Read time: 1 minute

Stem-Cell Showdown

The Senate will vote today on a stem-cell research bill, which Bush has vowed to veto. The White House is prepared to block this legislation, which op

The Senate will vote today on a stem-cell research bill, which Bush has vowed to veto. The White House is prepared to block this legislation, which opens the door to potentially life-saving research, despite...

...overwhelming public support; bi-partisan backing in both chambers of Congress; the demands of medical researchers who are tired of watching the United States fall further and further behind; intense pressure from Nancy Reagan; the fact that congressional Democrats are going to use this as a wedge issue throughout the campaign cycle, and the fact that Bush will use the first veto of his presidency to kill a popular bill on medical research.

The far-right is getting desperate -- Sam Brownback said yesterday that stem-cells "form tumors" -- and it's easy to see why. Everyone knows someone who has Parkinson's, or a spinal cord injury, or cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer's. And everyone wants a treatment that offers hope for millions. With this in mind, it's hard to tolerate Bush standing in the laboratories' doors asking scientists to do more with less.

A year ago, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, whose medical history makes the stem-cell debate a personal issue, said stem-cell research will probably "become one of the defining issues of the 2006 campaign." If Alter's right, that's not good news for Republicans.

A small portion of the far-right GOP base vs. the rest of the nation. "Pro-cure" vs "anti-cure." After today, the choice belongs to the president. There's still a chance Bush could change his mind, but given his record for "compassion," there's little reason for optimism.

-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report


Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.