Payoff for the Dems on their cowardice?
David Corn of The Nation and TomPaine.com argues:
The public’s revulsion at the GOP intervention in a private family issue exposes a strategy Democrats can exploit: accusing Republicans of misusing their power for partisan purposes. With tough fights ahead on judicial nominations and stem cells, this strategy could prove useful...It's possible that by not creating a big political fuss, the Democrats unintentionally helped shape the Schiavo affair into a one-party controversy. This was a Republican deal, and a large majority of the public—including many Republican citizens—came to believe that crass politics, not values, were motivating Bush, DeLay, Denny Hastert, Bill Frist and the others. And if the Republican campaign was indeed values-driven, then why did DeLay and the rest not seek further action (even Supreme Court intervention) when the federal courts refused to revisit the Schiavo case? Was it because that by this point the first wave of polls had hit? It's true, as many pundits have stated in recent days, that those most likely to mutter "Remember Terri" when they enter a voting booth in 2006 will be people who fervently looked for the DeLay crowd to intervene. (They'll probably be appreciative of the GOP efforts, though the more extreme advocates of Schiavo's parents might resent the Republicans for having not done enough, such as sending in the National Guard.) But perhaps the DeLay maneuver will also shift the terrain in Washington in a favorable direction for Democrats concerning at least two high-profile battles to come: judicial nominations and stem cells.