I apologize, Ramesh, for the use of the term “haters.” But you’re wrong a) about the Bush 1999 thing. It was highly controversial when he said it among people like us. I wrote a column denouncing him for it and so did a lot of other people, who thought he had betrayed conservatives by joining with liberals in a liberal-sounding attack.
And b) you are kidding yourself if you think this is an easy moral call. That is a view that arises from your own profoundly sophisticated understanding of the ins and outs of the differences between adult and embryonic stem-cell research and the theological and moral implications thereof. That won’t help with people who hear, “This may cure Parkinson’s and they’re frozen anyway.” Which is why the only people who have the only pure argument in this realm are those who oppose in vitro fertilization to begin with, on the grounds that it creates these embryos. And that argument, you will have to concede, is so far from being viable as a political discussion point that it cannot even be mentioned.
As for whether this will demonstrate to social conservatives that Frist can’t be trusted, that may be. But so far, nobody else who is a serious contender for the Republican nomination can be trusted either on some issue or other — if those are your grounds for expecting someone to be denied the nomination.