Friday, July 14, 2006

Okay, so Chuck's been doing better on curbing Presidential excesses, but he's apparently gone all triangulate on an issue that is a no-brainer--stem cell research.

Jonathan Singer at passes on a quotation from the subscription only web site run by The Hill:

Schumer says stem-cell bill will harm Dems at the polls

Democrats say next week's Senate vote on research into embryonic stem cells -- and a promised White House veto -- will cut into their advantage on the campaign trail, particularly in Midwestern states.

"Our polling data shows this is a very prescient issue in Missouri," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday.

"It's not just in Missouri," he continued, naming Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan as other states where the issue would help Democratic candidates.

The wingnut position on this issue is both without merit and illogical. Even Nancy Reagan recognizes the benefits of this research. And the wingnuts themselves have proven that they really don't believe that embryos and fetus are people. The SD ban of abortion does not punish women at all for getting an abortion, and sentences doctors not to a life sentence without parole, but a maximum of five years. They clearly don't regard a fetus as the same thing as a five-year-old when it comes time to actually pass legislation.

There is no call from the wingnut camp to close down fertility clinics or to ban fertility drugs. Both the clinics and the drugs lead to "excess" embryos which are removed in the interest of both the pregnant woman and the child she hopes to have. Moreover, fertility clinics would generally be the source for the embryos used in the research. So the issue is nonsensical--these excess embryos will be produced nonetheless. The only question is whether to destroy them or to make some progress in treating syndromes that are currently untreatable, like Alzeimer's disease.

There's absolutely no reason to run and hide on this issue. It can be explained clearly, forthrightly even in Missouri. Nobody with a lick of sense is going to support a Republican argument that says that it's okay to discard embryos, but not okay to use them to advance medical science's treatment regimes for degenerative diseases.

This issue epitomizes Russ Feingold's remark that too many Senators are in their foxholes, afraid to take a position on anything they regard as controversial. Even when the right position on an issue is crystal clear, even when the wingnuts are clearly wrong, there's Schumer cowering behind his pollsters instead of representing the people who elected him.

And what the heck does "prescient" mean in this context?


At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Joanne lukacher said...

There are actually 3 separate bills on stem cell research. All are expected to pass. Apparently 2 of these are restrictions intended to provide cover for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act which is the one Bush is expected to veto. See
Is Schumer saying Democratic senators should not vote for the bill? Or should not vote to override the veto? I don't see the logic here.


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