Now then. To the protestors, the charlatan Congressmen, the religious hucksters who went down to Florida to feed off Terri Schiavo just as hungrily as any maggot -- only unlike the maggot, without doing the courtesy of letting her die first -- leave this family alone, dammit. Go the fuck home. You got what you wanted, didn't you? You've got your corpse. Now go home and leave this family in peace.
I mean, that's all they really wanted out of this, isn't it? A corpse? A martyr? Particularly to the politicians who brought shame on themselves and everyone associated with them by sticking their big noses in this business, the Schiavo case was like abortion -- they claimed to want action to be taken, but didn't really want action to be taken, because if they got what they claimed they wanted, they wouldn't have the Schiavo case to make a huge stink about anymore. Terri Schiavo was always worth more to them as a corpse than as a living, breathing human being.
Take a second to imagine what would've happened if they'd gotten their way, if Congress's stunt legislation had actually worked or if Jeb Bush had done what the protestors were clamoring for him to do and busted into Terri's room, six-guns blazing, and scooped her up into protective state custody. Sure, the Republicans could've campaigned on that, could've run TV ads that said "Vote for us, we saved Terri!" -- for maybe two weeks. Then people's attention would've started to flag. Without the sword of Damocles hanging over her head, a woman who can't walk, talk, or do anything other than blink just isn't that compelling, and certainly not the least bit triumphant -- and sooner or later people would've figured that out. But I thought if we just waited long enough, she'd jump out of bed, recite the Gettysburg Address and run a marathon!* How come she's still just lying around like that? A few Republicans might start questioning what good it was doing for the state of Florida to spend all that money to keep her alive. Worse, those same conservative Christians shrieking at the top of their lungs about the sanctity of life, the ones who always talk about what a wonderful reward God's kingdom of heaven is, would start wondering to what purpose she was being deprived of it.
But a dead body -- that'll get people's attention! That'll get those donation checks flowing! As long as Terri did eventually kick the bucket, Tom DeLay and Randall Terry and James Dobson could hoist her corpse high and shout, Look what the liberals did! They killed Terri! "We saved her" was never going to be as galvanizing a battle cry as "They killed her." So all the right-wingers had to do was make a big show out of giving a rat's ass about Terri's life while they hung around waiting for her to shuffle off her mortal coil, and when she finally passed away they could position themselves as heroes despite having utterly failed at what they claimed to have set out to do. Genius! It is truly rare for anyone to have so much cake and yet get to eat so much of it, too.
So now Tom DeLay gets to wear his halo a little bit longer. Randall Terry gets to hang out with the Schindlers some more, each photo op further cementing his status as their new bestest buddy. All those protestors who tried to get on TV by bringing Terri cups of water -- water she most likely would've aspirated because she couldn't freaking swallow, and therefore would've effectively drowned in -- they have their corpse now. Congratulations. You went down to Florida for the same reason people went to gladiator matches -- to see a dead body -- and you weren't disappointed. You lost and you still get to go home feeling triumphant. You got your corpse, you got your camera time, you got everything.
So go home now. We both know you're not going to be showing up with any signs or cups of water the next time a juvenile ends up on Death Row, or an innocent person winds up dead in an Iraqi prison, so just go home. Go home, go back to your churches and your right-wing call-in shows where you can pat yourselves on the back about how hard you fight for a "culture of life." And try not to think about the feeding tube you've stuck into that "culture of life," the one that requires a steady diet of corpses to keep it going.