Kevin Drum is either overthinking my post on stem cells, or not thinking enough. (His commenters are, as usual, idiots.)
Ponnuru seems to be implying that there’s some sizable contingent on the left that prefers embryonic research for its own sake and will keep fighting for it even if this new approach proves itself completely successful. But why? Inertia? Political bloody mindedness? A demonic delight in destroying embryos for its own sake?
Drum should go back and re-read, slowly. My point was that the political debate over whether the federal government should fund certain forms of embryo-destructive research or allow certain other forms of it would not be over under certain conditions. If, for example, these people believe that embryo-destructive research (or certain forms of it) still have advantages that the new research methods don’t have, or that it is still important to encourage research of all types, then the debate isn’t over, although it will change. I’m tempted to say “duh,” but given Drum’s track record I’ll be misinterpreted.
Update: Drum has an update where he continues to insist that I implied something terrible. Again, it’s his reading skills that are the problem here. Go back to my original 4:41 p.m. post: I said that in the past proponents of embryo-destructive stem-cell research had “minimized the potential of non-lethal methods of deriving pluripotent stem cells”; that’s exactly what I’m saying they might still do. I told him to re-read slowly!