In re: Terri Schiavo, Joe Lieberman, you were in the wrong place

No politician who has voted for phony Tort Reform legislation, which would stop payment of insurance settlements to people like Terri Schiavo, has any right to be involved.
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As it comes down to the wire in CT, Joe Lieberman and his mouthpiece Lanny Davis are chanting "90%" as in, Lieberman voted with the Democratic Leadership 90% of the time, so why isn't that good enough?

Because that 10% you didn't get right, Joe, included some heavy issues.

He broke with the region's Democratic senators on a key energy vote last year. He has embraced a position on Iraq that few Democrats share. He has questioned bedrock Democrat-backed programs such as affirmative action and Social Security. He voted against a filibuster that could have blocked the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

And just this week the senator launched his own political party so he can still run in November even if Democratic voters rebuff him in the Aug. 8 primary.

But here's the issue that starts and stops the discussion for me. This past Sunday Michael Schiavo said this:

Not only did Joe Lieberman support the illegal political intervention in the private and legally protected decisions of my family, he went out of his way to defend it. On national television.

So when I thought about going to Connecticut to remind voters what Joe Lieberman really thinks about family values and personal privacy, I didn't have to think too long.

This really resonates with me, and here's why. 4 years ago last March, my family was gathered around my youngest sister's bedside. We were there to watch her die.

Not blogging yet, I didn't write about it. But during the Schaivo ordeal I did blog about it, and Eric Alterman was kind enough to give me a link. Here's what I wrote at the time:

I watched my sister die.

My immediate family and I watched as she breathed her last breath, her heart beat its last beat, and her soul flew confidently toward the universe.

She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. What a mild phrase that has such impact: "You're going to die, your insides are going to be eaten alive, sorry."

She suffered a further medical insult, and had emergency surgery. I remember the surgeon saying "Well, I tried to fix the problem, but she was so full of cancer..."

She actually seemed to improve after surgery, she seemed a little fiesty and engaged. But she took a turn for the worse.

Her consciousness faded, and her breathing needed help, so she was intubated. Her temperature soared to 110 degrees. All attempts to ease her suffering seemed futile.

After 2 days, when we accepted that she was dying, we (my other sister and I) discussed and decided that we would end further treatment, with one exception: we would keep the breathing tube in. It was our feeling that if there was any chance she was still in there, we didn't want her to feel like she was suffocating.

The hospital followed our wishes, and called the Doctor, who ordered treatment stopped.

But minutes later, in a virtual coma, she died. My brother, my other sister & her husband, my mother, and my wife were all there to kiss her and tell her we loved her as she began the next journey.

So I feel I have some perspective on the Terri Schiavo situation. And here's my opinion:

No politician who has ever voted for the '99 Texas Advance Directives Act has any right to be involved,

No politician who has violated the ethics of his previous profession has any right to be involved,

And no politician who has:
mocked a condemned prisoner,

voted for phony Tort Reform legislation which would stop payment of insurance settlements to people like Terri Schiavo,

voted against DNA challenges in capital cases,

refused to examine death warrants in Texas,

talked about Terri Schiavo as being delivered to him for political gain,

voted against States Rights in blatant disregard of the Constitution,

has any right to be involved.

If they do try to get involved, then God damn them.

So long, and thanks for listening.

Steve blogs regularly at, and at

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