 B. 40 C. 30 D .15 E. None of the above?

The correct answer is E: Zero Democrat Senators voted against the federal Terri Schiavo law. Not Hillary Clinton. Not Barack Obama. Not Harry Reid. Not Dianne Feinstein. None. Zero. Zilch. The bill received unanimous consent. One “nay” vote would have killed it. And the whole thing was helped forward to an agreed outcome by Democrat Senator Tom Harkin.

About 45 percent of the House Democratic Caucus voting — many hid under their desks — also voted for the bill, including Harold Ford, James Oberstar, and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (perhaps because his father, hardly a conservative, traveled to Florida to support the family).

Terri Schiavo was not about creating a wedge issue for political gain. There was no political gain. There was never any prospect of there being a political gain.

This is what it was about: Trying to save a helpless woman’s life so she could be cared for by her loving family rather than dehydrated to death at the court-approved order of her abandoning husband, who sired two children with another woman — whom he planned to marry — during Terri’s disability.

As he did — once, he was, shall we say, unencumbered

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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