You better not let George Bush hear about this because he'll veto any research on stuff like this...even in fish!!!!!!!!
I know Gene was saying this at least somewhat facetiously, but I think the overwhelming negativity directed toward Bush's position on stem-cell research is a good example of how the lightning-rod of one man has caused people to fail to even authentically engage an issue. Bush has, granted, made many boneheadedly stubborn, cowboys-vs.-indians decisions. Stubbornness is not always a bad trait in a leader, if he is as smart as, say, Teddy Roosevelt. But George Bush is clearly no Teddy, and he'd do well to listen to some experts now and then.
That said, though, Bush's stem-cell position is, whether you agree with it or not, quite logical and easily defended. It is the liberal position, rather, which finds itself floundering between the ideals of reproductive freedom and environmental responsibility. One might think, given how difficult it is to resolve the stem-cell issue in the context of other liberal positions, that liberals would approach the issue with prudent trepidation. Instead, the liberal camp has reasoned that any position George Bush takes MUST be wrong and has jumped in with both feet firmly planted on thin ice. Once the position was clearly defined as "whatever is opposite Mr. Bush's position", the only way to make their own position tenable was to turn the big guns squarely on him and try as hard as possible to make the conservative position look like just another of Bush's stupid, Texas-sized errors in judgment that his mindless band of Southerners go along with like so many blind sheep... when it's really not. If you yell loud enough that you're right and someone else is stupid, a lot of ignorant people will believe you... which is exactly what's happened. On this issue more than any other we should consider the wisdom of Dan Akroyd in 'Tommy Boy': "What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public."
Or do we not really want to go to this place...
P.S. Jason, please don't kick me off the board. I'm really not just trying to piss people off for no reason.