Tags: Compassionate | Conservatism | Double-edged | Sword

Compassionate Conservatism a Double-edged Sword

Sunday, 03 April 2005 12:00 AM

Conservatives across the nation are crying foul over the federal intervention. Talk radio hosts such as David Gold on KSFO in San Francisco believe that the federal government had no right to interfere in a personal matter that was meant to be governed by the state of Florida. Using heated rhetoric, conservatives say they fear that this president has squandered his political capital and abandoned conservative ideals.

The 14th Amendment, however, establishes that no state may "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," and states that "Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." The possibility existed that Terri's constitutional rights were being violated, and so the 14th Amendment allowed for federal intervention in Schiavo's case.

Because Schiavo had no written living will, and because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Schiavo case, everything that was done to try to save this woman's life was justified.

No doubt the debate over this case will continue in law schools for many years to come, but in the near future this deviation from true conservative philosophy could cause a serious schism in the party base. Combine the Schiavo maneuvers with Bush's stance on issues such as illegal immigration, and the differences among conservatives compound. Bush's idea of a guest worker program, which conservatives see as an amnesty program, is angering his base to the point of revolt.

The Schiavo decisions represented some of the most compassionate of conservative involvement. But the Republicans cannot afford a divide within the party. Now that they control both Congress and the presidency, this should be the opportunity to accomplish everything on their wish list, but they are blowing it – big time.

Infighting could stagnate Congress, nullify any remaining political capital Bush possesses and fracture the Republican Party in a poor imitation of the divided Democrats.

As much as I agreed with the congressional move to try to force a federal review of the Schiavo case, the combined impact with other looming issues such as illegal immigration and border control are cause for concern.

Such compassionate conservatism came at an inopportune time, and may cause far more damage than anyone had anticipated.

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Conservatives across the nation are crying foul over the federal intervention. Talk radio hosts such as David Gold on KSFO in San Francisco believe that the federal government had no right to interfere in a personal matter that was meant to be governed by the state of...
Compassionate,Conservatism,Double-edged,Sword
369
2005-00-03
Sunday, 03 April 2005 12:00 AM
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