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March 28, 2005

Double Standards? Yes, Please!

In the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal Online today, John Fund discusses the double standards employed by the Left with regard to the Terri Schiavo case...to wit, the Left's complaint that the government doesn't belong in personal family business.

The comparison Fund uses? The snatching of little Elian Gonzalez by INS forces, orchestrated by then-Attorney General Janet Reno. Elian, of course, was the boy from Cuba whose mother died as they crossed over the ocean from Cuba to Miami. It was the responsibility of state courts to assign custody of Elian, who was being claimed by relatives in Miami and his father back in Cuba.

To make a long story short, the federal government stepped in when it saw what it considered to be a falling down on the part of the state court system. And, don't forget, then-President Clinton didn't want Cuba to be mad at him, as "world opinion" meant more to him than the needs of a young boy who was about to be spirited back to an oppressive Communist regime.

Here's where Fund makes his point:

Of course, there are differences between the Gonzalez and Schiavo cases. But clearly many of the people who approved of dramatic federal intervention to return Elian to Cuba took a completely different tack when it came to the argument over saving Terri Schiavo. Rep. Frank makes a compelling argument that Congress took an extraordinary step when it met in special session to create a procedure whereby the federal courts could decide whether Ms. Schiavo's rights were being violated. He may have a point when he accuses Republicans of "trying to command judicial activism and dictate outcomes when they don't like" rulings. But where were Mr. Frank and other liberals when the Clinton administration decided to sidestep a federal appeals court and order an armed raid against Elian Gonzalez? While Mr. Frank allowed that the use of assault rifles in the Elian raid was "excessive" and "frightening," he also defended the Justice Department's view that "of course [agents] had to use force."
Why was it different for Elian Gonzalez than it was for Terri Schiavo? I have a theory.

Many on the Left are still in the thrall of Communism, thinking that Communism, Socialism, Marxism...anything but capitalism...are the way to utopia. Therefore, to let Elian stay in Miami would be depriving him of a golden opportunity to live in the land of Fidel Castro, champion of the common man. He simply had to go back, and if the state court couldn't guarantee that, then it was up to the feds to do it.

With the Terri Schiavo case, the Left is more of a proponent of quality of life than life itself. The recent Academy Award winning movie Million Dollar Baby is a case in point: if one isn't living the kind of life believed to "have meaning," then that life should be snuffed out. (What kind of meaning? That question is never truly answered.) The courts sided with Michael Schiavo, whose motives to "carry out Terri's wishes" were never questioned by the judges who heard the case. So when the federal government stepped in, the Left sounded its battle cry that the feds need to stay out of state business.

(A good article to read regarding the "quality of life" issue is by John Leo on Town Hall today.)

Which is it? Why was it okay for the federal government to override the state with Elian Gonzalez, but not with Terri Schiavo?

As usual, the Left wants to have its cake and eat it too. And that cake is getting staler by the day.

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