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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Come on...

Hindrocket of Powerline comments on the Republican 'strategy' memo that was supposedly intercepted, and links to the full text. The memo itself is not available, and better men than I are trying to get a copy.

The early reports I read vaguely mentioned that the Terri Schiavo situation would be good politically, get the base excited, et cetera. It didn't seem all that damning. I suppose that if the memo were forged, subtlety would be safer than extravagance. Anyway, for what it's worth, here's my analysis of the writing. The memo is in red.

S. 529, The Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act

"109th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 529 To designate a United States Anti-Doping Agency." Doesn't sound like the IPLPA to me. That would be 539.

Teri (sic) Schiavo is subject to an order that her feeding tubes will be disconnected on March 18, 2005 at 1p.m.

How necessary was the date? Did anyone not know the year that this was going to take place? Partially based on other evidence, I think the writing sounds nervous or hasty, and full dates are often used to convey a sense of authority.

The Senate needs to act this week, before the Budget Act is pending business, or Terri's family will not have a remedy in federal court.

True enough, although I thought there was a procedural gimmick that allowed pressing legislation to be skipped ahead. Also, if the senate didn't act, Terri would be dead. This omission could be tact or irony.

This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

Who has been obsessing on every channel and front page since November about the religious vote? The Republicans? The Green Party? Oh, yeah... A pro-life senator would not consider his base in those terms, and an evil killer senator would not push the bill thusly. A machiavellian or weathervane might say this.

This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.

I suppose. How many people know that Nelson is a Democratic senator from Florida? I also fail to see how that is a boone to the GOP. See below for a possible reason for this reference.

The bill is very limited and defines custody as "those parties authorized or directed by a court order to withdraw or withhold food, fluids, or medical treatment."

There is an exemption for a proceeding "which no party disputes, and the court finds, that the incapacitated person while having capacity, had executed a written advance directive valid under applicably law that clearly authorized the withholding or or (sic) withdrawl (sic) of food and fluids or medical treatment in the applicable circumstances."

"Withdrawl?" That is a blatant pun. Also, they missed the misuse of applicably for applicable. The grammar police are slacking off.

Incapacitated persons are defined as those "presently incapable of making relevant decisions concerning the provision, withholding or withdrawl (sic) of food fluids or medical treatment under applicable state law."

Again with the pun.

This legislation ensures that individuals like Terri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy.

Ted Bundy? That seems incongruous, but he was prosecuted in Florida. This exact comparison was made by US Newswire, and quoted on Free Republic, and referenced by a million other sites, including the Democratic Underground.

The USATODAY has a quote from a GOP FL state senator, Webster: "If the proceedings that led up to the execution of serial-killer Ted Bundy had been handled in the same way, Bundy's conviction would have been overturned."

Perhaps the memo was written by Webster, who 1) made the Bundy comparison, 2) is from the same state as Nelson, named in the memo, 3) sponsored Terri's Law, and 3) is a Floridian, more likely to reference Bundy, a GOP staffer, who was executed in Florida. Be wary of that last link, by the way.

If it is real, I'd nominate Webster as the author. There are too many possibilities to place bets yet.

I don't see anything bad in the memo, by the way- one GOPer trying to persuade the other GOPers to save a life. I do think it's rude to publish memos.


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