By G.W. Schulz
This week’s presidential veto may not have been signed if Bush were forced to call each and every American suffering from a debilitating spinal-chord injury to explain his position on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.
The dialogue in such a fantasy might have gone something like this:
American suffering from debilitating spinal-chord injury: “Uh, yeah, Mr. President, it’s suppertime and getting to the telephone is a little taxing physically, but I’ll go ahead and accept the collect call. What’s up?”
President of the United States, a country once proud to be in the vanguard of medical advancement: “Hey there, friend! How’s it hangin’? I’m strugglin’ a little since that pass I made at the German chancellor hit the papers, but I’ve since made it up to Jesus. So I wanted to call and outline the reasons why the only veto of my two terms contrasts with the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the American people and even a handful of hardcore anti-abortionists inside my own party. See, we got some close elections coming up in Congress, and energizing the radical base of my party is, unfortunately, more important right now than promoting medical technology that could some day enable you to move more independently. Plus, I just couldn’t bear the thought of hearing the screams of millions of pin-point sized embryos being tortured by some lab tech in California on the public dime. Have a nice evening!”
A glimpse at those who opposed the president’s veto is revealing – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Nancy Reagan, Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mary Tyler Moore and one-third of the Senate's Republicans. That’s hardly a shortlist of people Ward Churchill would invite to his daughter’s wedding.
Of course, we still have private-sector research to look forward to, and the governor yesterday announced that California would put up $150 million in loan money, which sounds great. But the governor’s decision was nicely timed, too. He’s distancing himself from a flaming bag of politically pungent dog shit that's as popular with voters these days as Ken Lay during a time when Schwarzenegger needs to creep back toward the center if he hopes to win in November. Not to mention, he's well aware of the state's desire to create a future foundation of economic strength in the biotech industry.