Schiavo and Congress: The Rocky Reaction

The Rocky Mountain west is known for its strong streak of libertarianism, and that has come out in full force over the Schiavo case.

In Casper, Wyoming (the home state of Vice President Dick Cheney), the local newspaper’s editorial board wrote “Congress doesn’t belong at Schiavo’s bedside any more than Schiavo belongs in an appearance before a Senate panel…The same fate that eventually awaits Terri Schiavo awaits us all, and there’s little Congress can — or should — do about it.”

In Boise, Idaho, it was the same. The Idaho Statesman chastised its congressional delegation for supporting Congress’s action in the case. “Our politicians should not try to head off human tragedy case by case,” wrote the editorial board. “When they do, they injure the political process. This sets a disquieting precedent, in which right-to-life decisions are subject to political whim.”

The Great Falls Tribune in my home state of Montana wrote “This heartbreaker is made even more wretched by the infusion of politics…We doubt most families make end-of-life decisions based on their political parties. Politicians should butt out of this case.”

Even the Salt Lake Tribune, from archconservative Utah, said House Majority Leader Tom Delay shouldn’t use the Schiavo case to “hide behind God” and distract attention from the ethics charges surrounding him.

Remember — this is the opinion in some of the most conservative parts of the country. And it shows exactly how conservatives in D.C. are increasingly disconnected from the American public.