I don't normally go on political rants, but I am so upset right now that I just need to vent.
President Bush just exercised the first veto of his presidency,putting a stop to any hope of government money going to research on stem cells taken from frozen embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics. Not that this is directly related to my rant, but the religious right likes to use phrases like "murder" to describe doing research on a mass of approximately 100 human cells. If you are deeply religious and this is what you believe, I respect that (disagree, but respect). Unfortunately because our leader subscribes to this belief system, scientific progress on stem cells in this country will be stunted. And our leaders wonder why we are slipping from the ranks of international scientific super powers.
Lets look at this logically. The senate (technically) exists to carry out the will of the people. They work for us, right? So when they pass a bill with a 63-37 vote, they are basically saying that the American people want this bill passed. Sorry to the more religiously inclined folks, but majority rules. Especially in a democracy. So why should the President impose his religious beliefs on the lawmaking process? Isn't that pretty much the definition of a violation of separation of church and state?
I don't want to go in to things like when life begins, or if and when the soul exists. That argument gets very ugly very fast. I don't even want to go in to how many millions of people could someday benefit from stem cell research because the bill doesn't ban the research per se, just the federal funding which is itself a HUGE deal.
Let's look at it from another perspective. I think the president (besides kissing the great big hiney of the religious right) is going with his gut instinct on this one. I think he truly believes embryonic stem cell research is wrong. If he comes away with anything from his terms in office, it should be that he has about the worst gut instinct of anyone on the planet. With the war going as it is and his approval rating the lowest of any president since Nixon, at this point he should be doing the exact opposite of what his beliefs are.
On NPR's "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Sunday, they described Stuart Baker, a man at the White House who's title is "Director of Lessons Learned". I think he had better be taking careful notes today.