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Friday, July 21, 2006

Explaining Bush's First Veto

Given the growing consensus that Bush's nixing of the embryonic stem cell legislation is bad politics for the GOP, a key question must be asked. Why would this most politically astute president, who has vetoed no other legislation, risk serious electoral fallout by so publicly rejecting a bill to advance medical discoveries that could very well save human lives? I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate. Maybe the answer is the simplest one. Perhaps George W. Bush actually believes it to be morally wrong to fund the deliberate destruction of embryonic human beings. How the veto will play with "swing moderates" is hard to tell. One thing is clear: Mr. Bush's veto is consistent with his oft-stated beliefs about creating and respecting a culture of life. Of course it'ss true that reasonable people can and do reach different decisions on this emotionally charged issue. Sen. Bill Frist, for instance. He seems a reasonable guy. Frist declares himself 'strong[ly] pro-life,' and says he gives 'huge moral significance to the human embryo.' He says: 'I believe human life begins at conception.' All very consistent, coherent — until Frist reversed his opposition to embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of embryonic human life. What caused Frist to change his position? Did he encounter evidence that the human embryo does not constitute human life? No. New evidence that embryonic stem cell research can be performed without killing embryos? Nope. Try this. Bill Frist, himself a former embryo, wants to be president. Of course.