The Science President

The first letter to the editor I remember writing was about Bush I (my first vote was for Dukakis). I took exception to his claim of being the “education president” and the “environment president” despite not doing anything for either cause. As a harbinger of sons to come, he popularized the notion that you could claim something and therefore make it so. That pissed me off.

Now W has never claimed to be the “science president” that I know of, but we’ve never had someone in such a high position who has such blatant distrust for scientific endeavors (missions to the moon notwithstanding). Now he uses his first veto to block legislation that has the real potential to save and improve human lives and has endorsement from such folks as Nancy Reagan and Bill Frist. Neither are friends of mine, but they can’t be wrong all the time.

What struck me in Bush’s veto yesterday was this line:

If this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would, for the first time in our history, be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. And I’m not going to allow it.

My question would first be, “Are fully formed humans less important than embryos?” Now pro-life people would say they’re equal (I don’t agree, but that’s ok). But every day American taxpayers are compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of fully-formed humans. It’s called war, and we’re in an unnecessary one right now that’s destroyed way too many. Generally speaking, no one is mourning the loss of these embryos. No one knows them. No one will miss their personalities. Only people who feel a spiritual bond with monozygotes love them enough to be bothered by their destruction, and that’s ok, but they destroy a lot more life than that without sweating it.

In addition to Michael Kinsley’s excellent early personal coverage of the issue, his more recent post is a slam dunk. The big point: fertility clinics destroy many (he doesn’t cite a count) of the embryos that they fertilize in an effort to help people have babies. Yet, these clinics get praised for their pro-life agenda, but stem cell research, which endeavors to improve the lives of people already in existence, doesn’t get funded because it’s evil.

I’ll admit that I’m not as romantic about the sanctity of life as a lot of people, but it all makes me think of the great Onion headline:

Miracle of Birth Occurs for 83 Billionth Time


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