Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, April 04, 2005

As Mark Twain said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Here's Mark Steyn on (1) the Left's premature announcement about the Republican Party's death, and (2) the fact that the Right will not be hurt by resisting the Left's ultimately successful effort at causing Terri Schiavo's premature death:

The point to bear in mind when Hollywood producers, State Department diplomats, respected senators, gay mavericks, the New York Times and the rest of the media offer conservatives advice is a simple one: As that great self-esteem volume has it, He's Really Not That Into You. The preferred media Republican is an amiable loser: the ne plus ultra of GOP candidates was the late Fred Tuttle, the lame, wizened idiot dairy farmer put up for a joke against Sen. Patrick Leahy in Vermont. But, if they can't get that lucky, the media will gladly take a Bob Dole type, a decent old no-hoper who goes down to predictable defeat and gets rave reviews for being such a good loser. Republicans could well run into trouble in 2006 and 2008, but for being insufficiently conservative on things like immigration rather than for anything the media claim they're cracking up over. The notion, for example, that poor Terri Schiavo will cost Republicans votes in a year and a half's time is ludicrous. The best distillation of the pro-Schiavo case was made by James Lileks, the bard of Minnesota, responding to the provocateur Christopher Hitchens' dismissal of her as a "non-human entity." "It is not wise," wrote Lileks, "to call people dead before they are actually, well, dead. You can be 'as good as dead' or 'brain dead' or 'close to death,' but if the heart beats and the chest rises, I think we should balk at saying this constitutes dead, period." Just so. Once you get used to designating living, breathing bodies as "non-human entities," it's easy to bandy them ever more carelessly — as they do in the eminently progressive Netherlands, where their relaxed attitude to pot and prostitution led to a relaxed attitude to euthanasia which looks like relaxing the Dutch people right out of business. It's all done quietly over there — no fuss, no publicity; you go in to hospital with a heavy cold and you're carried out by the handles. (By "handles," I mean a coffin, not a ceremonial phalanx of Monteagles and Princetons.) But that's not the American way. This is a legalistic society, where grade schools can't have kids knocking a ball around without getting a gazillion dollars worth of liability insurance. I was in Price Chopper the other day and they had a little basket of Easter samples on display accompanied by a page of full print outlining the various sub-clauses of the company's "tasting policy." That's America. In Holland, you can taste a cookie without signing a legal waiver, and, if you get food poisoning from it, the doctor will discreetly euthanize you to avoid putting your family through the trauma of waiting six hours for the stomach pump to become available. That's not how the American cookie crumbles. Euthanasia here will be a 10-year court culminating in slow-motion public execution played out on the 24-hour cable channels. The Republicans did the right thing here, and they won't be punished for it by the electors. As with abortion, this will be an issue where the public moves slowly but steadily toward the conservative position: Terri Schiavo's court-ordered death will not be without meaning. As to "crack-ups," that's only a neurotic way of saying that these days most of the intellectual debate is within the right. If, like the Democrats, all you've got are lockstep litmus tests on race and abortion and all the rest, what's to crack up over? You just lose elections every two years, but carry on insisting, as Ted Kennedy does, that you're still the majority party. Ted's quite a large majority just by himself these days, but it's still not enough.