Does it matter just what mental state Ms. Schiavo enjoys -- or not? Not really. She can be as insensate as a tomato or attuned to the rapture of Handel's Messiah, but, as a matter of law, this is not a federal question. Congress' midnight assault on federalism, and Georgie Porgie's rubber stamp of what amounts to a revolution are the issue. The Schiavo Act is a bold and perhaps unprecedented assertion of federal power.
I say blame Oprah Winfrey. Were it not for the likes of the prime-time misery queens and kings of woe, we would not have such an appetite for dispensing with the rule of law. Schaivo is good hand-wringing copy for the empathy-equals-ratings crowd dishing out swill to the underemployed eye sockets with time to stare at afternoon television.
One-person one-vote? Hell, how about a new three-fifths compromise? A person with time to watch the mind-numbing barrage of talk show swill shouldn't be counted as a full voter.
Victims' rights, prime-time trials of vapid creeps, breathless exposes about those undone by fate, these are the fare of a republic incapable of more than emotional identification with the most powerful emotion passing through the neighborhood.
Historians noted a decline in Roman morays after decades of eating off leaden plateware. What are we consuming that transforms us in a nation of ditzes?