January 7, 2007


Stem-Cell Research Test for Bush, New Congress (GERALD F. SEIB, January 6, 2007, Wall Street Journal)

For all the bluster over Iraq, taxes and budgets, the first direct confrontation between the Republican president and the new Democratic Congress may come on an entirely different subject that has gotten relatively little attention recently: stem-cell research.

That reality will become more clear this coming week, when the House has pledged to take up a bill expanding federal support for embryonic stem-cell research. The issue -- sensitive because many social conservatives and religious leaders believe it is morally wrong to destroy human embryos to extract stem cells -- has prompted the one and only veto President Bush has issued in his term. House leaders now propose to pass the same measure the president killed with that veto last year.

Backers of stem-cell funding appear to have the votes to pass the measure in the House, and later in the Senate. But they don't have enough votes -- it takes a two-thirds majority of each house -- to override another presidential veto. So the road is clear for a collision over an exquisitely difficult political issue.

It seems a dubious strategy for Democrats to demonstrate their insignificance so early in their term.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2007 11:20 AM

Would that we had a president capable of articulating his reasons for a veto.

When confronted with the problem of being unable to articulate ANY of his positions, and the subsequent freefall of his popularity in the face of a rabidly biased media, the most likely outcome for Bush will be to capitulate.

If he does not capitulate, his inability to communicate will simply cost Rs and his Admin more points in the polls, and eventually, more seats.

As insignificant as the dems are, the are more significant than a president who can't (or won't) defend his positions.

In the battle of "insignificance", the least "most insignificant" is the most significant.

Posted by: Bruno at January 7, 2007 12:23 PM

There is no law against private stem-cell research, and there is no law against taking stem-cells from killed fetuses (AFAIK).

The only question is whether it should it be taxpayer funded.

Adult stem-cell research is showing promising results. There is plenty of private industry funding it. Nobody in private industry is funding embryo research; there have been no significant results, and nothing is on the horizon.

The Democrats want to take your money and spend on so far unproven and useless research involving dead babies. Why can't Bush articulate this?

Posted by: Gideon at January 7, 2007 1:00 PM

One of his many great speeches was the stem cell one. It's an easier job than you think.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2007 1:57 PM

Gideon: You have the nub of it but miss the significance: the point is to give the abortion industry the money they aren't getting privately, while providing a "moral" justification for more abortions - i.e., they are only killing babies to benefit the sick among us.

Posted by: jd watson at January 7, 2007 2:09 PM

He did, that's why we don't fund it.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2007 5:55 PM

Now if he actually said that.....

It would be quite entertaining.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 7, 2007 7:04 PM

"He did, that's why we don't fund it"

He did not, that's why Republicans are a minority again. (related of course to his same inarticulateness on what constitutes "victory" in Iraq)

Posted by: h-man at January 8, 2007 5:12 AM

He doesn't understand victory in Iraq. He won on stem cells.

Posted by: oj at January 8, 2007 8:03 AM


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