So Jeb Bush is running for president …

Okay, he’s only been “exploring” the idea. But as Digby says, that means the former Florida governor intends to try—nobody explores the option and gives up. And hell, they’ve been predicting that since he stepped down as governor.

So we will probably see lots more explanations of the Terri Schiavo case that refer, as this does, to Bush’s “faith driven” views. And I think that’s bullshit.

For those who don’t know, Schiavo was on life support with no higher brain activity. Something her family agreed was the case, until her husband, Michael, said she’d told him that in a situation like this, she didn’t want to be kept alive on feeding tubes and such (Florida’s right-to-die laws cover these things). The parents, understandably I think, decided their daughter was fine after all and fought in court to keep her on life support.

The court sided with Michael Schiavo. At which point right-to-life activist Randall Terry told Governor Jeb that he’d better get involved or he could forget about right-wing support when he ran for higher office. So Jeb pushed the Florida legislature to pass a bill that gave him the power to intervene in this specific court case and overrule the judge (though ultimately, after more investigation, the courts still sided with Schiavo).

The papers in Florida would afterwards refer to how Bush was driven by his deep right-to-life views … yet somehow in the four years this case was making its way through the courts during his time as governor, he never felt any need to weigh in before Terry pushed him. And he didn’t do anything to change Florida’s right-to-die laws, which have a lot of support in the state. Instead he specifically intervened in this one case, which had already been discussed, analyzed and resolved in the courts.

I don’t think there was anything driving Jeb but cold political calculus. And much like W, Jeb’s personal political goals outweigh such things as separation-of-powers and court or legal procedure.

I will undoubtedly have more venting about Jeb down the road, but I wanted to get that off my chest.

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