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March 29, 2005

Schiavo Controversy: Bush Advisor, Conservatives Use Nazi Rhetoric

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News

First House GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay told a group of ultra-conservatives that the tragic controversy surrounding Terri Schiavo is "one thing that God has brought to us."

Then Senate GOP Leader and surgeon Dr. Bill Frist disagreed with the medical diagnosis of countless doctors and the findings of countless courts -- "based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office."

Now conservatives are playing a familiar hand: abusing Holocaust and Nazi imagery and rhetoric in the heartbreaking case of Terri Schiavo:

** Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor and a member of President Bush's Council on Bioethics, last week responded to a question about the ethics of declining medical treatment in the Schiavo case by noting, "supposedly enlightened and progressive German academics and medical people who put their nation on the road to shame more than a decade before the Nazis rose to power by promoting a doctrine of eugenics based precisely on the proposition that the lives of some human beings ... are unworthy of life."
Bush's advisor also noted that "It is pointless to ask whether Terri Schiavo had somehow formed a conditional intention" regarding her wishes to decline medical treatment; George explained, "What's really going on here -- and I don't think we can afford to kid ourselves about this -- is that Terri's husband has decided that hers is a life not worth having. In his opinion, her continued existence is nothing but a burden -- a burden to herself, to him, to society. He has presumed to decide that his wife is better off dead." To read the full interview, please click here.

** The Traditional Values Coalition is an interest group that closely coordinates with top GOP leaders and staff in the House, Senate and White House; it is run by a former Reagan Administration official and supported by countless top GOP elected and appointed officials. The TVC has invoked Holocaust and Nazi references at length in its rhetoric surrounding Terri Schiavo. For example, TVC notes, "The philosophy of the Nazi doctors lives on today in the minds of federal judges ... as well as Michael Schiavo and his New Age attorney George Felos." Please click here to read what the TVC has to say.

** Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan has compared Terri Schiavo's "capital punishment" to "the method used at Auschwitz to murder Father Maximilian Kolbe, the priest who volunteered to take the place of a Polish father of a large family, who was one of 10 the camp commandant had selected for execution in reprisal for the escape of a prisoner." Buchanan argues that supporters of Michael Schiavo "approximate, in belief and argument, the elites of Weimar and Nazi Germany in the 1920s and 1930s." Buchanan's writings on the Schiavo controversy are replete with Nazi comparisons; please click here to view the full text.

** Conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage compared Democrats and supporters of Terri Schiavo's husband with Auschwitz concentration camp's Dr. Josef Mengele. "Like Mengele -- the doctor of death from the Nazi concentration camps -- the radical, soulless Democrats keep referring to 'the doctors,' as if a medical degree guaranteed humanity. Therefore, choose life. G-d bless George W. Bush." To read the full text, please click here.

GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman has previously asserted that it's unacceptable to abuse Holocaust and Nazi rhetoric -- help us hold his feet to the fire! Write to Ken Mehlman today and tell him to condemn these conservatives for their abuse of the memory of the Holocaust.  Send a message via e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) , or via fax to 202-863-8774. Please send copies of any letters to us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .