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.
Monday, July 17, 2006
A Matter of Values
Democrats have made no secret of their desire to get a handle on the whole values thing. What motivates so-called values voters? How can we ever so progressive types convey to the American electorate what exactly we value? What is a value, anyhow? These are the basic questions Democratic Party pollsters keep bringing to focus groups to find out how the liberal left, pretending not to be either liberal or left, can convince most American voters that Democrats share their values. For one thing, Democratic Party leaders need to do better at communicating what matters to them — much as a liberal activist recently made clear her rage toward Sen. Barbara Boxer for having the audacity to campaign for her colleague Sen. Joe Lieberman. Doesn't Boxer understand that now is the time for all good progressives to rally their forces to defeat Lieberman for daring to root for the pro-freedom side in the Iraq war effort? Mervis Reissig of Sonoma County, a leader of the Progressive Democrats of America, says she is in a "state of shock" because Boxer is "doing is a total invalidation of one of our main values" by supporting pro-war Lieberman: