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Have the Republicans Jumped the Shark?

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Everybody knows about Jumping the Shark. Some of my all-time favorite shows jumped the shark at some point. Babylon 5 Jumped when they ended the series one year early (year 4 vs. year 5). Buffy the Vampire Slayer Jumped when Buffy died (again) and the show switched to UPN. MASH Jumped when Trapper John left the series. Etc., etc. People argue about exactly when a favorite series Jumps the Shark, but almost everyone agrees that a show has Jumped.

Driving home from work today, I had the thought that perhaps the Republicans have Jumped the Shark with this Terri Schiavo deal. I keep hearing conflicting things. Her cerebral cortex has been largely replaced with cerebrospinal fluid, and that she's conversing as best she can with her visitors. I don't know anything about neuroscience, but I wouldn't think both of these could be true.

On the one hand, the first-hand testimonials of her awareness from her family are not credible. I'm sorry, but in those situations, people see and hear what they want to hear. On the other hand, the actions of Mr. Schiavo are . . . questionable? Living and having two kids with another woman, for instance. So does he have a motive for letting Terri die? Maybe, but then how come he waits 15 years?

I don't know where the truth lies. That's the problem. So now the Republican Congress charges in and passes a law giving Federal Courts authority, and the Republican President signs it into law. What I really want to know is which political genius thought that this was a good idea, and what did he/she think they'd gain from opening up the political spigots? I can't shake the feeling that this should have been (in basketball terms) a "no-call" on the part of the Congress and the President. It is the same feeling you get when you realize your favorite TV show has jumped the shark.