A first time for everything

In this case, it appears to be the first time that this President will exercise his veto over an Act of Congress, in this case, a bill which would have expanded the category of stem cell research to which federal funding could attach. It’s an interesting choice for the first veto after 5 1/2 years in office, but then… why bother with the veto when one can just issue signing statements that smack outright of the intent to thumb one’s nose at the people and their elected representatives in Congress by ignoring the jack-jive laws they pass that are found inconvenient? Particularly when the people and their elected representatives won’t hold the President to account, say, by impeachment, or, quite frankly, by any sanction whatsoever.
And thus we have arrived at this point. Federal spending, and hence, the federal deficit, is out of control because of, among other things, the tacit deal that if Congress gave the President what he wanted on his pet spending projects (Iraq and tax cuts)… Btw, a tax cut is exactly the same legally and economically as if a subsidy check were cut written against the federal treasury directly to the beneficiary; somehow, politically it’s different to Americans, mostly because Americans just aren’t very bright, and are easily persuaded of the veracity of untruths simply by hearing them a lot.
But I digress… anyway, Bush gets his pet projects, and the GOP Congress members get all of their pet projects, without any Presidential oversight. It’s a mutually insane positive feedback loop… insane if you expect this country to be in business, say, five minutes after the President leaves office that is. Otherwise it makes perfect sense.
Anyway, given the sweet back and forth relationship between the President and the Congress of the same party that his now not-to-be-indicted deputy chief of staff has been so helpful in keeping in office, it should come as no surprise that there has been a veto-less love-fest. Alas, the love-fest is about to end, over the issue of stem-cell research.
I must say, there was a time… back before 9-11 changed everything… when I was a bit more sympathetic to the arguments of slippery slopes and nightmare scenarios, such as, say, poor Third World mothers deliberately selling their late-term fetuses for First World medical experiments for the benefit of our elderly, and the possibility of cloning humans, to consider whether perhaps we were moving too fast in the direction of a Brave New World.. But that, of course, is not what is proposed… what is proposed is use of embryos, specifically blastocysts, or cell clusters, from fertility clinics where such cell clusters, which, absent implantation in a host mother, can never, ever form into human beings, were scheduled to be discarded and destroyed regardless.
And so, there we have it. So I have made my own quick moral calculation: if George W. Bush opposes it, it is probably not only a good thing, but the probable definition of virtue itself. Seriously. That in this case, he also choses to buck many, if not, most, members of his own party to satisfy the superstitions and prejudices of his religious base only helps clinch it, but in the end, there we are: the choice is the advance of a promising new medical technology that might help people such as those in conditions similar to the late Ronald Reagan and Christopher Reeve before their deaths, or catering to the “moral values” of a group that finds no moral problem torturing people for our supposed security, denying tens of millions of people an improved life-style through a minimum wage increase or providing a mechanism for them to have health care, etc., etc.
In short, while I understand the moral implications of the other side of this issue, George W. Bush has finally persuaded me of the rightness of the position of increasing funding for stem cell research simply because he opposes it. And everyone should understand that he is vetoing this bill because he has the votes in his own party’s House caucus to sustain it, and for no other reason. So, if you like this country to not pursue potentially life-saving technology at minimal moral cost to make James Dobson and Pat Robertson happy, then by God, keep voting for the President’s party.