Monday, July 24, 2006

Respond To This

So President Bush has finally found something worth vetoing, embryonic stem cell research. I don't agree with him, but I was surprised at the Democrats' response in their weekly radio address.

Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, who co-sponsored the bill, said "the President’s veto had nothing to do with morals" but was motivated by “cold, calculated, cynical political gain.”

I was taken aback. Bush has dealt with this issue before and it's pretty clear he feels strongly about it. Why else would he veto a bill that's so popular? For "political gain"? DeGette may hate how Bush voted but that's no reason to insult our intelligence.

In fact, I wish Bush were more cyncial. Then he might have voted the way I want.

I know it's too much to ask, but I'd like to see a higher level of debate among politicians, i.e., arguments about policy instead of name-calling.


Blogger Wizard said...

Are you saying that the act of vetoing this legislation doesn’t gain him any political advantage? Certainly pandering to the far right wing conservative base can’t hurt him politically. Also, as the mid-term elections approach, the “killing of babies” issue can be used to motivate the faithful to go to the polls. This is similar to the tactic of Republicans bringing the Federal Marriage Amendment up for a vote even though they knew it couldn’t pass in order to cast those that voted against it as out of touch with America and make them a target in their congressional races In this light, Bush’s veto could certainly be viewed as a cynical attempt at political gain just as easily as it can be viewed as simply adhering to his own (warped) moral compass.

What truly amazes me is how no-one has taken him to task for his hypocritical moral position. Bush claims that he vetoed a bill that would have helped conquer numerous diseases because every human life is precious and to do otherwise would be immoral. Yet this is the same man who launched an unprovoked and unnecessary war that has killed tens of thousands (or is now hundreds of thousands) of Iraqis and each month kills thousands more. Where is the morality in that? For shame.

9:43 PM, July 23, 2006  
Blogger LAGuy said...

There's always an argument that taking either side of a controversial issue has political advantage. In this particular case, the legislation is highly popular with the public at large. I'd guess it's even favored by people who vote Republican. If Bush's main consideration were cynically currying political favor, he'd have signed the bill. (Banning gay marriage is a different issue. Whether you think Bush was cynical or not, it's--at present--a popular issue with the public.)

My bigger point is I consider discussion of political motivation and other mindreading tricks, generally speaking, a waste of time. I want to hear arguments about why a policy is good or not, not accusations as to what's the "real" reason behind the vote.

Though I oppose Bush's veto, I don't see the hypocrisy. Right or wrong, there's a clear moral argument that even research that may save shouldn't be done. The Iraq war is a separate issue (and, for all we know, has saved or may save millions of lives).

9:53 PM, July 23, 2006  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I'm pro-life myself, and have often gotten into debates about whether Bush's views on this issue are sincere.

[A related question, that I have also gotten into discussions about, is whether Bush's religious views are sincere. Of course that's not the same question -- there are many religious pro-choicers and nonreligious pro-lifers. Yet there's obviously a correlation between views on abortion and certain religious groups. And in my experience, folks who think Bush's religiosity is a false front usually think the same about his pro-life views.]

Anyway, I think it's impossible to be certain, but I consider it very likely that Bush is sincere about his views on abortion, including stem cells.

Here is one piece of evidence from last week. Bush's own public statements about embryonic stem-cells stressed the fact that these embryos are people. But Tony Snow's comments stressed the fact that Bush isn't against all embryonic stem-cell research, and that he has in fact sponsored more embryonic stem-cell research "than any president in history."

If this is part of a strategy to get votes, I would think the whole White House would be using the same "talking points". Instead, the president and his spokesman are giving justifications that are almost 180 degrees apart.

12:29 PM, July 24, 2006  

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