Death and Taxes No Longer Certain - but Political Motives Are
Byline: Burt Constable
By the time you read this, Terry Schiavo could be dead - or somewhat more dead, or perhaps slightly less dead.
Certainly, the sad process of her death has taxed her grieving loved ones for the 15 years since she suffered severe brain damage and needed a feeding tube to keep her alive. On this weekend of Easter - a celebration of life after death in the most holy of Christian holidays - Schiavo's fate dominates the news.
Amidst all the uncertainty surrounding her case, we can be assured of one thing. The political ramifications will continue to live long after her mortal body is gone.
I don't have it in me to deliver a sermon on this topic for the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. So I'm surrendering my bully pulpit to a Wauconda reader who's clashed with me for years on my liberal columns about guns, the death penalty and other issues.
This time, we agree.
"I am 45 years old and have voted a straight Republican ticket since I was 18," begins Andrew Litkowiak. While Litkowiak, as do I, favors abortion rights, is "pro-environment" and doesn't "give a rat's behind what people of any persuasion do behind closed doors," he says he's always considered the Republican candidate to be the lesser of two evils.
But the extraordinary government "meddling" into the Schiavo case leaves Litkowiak livid.
"In one of the most overtly partisan efforts I have ever seen, you have created a federal law that hammers its way into the privacy and sanctity of one of your most publicly cherished campaign planks. You have invaded marriage for the purpose of pandering to the religious right," Litkowiak rants in his letter to the GOP.
"You have demonstrated to the entire nation that you have absolutely no respect for the Constitution, for the judicial system, for individual and state's rights, and no respect for the long-established legal rights of the nuclear family," he continues, sounding more like Maureen Dowd than Rush Limbaugh. "You have shown the world that the GOP is indeed the party of the fanatical Christian right. …