Friday, June 17, 2005

The Dishonorable Governor of Florida Jeb Bush

After an official, independent autopsy revealed that Terri Schiavo's brain was so severely damaged that it had half the expected mass of an average brain, and that it was impossible for her to have any visual function at all (therefore, the "tracking" her parents' claims was the very involuntary, unconscious act a vast majority of the medical experts in the case said it was.) Furthermore, the autopsy said (yet again) that there was absolutely no medical evidence whatsoever to indicate that her husband ever physically abused her, let alone in a manner to cause her medical state.

What does Florida Governor Jeb Bush do in light of this strong medical evidence that everything he has publicly said about the case was false, or at best, grossly misleading? Unlike Bill Frist's "let's move on from this" response, Gov. Bush contacts a state prosecutor and demands an investigation into the cause of her collapse and whether her husband failed to immediately call 911 to get her medical assistance.

Bush's baseless and grotesque allegations has to mark the lowest blow an elected official has ever leveled against anyone, especially a private citizen with no bully pulpit in which to respond. Prosecutors don't investigate anything but crimes, and given the tone of the letter, it's hard to characterizes Bush's letter as anything but an allegation that Terri Schiavo's husband murdered his wife. If anyone can give me an alternative rationale interpretation of what Bush is alleging, I'd be happy to hear it.

But Bush's own letter (attempting to cite some basis for this scandalous criminal allegation) demonstrates how baseless his allegation is. The central theory of his allegation is that, according to the husband's prior statements over the past 15 years regarding the incident, Bush believes they indicate a 40-70 minute difference between when he discovered Terri's collapse and calling 911.

But one of the sources Bush relies on is a deposition the husband made in the medical malpractice case regarding his wife's care prior to her collapse. It was the verdict award in this case that lead to Terri's husband and parents falling out and also provided the monetary support for her care until her death.

Had the husband committed a crime that was the cause of her permanent vegetative state, then the medical provider would not have been found liable. Surely, such a defense, if at all plausible, would have been used by the medical provider.

Bush apparently is hell-bent to appease those radical right-wingers who are still upset with him that he refused to disregard his oath of office, the constitutions of the U.S. and Florida, and the rule of law and instead use state agents under his authority to kidnap Terri Schiavo.

How popular does a term-limited, lame duck Governor need to be with the extremist elements of his party that throwing whatever slime he can throw to a private citizen with little means to defend his reputation is politically justified?

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