Ramesh v. the Derb
I generally love John Derbyshire's work, but his review of Ramesh Ponnuru's The Culture of Death is off-target, trying to blame Ramesh for things that are not Ramesh's fault, to wit:
[T]he grotesque carnival surrounding the death of Terri Schiavo last year, when a motley menagerie of quack doctors, bogus “Nobel Prize nominees,” emoting relatives, get-a-life monomaniacs, keening mobs of religious fanatics, death-threat-hissing warriors for “life,” dimwitted TV presenters straining to keep their very best my-puppy-just-died faces on while speaking of “Terri” as if they had known her personally from grade school, pandering politicians, and shyster lawyers all joined forces in a massive effort to convince the American public that [right-to-life] was a thing no sane citizen ought to touch with a barge pole while wearing triple-ply rubber glovesI also found the Terri Death Watch "grotesque," but let's place the blame for the "carnival" where it belongs:
- The creepy husband who so obviously wanted Terri out of his way;
- The politicians who decided this was a perfect opportunity for pandering; and
- The media who gave us hour after hour of shameless exploitation.
I don't like gory dead-fetus posters. I don't necessarily admire every spokesman for the pro-life cause. But to deride the pro-life cause as a "cult," and to invoke the term Fuhrerprinzip in your opening paragraph ... well, that's just wrong.
Ramesh, who has long struck me as one of the more stout-hearted conservatives at NRO, has replied to Derb.