On Saturday, they published an opinion piece (not online, but reproduced here) - an arrogant, ignorant opinion piece - on President Bush's veto of additional funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Over the past few months, on several issues, I've defended the BNR from accusations of liberal bias. Will I, anymore? Not so sure.
Here's my column, posted today, on the subject.
And now, a fisking.
Bush throws the baby out with the bathwater
Baraboo News Republic Editorial (July 29, 2006)
While George W. Bush has made some missteps in his presidency, last week may have been his biggest when he used his first presidential veto to block funding for stem cell research.They mean “additional federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.” I wonder why they don’t say that?
The bill, which Bush vetoed July 19, would have given more federal dollars to stem cell research, which supporters say could lead to cures for everything from diabetes to multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer’s.Ah, honesty. Before 2001, no federal dollars were spent on embryonic stem cell research. Bush agreed to fund existing stem cell lines in 2001 as a compromise: no further embryos would be destroyed on the taxpayers’ dime, but existing research, for which the embryos had already been destroyed, would be funded.
Embryonic stem cells are cells that can theoretically be formed into any tissue of the body. Scientists hope they can learn to control them and cause them to form in ways that would replace damaged or dysfunctional tissues.More honesty. “Theoretically.” “Scientists hope.” Where was this in the first paragraph?
Opponents of embryonic stem cell research object to the destruction of embryonic cells and say research on adult stem cells is more advanced and more deserving of funding.If you’re looking for the BNR’s reasons for disagreeing, you’re going to be disappointed. They don’t explain why opponents are wrong.
A healthy majority of senators – 63 of 100 – voted in favor of the legislation after the House approved it, also by an ample majority. When a bipartisan majority can agree on something, it’s a good indication that the country thinks it’s a good idea too.Large majorities think abortion should only be legal in the most extreme cases, too. And that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights should be law in Wisconsin. Referendums to define marriage as one man and one woman pass, in most cases, with over 70% of the vote. Can we expect the BNR to opine in favor of those majorities, too?
According to the Associated Press, polls show as much as 70 percent public support for embryonic stem cell research.
Sadly, both the house and senate votes were just shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. Even conservative Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were appalled by Bush’s veto.Excuse me? Arnold Schwarzenegger – conservative? Do the BNR’s editors even know what a conservative is?
The president obviously has a fundamental misunderstanding of science.No, he doesn’t. He understands that destroying human beings – even embryonic ones – for scientific research is ethically disturbing, at best. Like putting Grandma to sleep so we can take her organs. She isn’t going to live much longer, anyway, and look at the lives she’ll save!
He’s supported study only on those stem cell lines created before Aug. 9, 2001, when he gave a speech on stem cell research.That’s funny – Governor Doyle pointed out that exact same thing.
The bill would have allowed federal funding for study on excess embryonic cells from fertility clinics, which would be discarded anyway.Not necessarily.
Stem cell banks like the one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are now looking to send their stem cell lines out to other countries; Bush’s veto has the potential to actually throw American scientific progress in reverse.Because there are absolutely no other avenues for American science to grow, other than this one. That’s crap. This isn’t even the only avenue being explored for treating the diseases most often cited as beneficiaries of embryonic stem cell research.
We wonder why the president has apparently ignored the most pragmatic and promising science in favor of arbitrary deadlines and sentimentality.“…the most pragmatic and promising science?” From what liberal talking points did that sentence come? Please show me the documentation to support that, particularly when adult stem cells have already produced results.
Bush has clearly allowed himself to be swayed by the extreme right, who value religion over science.Those damned Christians with their “morality” again. How we do hate them!
He’s tried to draw a black and white distinction of “innocent human life” in an area that is very gray at best.The BNR is drawing their own “black and white” distinctions here, are they not?
If Bush really wants to protect life, why not sign a bill that could prolong it?Require medical experimentation on all comatose patients who have little to no chance of recovery. Or…double funding for research using adult stem cells, and those harvested from umbilical cords.
Apparently he and the other extreme conservatives would rather see potential cures tossed in the trash – literally.Yes, we whose consciences oblige us to pause when considering the destruction of a human life are the extreme ones.