Friday, May 20, 2005

Bush says he'll Veto Stem Cell Research Bill

Bush says that he's planning on a stem cell research bill. Not a very big surprise, but it says a lot when even his own party supports allowing the research.

South Korea just outpaced the United States by successfully cloning adult stem cells. You'd think that someone concerned with either A. the health of the United States biomedial research industry or B. researching cures for a number of seriously messed up medical conditions would see this as a sign to get on the ball and support some sort of research, but Bush is too busy shoring up his bizarro culture of life in which embryos that are about to be flushed down the toilet have more rights than kids who are actually living in poverty somewhere to really care.

Think about it in debate terms: Bush's only disadvantage to stem cell research, that it will destroy life, is non-unique on two counts. First, corporations that want to do the research merely shift overseas. Second, and much more importantly, those embryos will get destroyed no matter what. I don't see Bush backing legislation to require fertilization clinics to keep their spare embryos alive indefinitely.

The only offense he as left is this notion that it will justify cloning. Not only has he not really justified what would be bad about that, he's engaging in a really bad use of a slippery slope argument. At worst, we're talking about cloning stem cells, not entire humans. If you dislike human cloning, you can make it illegal and still allow research on stem cells. The counterplan sucks up his offense and has a net benefit of making progress towards helpful medical research.

But it's pretty clear that regardless of whether we're talking about climate change, evolution, or stem cells, this administration is as anti-science as it gets.

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