President Bush claims that his attempts to prolong the life of the brain-dead woman Terri Shiavo are based on a conviction that it's always better to err on the side of life. The president is a hypocrite.
Former Governor Bush did not err on the side of life when he presided over the killings of hundreds of felons in my home state of Texas.
We all know that the criminal justice system is imperfect; if George Bush were consistent, then even a remote possibility of error would inspire him to abolish the death penalty. After all, how can a culture of life condone state-sanctioned murder when there is the possibility of making a mistake?
If George Bush has any consistent political ideology, I have seen no evidence of it. He appears to be acting more from opportunistic political motives than any principled stand for life.
The president's decision to involve himself in the Terri Schiavo case is however is in keeping with a pattern of crass, simple-minded decisionmaking. This pattern is exemplified by his preemptive war on Iraq. The Bush Doctrine is act first, think later.
In the context of recent history, the president's grandstanding about a culture of life only serve to highlight his one proven ability: to err.