Thursday, February 4, 2010

Paul Ryan, Schiavo Republican

While it's all well and good to talk about Paul Ryan's policy proposal, it's important to always keep in mind that Paul Ryan is deep wingnut. Indeed, he was a Schiavo interventionist -- although he tried to distance himself from that position.

From a February 2007 post at my other, eponymous blog:

Here's what Ryan had to say in the 3/22/05 Cap Times & Wisconsin State Journal:

About 2 p.m. Sunday, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, learned he'd need to fly to Washington, D.C., for an emergency House debate on Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose feeding tube was removed Friday on a state judge's order.

Ryan cut short an archery lesson with his nephew and gave up grilling dinner for his family to catch the last flight out of Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport.

"Any inconvenience in my life paled in comparison to the issue that was before us," Ryan said Monday. "This is a matter of life or death. There's no higher principle that we're involved in."

"We are simply asserting Terri Schiavo's constitutionally protected right to life," Ryan said. "This is an area where the Constitution delegates the power to Congress. It is certainly in our purview to do what we did."

Ryan said Congress is not inserting itself into a family matter.

"This was not a private bill," he said. "This is giving her access to the federal court system, much like mass murderers get."

Ryan called Schiavo "a healthy, disabled woman without a living will and with a serious dispute between her parents and her husband." She is not terminally ill, he said.

"She is not in a coma, she is healthy and does not need machines to keep her alive, other than to feed her," Ryan said. "To end her life is to starve her to death."
Also in the 3/22/05 Journal Sentinel:

Ryan disputed the notion that Schiavo was being kept alive by extraordinary means.

"She is brain damaged and needs help taking in food and drink," he said. "Her life is precious and her rights and her parents' rights should be respected."

Ryan subsequently tried to distance himself from his wingnutty vote. From a February 2007 column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

To a lesser extent, the Schiavo dispute was perceived by the public as another betrayal of conservative principles. Technically, this was a case about court jurisdiction, which is relevant for Congress to consider.

Nonetheless, it was perceived as the ultimate big-government intrusion into a family affair.

Something to keep in mind as we're called upon to take Paul Ryan and his ideas seriously.

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