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More stem cells

As expected, the House failed to override his veto. There’s some striking religious (or is it anti-religious?) rhetoric coming from the President’s opponents. Here are some samples.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat and one of the measure’s sponsors, said Bush was setting himself up as a ``moral ayatollah.’’

The veto is not based on constitutional or legal objections, Harkin said. ``He is vetoing it because he says he believes it is immoral,’’ Harkin said. ``Mr. President, you are not our moral ayatollah, maybe the president nothing more.’’


Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, called the House’s vote to sustain the veto "a Luddite moment in American history, where fear triumphed over hope and ideology triumphed over science."

Other Democrats accused Mr. Bush of politicizing science.

"I don’t know who decided they were God and that Congress could not fund this research because their religious thinking trumps the national consensus," said Rep. Diana DeGette, Colorado Democrat and a chief sponsor of the bill.


“This is not some wedge issue; this is the soul of America,’’ said Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, who sponsored the bill Mr. Bush vetoed. “And this is a colossal mistake on the part of the president.’’

Jim Wallis and all those (including Hillary Rodham Clinton) who claim that "the budget is a moral document" need to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with Senator Harkin, who clearly hasn’t gotten the memo about reaching out to religious folks. What’s more, he can’t really mean that there’s no room for morality in politics. Republicans need to put him on the hook to explain himself. And Rep. DeGette, who voted against supporting alternative stem cell research, must think that destroying embryos is the "soul of America." The Party of Death indeed!

Discussions - 6 Comments

People out here in flyover country are real, real confused about this. Most do NOT know the difference between embryonic and adult/cord blood research.

Plus, at a deeper level many still buy into the "you can’t legislate morality" canard and react simplistically when they think that’s what’s going on.

I’m afraid we R’s are going to lose over this in the short run but kudos to the prez for sticking to his principles here. SOMEday people will look back and understand...I hope.

Sen. Harkin: "...maybe the president nothing more." Criminy, still wrestling with that hanging chad tarbaby, are we?

The Democrats are right to fret about the politicization of science. That exact thing they’re guilty of, unfortunately. Enshrining a scientific fad into law and lavishing it with federal dollars to boot. Haven’t we been there before, such as the eugenics movement and involuntary sterilization of "undesirables." Both thought uncontroversial, scientifically sound, right and proper in their day.

It is pretty laughable at this point for any Bush/Iraq War-backing conservative or Republican to keep pushing with the characterization of the Democratic Party as "the party of death," with the implicit opposite being the GOP (or "principled conservatives" depending on the moment) as "the party of life." Well, it was NLT’s beloved Cowboy Decider (although we know Cheney’s the Decider-in-Chief) who pushed this Iraq excursion down the collective American throat. I fail to see how this right-wing-initiated disaster in Iraq is an example of Bush’s alleged principle to "err on the side of life." The hyping of this stem cell issue at this particular moment is just a distraction from the catastrophe that is Iraq.

Translation: "I don’t really understand all this stem-cell stuff, so I’ll just keep banging the Iraq drum."

Oh no, Hal, I understand the stem-cell issue quite well, thanks to Sen. Brownback’s complex yet clear explanation of the issue, including the chart of the smiling and frowning frozen embryos.

Michael Fumento says Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) receive tremendous media attention, with oft-repeated claims that they have the potential to cure virtually every disease known. Yet there are spoilsports, self included, who point out that they have yet to even make it into a human clinical trial. This is even as alternatives – adult stem cells (ASCs) from numerous places in the body as well as umbilical cord blood and placenta – are curing diseases here and now and have been doing so for decades. And that makes ESC advocates very, very angry.

Steven Milloy of Fox News says The reason that embryonic stem cell researchers are agitating for taxpayer money is that their private funding has dried up. Private investors and venture capitalists are not investing in embryonic stem cell research because they perceive it to be a pipe dream unlikely to produce any progress and, hence, investment returns, in any reasonable time frame.

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