Stem Cells--the Real Wedge Issue

The three G's--"God, gays, and Guns." That's, according to Senator Bob Graham, why John Kerry lost.

How about this list of "nonnegotiables", from Rick Warren : Abortion, Stem Cells, Gay Marriage.

It's not as snappy as the three G's but it's probably more true.

Before the election, there was a lot of speculation that stem cells was a wedge issue that could lead Republicans to cross over to Kerry. Instead, it backfired--driving even more Bush supporters to turn out.

Peter Canellos, in today's Boston Globe, holds out hope that stem cells will be the wedge issue of the future. In this election, he points out that California approved a 3 billion dollar stem cell fundfing in this election. If real results come from the California initiative, he reasons, that may prompt Republicans to cross over. (Thanks to the Revealer for pointing out the Canellos piece.)

If the research seeded by California shows progress, Bush will come under increasing pressure to lift his federal restrictions -- something he almost certainly will not do.

That would provide tangible evidence of the price of Bush's religion-based politics, a demonstration of how policies based on religious values are impervious to the usual political constraints, be they scientific evidence, changed circumstances, or growing popular opinion.

Maybe. That's a big "if"--there's not a lot of realistic hope that cures will be found in the next four years from stem cell research.

I'm no expert on this, but I think Canellos is missing the point--for the Bush voters, stem cells were a non-negotiable, despite their promise. It's not California voters (who went for Kerry in droves) that the next Democratic hopeful has to convince. It's all those red state voters who think that Rick Warren is right.


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