Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time to Get Political

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.

7 comments:

lefty_grrrl said...

I don't think Bush thinks stem cell research is wrong. I don't think he has much in the way of morality. But there is a huge Congressional vote in nearly three months and Bush has to pander to the religious right to earn those votes. The fact that he finally used a veto indicates how scared they are about the elections. G-Dub has to motivate the base, and this is a good way to do that. Honestly, if the political landscape were that of two years ago, he'd let the bill pass, but would speak out against it publicly; in that instance, he'd be pandering to the libertarian sect of the Republican party. Politics at the cost of important research: nauseating.

DearOldDad said...

I don’t know whether he has multifaceted thoughts or is truly as binary as he appears. Regardless, he doesn’t strike me as a guy who would muse on much. One has to be suspect of creationists; there is some sort of grand delusional thing going on within and you never know when or how it will leak out. Anyway, it’s my belief that if his base would have preferred this not be vetoed, it would be law today, just as capital punishment (oops!, murder) remains law. How does one reconcile that exactly?

Scott said...

On this I totally agree with you. It's absolutely deluded to prevent this kind of research from advancing. The lives that could be saved, the diseases cured from this wing of science. Religion in my mind is the root of almost every major travesty in human history.

Runner Girl FL said...

So does it mean that by letting them "use what they have" but not "make new ones" they are growing more cells from an original "soul" and then ripping the "soul" appart? hmmmm......

mr. schprock said...

I with you on this one, Magnetbabe. If there's ever been a more out-of-touch president, I'd like to know who it was.

magnetbabe said...

I'm glad to see that for the most part I am preaching to the choir (ha ha, pun intended). More or less I agree with all of you. I've quizzed the local fundamentalists about the embryo splitting. And I think W's dad might have been more out of touch (e.g. the grocery scanner incident?). But less destructive.

In my opinion, religion is the greatest oppressor, and as science tries to move forward, we will feel it's grip tightening.

Hot4Teacha said...

I'm out here on the left branch with you, 'Babe. "Dubbya" busts out the veto, thus breaking his cherry, on the one bill that could advance medicine for our country and world more than anything else in recent history. Yet, here he is, using his pen instead of stickin' it up his bum (where his head already is). Sigh. Do I have to go to Washington and start fixing this business? Apparently, our elected officials can't do it (and I agree - that big of a majority should count for SOMETHING). Sigh.

Karl Rove was in town recently, stumping for the uber-conservative Michelle Bachmann. I will verp (vomit burp) if she gets elected to serve as a Senator for MN. How disgusting can she be? Well, she has a guy helping her raise money who SHOULD be in prison gettin' bent over by Big "Bertha" but is instead running around pushing the Republican agenda. So that tells you something.