The American people have spoken: in ABC and USA Today polls, the vast majority of Americans are disgusted by Congress’ antics in trying to prolong Terri Schiavo’s "life" (see Poll: No Role for Government in Schiavo Case).
Here are some of the salient results from the ABC.com online article:
* The public, 63-28%, supports the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube, and by a 25-point margin opposes a law mandating federal review of her case.
* That legislative action is distinctly unpopular: Not only do 60 percent oppose it, more — 70 percent — call it inappropriate for Congress to get involved in this way.
* By a lopsided 67-19%, most think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.
* Nearly eight in 10 poll respondents would not want to be kept alive were they in Terri’s condition.
* 54% of political conservatives support removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube, compared with seven in 10 moderates and liberals. And evangelical Protestants divide about evenly — 46 percent are in favor of removing the tube, 44 percent opposed. Among non-evangelical Protestants, 77 percent are in favor [of removing the tube] — a huge division between evangelical and mainline Protestants.
Another interesting point raised by the poll is that support for removing Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube is shared equally by Republicans and Democrats. There is no partisan political divide on this issue.
Before I saw these results, I just assumed that Bush/Rove’s poll results were telling them that evangelicals and Right to Lifers overwhelmingly supported keeping Terri alive. But this poll shows that at best a bare plurality of evangelicals feel that way.
Bush, Rove and DeLay must be calculating that the 70% who oppose them will not use their opposition as a reason to vote against them in the next election. As for the 30% that support them, they must find them absolutely a core constituency come election day. What this also tells us is that 30% of the American people are driving the nation’s political agenda when it comes to social issues such as this. The rest of us are being held hostage by this rump minority.
So where the hell are the Democrats on this issue? Why did they only manage to get 58 votes in opposing this piece of stinking legislation? All this talk about Democrats turning right in the aftermath of Kerry’s loss is unnerving. What does it get Democrats to cower in the corner when Tom DeLay and the Right to Lifers come calling? I think it’s pitiful that they couldn’t put up more of a fight.