Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Crack in the Wall?

The 2004 election may have been the zenith for the coalition between traditional small government conservatives and social conservatives. Of course, the biggest question for the Republicans is when the bill for their bargain would come due - that is, just how much will the religious right expect to receive for their support?

For anyone who has been following the Terri Schiavo saga, it appears that the religious right is expecting more than anyone would have guessed. The Miami Herold reported Friday that Fla. Governor Jeb Bush sent a team of law enforcement agents to take custody of Terri Schiavo despite a court order forbidding it. Apparently, local police were prepared to enforce the court's order and expected a confrontation until the state officers backed down. In the course of a few weeks, the religious right have managed to get W, Congress and Jeb Bush to stand on their heads despite annoying trivialities like the Constitution, state and federal law and limited government principles.

One might think that such a display of power would satisfy those on the fringe. Not so. Apparently, government should bow to the will of Operation Rescue, seperation of powers be damned. Randall Terry, who is both founder of Operation Rescue as well as a spokesman for Schiavo's parents, threatened that there will be "hell to pay," if Schiavo dies.

What affect will this have politically? I think that most traditional conservatives have to be rethinking this alliance. Of course, the Republicans are hoping that their memories will be short and that the country will forget this alarming display. That remains to be seen. On the other side of the party, however, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the right to life movement will remember this for a while. It makes you wonder if we haven't just seen the first crack in the wall.


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