Boon For The Left
Culture of death should be ecstatic over Bush’s decision
By Jeff Brewer
Thursday night’s political decision spoken by a very political president should anger all pro-lifers while giving those on the left a reason to celebrate. President Bush’s remarks were a classical political calculation, reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s fence straddling, and certainly a revealing of Bush as a politician rather than a principled statesman. Not only did the president break his campaign promise (contrary to the Republican party spinmeisters hair-splitting rationalization), but also he has opened the door for his predecessors to push ahead with embryonic stem cell research in its totality. And while hoping to solidify the future support of spineless moderates, the White House has ensured Bush’s defeat in 2004.
In a May 18, 2001, letter to the President of the Culture of Life Foundation, then candidate Bush stated his opposition to embryonic stem cell research: "I oppose Federal funding of stem-cell research that involves destroying living human embryos. I support innovative medical research on life-threatening and debilitating diseases, including promising research on stem cells from adult tissue." I and millions of other pro-lifers took this man at his word. I’d been made aware of the President’s being a Born Again Christian, and the statement struck me as indicative of a gentleman that confesses Christ.
But Thursday evening, politician Bush broke his promise, despite claims to the contrary by the President’s underlings. By allowing for the federal funding for the research on 60 existing stem cell lines, the President has given his tacit approval of the procedure. By rationalizing that he isn’t really contradicting earlier promises because these 60 lines "were created from embryos that have already been destroyed," the President is engaging in semantic gymnastics, the sort of hair-splitting used by former president Clinton that drew so much ire from conservatives.
In reality, the fact that these embryos have already been killed (not destroyed) does not warrant further experimentation on the embryos. This conclusion and the one that says "since these embryos are going to be discarded anyway why not use them for a utilitarian purpose" are both flawed because they contradict the argument’s underlying premise, which says that the embryos aren’t living in the first place. Seemingly, the left abandons this premise and so says, "Okay. So the embryos are living, but we aren’t going to use them for anything, and so why not extract stem cells (and consequently kill the embryos) for the purpose of hopefully finding cures for a myriad of diseases?" The plea sounds so progressive and genteel, but it dismisses several alternatives. Why not offer these "soon-to-be-discarded embryos" to the thousands of infertile couples seeking to have children of their own? And if you aren’t going to use these embryos for adoption or for invitro-fertilization, then why on earth do you create them in the first place?
There are after all, adult stem cell sources that offer as much or more promise than anything the embryonic version tenders, and that do not require the killing of any living human. Scientists say that stem cell-rich umbilical cords and placenta fluids offer millions of stem cells that can be used to research for cures to some of the world’s most debilitating diseases. Knowing of the existence of other viable stem cell sources, the President nonetheless gave his blessing to research on stem cells derived from "destroyed" embryos.
Why? In order to placate moderates and liberals, to bring, ideally, a few of them over to Bush’s camp. No doubt the Dick Morris starter kit, Karl Rove, was behind this latest posturing. As has been the case with so many other issues including the vacating of the Viequez bombing site and the potential legalizing of in excess of 3 million illegal Mexican immigrants, Rove’s efforts to secure votes from more liberal quarters pushes the President to take up unprincipled, politically driven causes. In the process, Bush alienates his conservative base, and the folks he’s trying to reach on the left dismiss his efforts at compromise and bi-partisanship as less than genuine; they will continue to vote for the algores of the world.
This embryonic stem cell decision ensures that the President loses in 2004. While not all conservatives will bolt the Republican camp due to this broken promise, sufficient numbers of his base will vote for another candidate in three and a half years or simply sit the election out. Bush's decision simply reminds them too much of the President’s father’s broken tax pledge back in 1991. Perhaps he loses only 5% of his voting base, but this number is adequate enough to push Bush’s foe to victory in this age of razor-thin elections.
Any conservative familiar with the tendency of humans to push the limits of scientific research to gothic levels, should be enraged at the President’s decision because the supposed "docile" pronouncement clears the way for future acceleration of the macabre procedure. In 2005, assuming that a Democrat wins the presidency, a simple executive order that uses President Bush’s precedent-setting decision as a justification, as a foundation, will commence full funding of embryonic stem cell research. And when the remaining pockets of resistance argue to the contrary, Bush’s predecessor can claim George W. Bush pulled the lever four years earlier. By this time, private sector scientists, buoyed by Bush’s consent, will have already done so much research on embryos, that resistance on the part of principled statesmen at the federal level will be in vain.
Don’t look for congressional opposition to the federally funding to reverse the President’s decision. Capitol Hill pro-lifers are few and far between, and many affiliating themselves with the movement have already endorsed embryonic research. This is certainly an issue where the President is best able to articulate an agenda for such a controversial decision by using the bully pulpit.
The President is forming a "special council to monitor stem cell research, to recommend appropriate guidelines and regulations and to consider all of the medical and ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation" as if to throw up a roadblock to any further trespassing. But as the argument for the legalization of abortion back in the 1960’s and 70’s progressed from a desire to only serve rape victims and casualties of incest to the more contemporary view that all abortion for whatever reason and at whatever point in the pregnancy’s term should be allowed, so shall it be with embryonic stem cell research. If anyone thinks that these scientists will be content with only 60 lines of stem cells, they are kidding themselves. Because when they use these up, and they will, what will keep the Feds from granting them further tax dollars and more embryos to conduct further research on? Nothing! President Bush has set the precedent, and attempts to curb additional funding and research will be hard to sustain, when, after all, the deed has already been done once.
Some would have us believe that a single line of stem cells can multiply infinitely, over and over replicating stem cells for eternity. If that is the case, then why the push for further destruction of innocent human life? If a single strand can multiply ad nauseum, then why the need for further embryonic stem cells? Why not rely on these cells already in existence if they can replicate for the duration, supplying every scientists and lab coat the world over with all the stem cells they will ever need?
Liberals need only be patient, for in a few years they’ll get their veritable human tree farm that they so desperately want, equipping them for their human cloning, embryonic stem cell research/embryo killing and anything else their fiendish minds think of.
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