Stem-Cell Research Exposed gets to the nucleus of the matter.

Aquarian Weekly 8/22/01 REALITY CHECK


Politically, George W. Bush’s fractured decision to allow some government funding for some stem-cell research was eerily Clintonian in its approach. He has come as advertised.

Many of his supporters last summer did a great deal of behind-the-scenes crowing that Bush would get elected on being a centrist, which they cleverly labeled compassionate-conservative, and come out in the first few months of his presidency laying the groundwork for a more conservative agenda. And then, faced with his first true controversial issue, they promised he’d check the polls and split the difference. His predecessor would be proud.

Ideologically, and coming from a position of no-win, the president’s eventual solution was sober and empathetic, but a tad disingenuous when reflected in the dusty mirror of his campaign rhetoric. This was not so much Clinton bending to the right to save his presidency, as much as it was a case of Bush’s moral ambiguity.

We test animals and now embryos. Then it will be fetuses and infants. Pretty soon they’ll come for useless dregs of society like Carrot Top and those monotone Jehovah Witness freaks who come to the door to remind you that you are doomed. Oh, and then they’ll come for you.

Even when the Texas governor was firing up the brimstone for the Religious Right those last few months of the campaign by swearing on the graves of the prophets that he would never endanger the potential for human life in the name of science, he was privately torn. This was evidenced by the extra few minutes the president pained over the decision. After all, this was a man, who cut the review time on Texas executions in half to avoid detail.

The stem-cell matter wasn’t exactly the secession of the southern states from the union or Harry Truman’s A-Bomb dilemma, but this was a tough call for Bush. Especially in an age of speeding technological discovery that overwhelms our view of the world on a daily basis. But despite his adamant rants to the contrary, the president had to realize that he would be remembered for this only in a good light simply by opening Pandora’s box. The debate on the genesis of life will rage on regardless of the consequences of stem-cell research. However, if the eventual results find cures for paralysis, Parkinson’s disease and a myriad of cancers, it will be his legacy.

So Captain Shoe-In gets his proverbial cake and a Texas style barbeque to boot.

But that is world-class politics, southern style. Bill Clinton was an Arkansas man, and Baby Bush has the Lone Star tattooed into his brain. This is how things get done in the Bible Belt: Grease the church, pet the public and get back to the golf course for an afternoon of mispronouncing the names of Middle Eastern terrorists with the remaining members of the Memphis Mafia.

Now the question remains, what dupes in congress will battle the forging of progress? Will this be another open-heart surgery harangue or a battle to the death like abortion?

Meanwhile, the ever-widening chasm between scientific enlightenment and atavistic morality grows larger and deeper. We test animals and now embryos. Then it will be fetuses and infants. Pretty soon they’ll come for useless dregs of society like Carrot Top and those monotone Jehovah Witness freaks who come to the door to remind you that you are doomed. Oh, and then they’ll come for you.

Sure, if I thought someone close to me could be saved by carving out pieces of you or injecting some wonder drug into the fat artery under your knee, you can bet I’ll be pushing the local magistrate to fund that. After all, Dr. Zaius, with all his simian posturing was right; it’s a question of survival.

But enough of that alarming imagery, we’re talking about politics here. And George Bush, ignoring mail from the marketing wing of the Artists Against Puritan Pig Fuckers is doing a fine job of shifting the focus on moral issues and away from the true domestic grit of his presidency: crumbling social security structure, campaign finance reform, et al.

Where’s the liberal wing of the Washington Post these days? This is the same fanfare sideshow that jack-sucking phonies like George Will and Rush Limbaugh, sipping brandy and puffing on stogies over at hypocrite junction, would be reaming the Clinton war machine about. “Dance around the bleeding-heart, violins issue and ignore everything you were elected you for!”

But don’t let it be said that fairness is not the aim of this space or its author, and despite pejorative commentary by my sources to the contrary, I like George W. He has a charming sort of Gerald Ford quality to him. You know, “Everything is great because we’re Americans, right?” attitude that strikes to the heart of this proud republic. He sent Al Gore packing, and for that he gets the George Steinbrenner approval rating from the best and the brightest here at The Desk.

And as for the future of stem-cell research and the thousands of brave embryos marching into the great unknown to advance the freedom of knowledge and medicine, we say, thank you. We’ll get to building your monument and stick it proudly beside the Vietnam and WWII varieties so we can remember them as we do all those perfectly healthy, young American kids we sent to be slaughtered in America’s name.

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