May 6, 2004

Reagan To Oppose Bush

Will Bush’s lies and extreme religion-based policy on embryonic stem cells come home to roost this election year? It might when a former first lady speaks out against Bush’s life-endangering policies.

Reaching back to Bush’s early missteps, recall the lies about the stem cell lines and Bush’s elevation of ideology over science. I have never thought scientific research should be unchecked when there are ethical considerations, but I thought it was clear pandering to a religious right-wing base when he declared that embryonic cells which were going to be discarded anyway should not be used in research to cure diseases.

He lied about how many embryonic stem cell lines were going to be available, and the clampdown on research has slowed scientific and medical progress to a slow crawl, if not a halt.

But now, some who oppose his misguided policy are finally speaking out.

Mrs. Reagan, whose husband, former President Ronald Reagan, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, has made her support for the research known but has never spoken publicly about it. She is expected to do so in Beverly Hills on Saturday night at a star-studded fund-raiser sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (NYT: Limits on Stem-Cell Research Re-emerge as a Political Issue)

We’ve lost three years of research so that Bush could throw a bone to some voters. But even some people who unthinkingly supported the president’s agenda are now reevaluating that support. I guess I have an unflattering view of these people. Giddy that the great Satan Clinton was out of office, they flexed their newfound political muscle. Forgoing the use of some of their own brain cells, they shut down the promising road to stem cells.

Embryonic stem-cell studies are controversial because they involve the destruction of human embryos; Mr. Bush’s policy, announced in August 2001, restricts the research in a way that does not permit embryos to be destroyed with taxpayer dollars. But the diabetes foundation says the policy is impeding science. It has been sending patients to lobby lawmakers in Washington and has found some unlikely allies in Congress.

Last week, 206 members of the House, including some in the Republican leadership and nearly three dozen opponents of abortion, signed a letter urging Mr. Bush to allow the federal government to finance studies on embryos left over from in vitro fertilization clinics, which would otherwise be discarded.

You read that correctly. Even abortion opponents are now realizing that Bush was too hasty in throwing a wrench into the works of medical science at a time when we need more efficient, cost-effective cures and healthy medical technology companies.

Here’s an issue Kerry needs to get on top of. This is one of Bush’s big blunders. It’s just one example of how Bush’s view of the world takes precedence over the facts—how his wishes to reshape America in his image place ideology over our best interest.

Posted by James at May 6, 2004 6:39 PM
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