The Schiavo case fits perfectly Thomas Frank's description of the right-wing bait-and-switch, wherein the social cons are whipped into a frenzy by some "cultural" crusade with little hope of succeeding, while politicians harness their energy, votes, and money to slash regulations, cut taxes, and make the world safer for corporations. It seems increasingly unlikely that federal courts will respond to the attempts by Congress and President Bush to intervene (though one should never say never); if that's the case, and Terri Schiavo is finally allowed to die, we need to think about what the consequences will be. I've argued before that social conservatives won't be satisfied with "phony wars" forever; and Randall Terry, the infamous anti-abortion extremist who has been acting as an advisor to Schiavo's parents (a fact that has been curiously downplayed in the U.S. media), has made this clear:

The voters who put conservative Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress want results, not rhetoric. They want co-operation between the chambers, not competition. We put you in office for issues like this; what good is a majority if you don't use it?