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Just Playing Politics?

James Ridgeway argues that the Shaivo case may not be the political negative the Democrats were hoping. He notes that…

…Daniel Henninger wrote in Friday’s Wall Street Journal: “Democrats and others have accused Republicans and President Bush of playing politics with the Schiavo case. Let’s hope so. Unlike most, this is a necessary politics that ought to draw the whole country into the argument. . . . Republicans are said to have a pro-life litmus test for judicial nominations. Does this mean that President Hillary Clinton’s litmus test would require her judicial nominees to be: pro-abortion, pro partial birth abortion, pro right-to-suicide, and pro pull the plug on medical cases deemed hopeless?”

Hennenger is quite correct.  Within this is an important, if slightly tagental aspect of this whole Shaivo matter; the charge that one side or the other is “Simply playing politics” with a particular issue, or another.  I grow weary with such charges being used as a defense.

Usually, when Senator Smith makes the charge against Senator Jones that Senator Jones is ‘playing politics’, it translates to “I’d really rather that Senator Jones hadn’t brought that matter up.” Politics is how the interests of the people are dealt with in a representative republic.  This is not a matter of mere salesmanship, usually… Senator Jones is bringing up the subject… whatever it is… because he thinks, rightly or wrongly, that the topic carries some weight with the voter.

Politics is the tool free societies use to examine, discuss and decide issues that are important to the personal and cultural values of the people within those societies.

Politics, itself, is not the issue. Politics are a purely reactive entity.

Nor is this Shaivo matter as some have called it, a “Trumped up culure war”. This is a cultural discussion that’s been a long time in coming. Both changes, and perceived changes are driving it, not politics. Not only has our ability to preserve life changed, but our culture has been threatened with change, as well.  It’s logical, than that these matters become public discussion.

One point I hope we’ve learned so far, is that the judiciary is not the place to be deciding such weighty matters.