Mitt Romney’s Comments on Terri Schiavo Could Sink His Candidacy

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney’s Comments on Terri Schiavo Could Sink His Candidacy Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Jim Anderson
March 14, 2007 Note: Jim Anderson is the producer and announcer for LifeNews Radio, a pro-life newscast heard on Christian radio stations nationwide.

There are too many political hacks and erstwhile constitutional scholars in my sordid past. I sense this every time I actually understand and even sympathize with two sides of an issue even though I find one side wise and another foolish.

But this last weekend I relived the plight and slow death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo with her sister, Suzanne Schindler-Vitadamo and Suzanne’s husband, Michael Vitadamo. And all the reasons to shun foolishness and to feel passionate and even sentimental about a desire for justice in the absence of justice came back to me.

While the Schindler family fought to keep Terri, I entertained too many people who spoke about the separation of powers and that no court or executive should have been told anything by any legislature during Terri Schiavo’s demise. While I knew how and why disagreed in this case, I could sincerely understand the position these companions took. I entertained fools, or at least foolishness.

This weekend, between remembering Terri and hearing Mitt Romney’s comments on Sunday, I could see perhaps the demise of both constitutional balance and a presidential campaign. Mitt Romney said that he thinks “it’s probably best to leave these kinds of matters in the hands of the courts. I generally think that it’s not a good idea for courts to legislate. Nor is it a great idea for legislatures to adjudicate in a specific circumstance.” I had heard this before.

Mitt Romney and all my friends who have argued on his side are not only wrong in this case, but their thinking could sink a fair presidential candidate.

Okay, Mitt and the others may be right ‘in general’. ‘In general’ it is not a great idea to correct another branch of government over almost any disagreement. But we have checks and balances between the branches of government for when it ‘is’ a good idea to intervene for something far more than a disagreement. It is called ‘checks and balances’. When one branch is so unjust and so hamstrings another branch of government in its own attempt to execute justice, we have a third branch of government for exactly this kind of moment in history.

Our government failed us when, between three separate branches, it could not see injustice, nor find justice, nor even a sound finding of fact in this case, which was the case of a woman who actually tried to stay alive, but whose spouse wanted her gone.

Mitt Romney might find a way to think things through without campaign experts whose only job is to hunt votes where they think they can find them. He could find a way to see that the actions surrounding Terri Schiavo were attempts at checks and balance, and not the misappropriation of power. But if he cannot, we may one day look back and see this week will have been the end of his campaign trail.

The voters which swing presidential nominations do not entertain foolishness for long.