You'll recall I mentioned a few days ago that the Democrats have positioned themselves as the party of stem cell science. Timothy Noah has an article up at Slate today that looks at this from a wonkish point of view - for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing.
The Democrats' eagerness to discuss stem cells is strikingly different from their attitude before Aug. 9, 2001.
According to the Kerry campaign's polling, fully 69 percent of voters currently support stem-cell research, and a majority say they support it "strongly." It is no longer necessary - or even advisable - for Democrats to whisper their support for stem-cell research.
If you search the entire Bush-Cheney campaign Web site, you'll find only four instances where the phrase "stem cell" comes up. It's a subject Bush wants to avoid at least as much as Kerry wants to emphasize it. That's why Democrats will keep saying "stem cell, stem cell, stem cell" over and over until Election Day.
Chris Mooney has been keeping up his stream of posts on recent stem cell politics:
Come to think of it, it's a safe bet that we can probably expect some political activity (and not just heavy drinking) on the anniversary of Bush's stem cell decision. So far I've only heard a little bit about what may be in the works, but I would bet that more's on the way. If I were John Kerry and wanted to make embryonic stem cell research a campaign issue, for example, I highly doubt that I'd allow this date to go by unnoticed and un-remarked upon.
The state ballot initiative to pump unprecedented billions into stem cell research has raised more $ 7 million. The opposition has (so far) raised zero. The founder of eBay and his wife have donated a million on their own. It's still early, but it looks like the embryonic stem cell research backers may simply squash the opposition. If so, governor Schwarzenegger might think about hitching himself to the campaign--and then basking in the glory of being a beneficent science patron come November.
"Limiting research to adult stem cells is like asking the government to develop an Air Force only using prop airplanes and ignoring the existence of jets."