This'll be a popular thread... I was having a conversation with my parents (both Republicans, mom voted for Bush, dad voted for Kerry, neither liked either) yesterday about the Schaivo case and both shared exactly my opinion on the subject regarding the government's - specifically, the Republican party's - actions in the case (that they were out of line). My question is, Why? Now, the actions at issue, specifically, are the intervention of the legislative and executive branches of both the federal government (two weeks ago) and Florida's government (Oct, 2003) into what is a relatively clear-cut case, judicially. I could (perhaps) understand Jeb's intervention, but seeing how that was ruled unConstitutional, why would you repeat it? In addition, a great number of Republican politicians have said things that were pretty straightforwardly wrong, medically. No, stupidity alone is not enough: Consider Bill Frist, who was apparently a reputable doctor before becomming a Senator. He disputed the diagnosis based on an hour's worth of home video. He has to know how wrong he was medically. The easy answer is "politics", but that isn't good enough, considering upwards 80% of the population disagreed with the actions. I have two (related) theories: First, party politics. The Post article suggests Frist (and I'm singling him out, but he's not the only one) is playing to the "Religious Right" faction that currently dominates the party. That's a possibility - if towing that line is the best way to gain favor from the party, then maybe that's why they are doing it. They know it'll cost them votes in a general election, but ehh - they have votes to spare. The bigger hurdle may be getting nominated. Second, I believe the Republican party misunderstands the current political climate. With the Democratic party as weak as it currently is, it is clear that this country is moving to the right. However, what should be equally clear is that its mostly just the weakness of the Democratic party that is pushing the country to the right (and a little bit of mostly 9/11 related, temporary nationalism and other related feelings). I think the Democratic ideas (specifically, the victim mentality and entitlement mentality they pitch) are failing, but regardless, while that may indicate more people agree with conservative values/economic principles, that's not a mandate for the Religious Right. I think the EXIT POLLS bear that out. What is interesting to me is that while the exit polls do show that Christians voted more for Bush than for Kerry, the difference is not as stark as some people are implying - 59% (for Bush) for Protestants, 52% for Catholics. And while "moral values" ranks high, terrorism and the economy rank just as high. On the economy, it was a virtual dead-heat - but on terrorsim, Bush had a clear mandate. Also, Bush's "favorable" rating was 53% - while that's bad, Kerry's was 47%. Simply put, Bush didn't win because people like him, he won because people didn't like him less than they didn't like Kerry. Regarding the parties, consider that Clinton was a moderate and Kerry is only slightly to the left of him. 5 years ago, the Republicans had a moderate (McCain) gaining power (which, IMO, reflected the real opinion of the typical Republican) and the Republican party more or less actively sabbotaged his campaign in favor of promoting Bush, who is pretty far to the right. I think it may be a symptom of the imperfection of the two-party system, that the parties like to stay apart. When one gains power, the other moves toward it, causing the one that gained power to move further to its side to compensate. The only way to stop that (besides the pendulum swinging back to the left on its own) is an against-the-odds victory for someone like McCain in a primary. But a victory for McCain is bad for both parties (which, to me, makes it a good thing) because it would bring them much too close together for their comfort. The other possibility, of course, is that through actions such as the above, the Republican party is going to accidentally push the pendulum back in the other direction. Opinions?