Jackson#039;s arrival shows political side of issue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2005

When can you tell that an issue has become an over-hyped media circus and political engine? When the Rev. Jesse Jackson shows up.

The former Democratic presidential candidate was invited Tuesday by Schiavo's parents to meet with activists outside Schiavo's hospice and to pray for the brain-damaged woman who has become the center of the surrounding controversy on the right to live or die.

While it can be argued that the Rev. Jackson means well, his presence often only further inflames issues. Once known more for his presidential aspirations, Jackson is now known more for his influential proclamations.

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Jackson seems to jump on any number of political bandwagons right when the debate hits a fever pitch. Most recently, he showed up in Ohio to call for recounts and investigations long after the presidential election had been decided.

But, don’t get us wrong, the man has accomplished a lot but some of the battles he chooses to fight often leave the uninitiated in politics wondering.

After all, Jackson negotiated the release of captured Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman from Syria and the release of 48 Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners in the 1980s. A few years later, he was the first American to bring hostages out of Kuwait and Iraq in 1990.

And now he has taken up the fight for Schiavo and begun pushing black legislators for a last-ditch effort to bring back a bill that would prohibit severely brain-damaged patients from being denied food and water if they didn't express their wishes in writing. Lawmakers rejected the legislation earlier this month and do not appear likely to reconsider it.

While his intentions may be good, this latest move appears to be another attempt to gain political power and prestige.

As author Oscar Wilde once wrote, "It's always with the best intentions that that worst work is done."