I was disappointed by Michael Putney’s Feb. 6 Other Views column about the legacy of Jeb Bush (First round goes to Jeb, Feb. 4). Putney writes that it was “doctrinaire liberals” who opposed Bush’s involvement in the tragic case of Terri Schiavo — my then-wife.
Who is Putney referring to as the “doctrinaire liberals” who were horrified by the former governor’s intervention in my family’s trauma? The Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist, who refused to take up the governor’s crusade? Republican Senate President Jim King, who fought Bush on passage of “Terri’s Law?” Pinellas County Judge George Greer, a Republican and Southern Baptist, who looked at the evidence of my wife’s case before having his rulings tossed aside by a governor who never met her?
Does he mean me, a registered Republican?
The truth about Jeb Bush is that he used my wife for his own personal political gain. You don’t have to be a doctrinaire liberal to be angry about that. In fact many conservatives were also horrified by Bush’s zealous intervention.
What Bush did was disgraceful and hurtful. He abused the power of government to impose his personal religious beliefs on me and my family. He made life miserable for my family, the doctors and staff at the nursing home, the police — all because he wanted to involve himself in something that both the law and common human decency told him that no government official should have gotten involved in.
And every time he should have stopped, he went further: signing unconstitutional laws; sending state law enforcement to seize my wife; using his brother, the president, to get Congress involved; and making me out to be a monster.
When his own family came under scrutiny, when his daughter was charged with illegally purchasing Xanax, he pleaded for privacy for his family — privacy that he never considered my family to be worthy of.
Jeb Bush had no right to do what he did, and voters should consider what someone who used the power of government to hurt so many would do with the power of the presidency.
Not trusting an elected leader who behaved like Jeb Bush doesn’t make you a conservative or a “doctrinaire liberal.” It makes you a compassionate human being.
Michael Schiavo, Clearwater