A Schiavo Moment

Ken AshfordAssisited Suicide/Schiavo, Election 2012, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

Chuck Todd thinks we've seen this before, and I agree:

When the Terri Schiavo controversy first turned into a full-blown national story — in March 2005 — no one was sure of its political implications. Even some Democrats feared it was a loser for them. But after congressional Republicans and the Bush White House acted to keep the Schiavo alive, despite being in a vegetative state and despite her husband's wishes that her feeding tube be removed, their move backfired. The American public thought they went too far, and it marked the beginning of the end of GOP control over Congress and the White House. Flash forward almost seven years later, and is history repeating itself? Just like with the Schiavo case, we're unclear how the debate over contraception, women's health, and religious liberty will play out. But after the Obama White House initially bungled its contraception rollout and especially after it released its accommodation compromise, there are warning signs this week that the GOP has taken that issue — and other social ones — too far.

One has to wonder just what Republicans are thinking.  The economy is improving, but there is still a lot of recovery ahead.  There's Obamacare.  There's poverty still.  In other words, Obama isn't invincible.

So why is the GOP trying to start a culture war?  It makes no sense, especially when the issue they are picking alienates women, who are 50% of the voters.  Contraception?  Really?  You are going to make that an issue in an election year?  Didn't we resolve that, like 50 years ago?

And how does that work exactly?  "Let's make it harder for women to get birth control.  That'll make us popular!"  Huh?!?

Matt Bors

P.S.  Hey, Slate — I was way ahead of you.