The Corner

What Andy Said

Andy, you’re such a conservative, I love it.

You’re of course onto something there.

Something similar, but different: The Left is freaking out on abortion because with Roe alive, the workable route for dealing with restricting legal abortion has largely been on the state level. And so in state after state we see legislatures voting for parental-notification laws, etc. (And sometimes the precious courts fix those for the Left too.) They rally so hard nationally because they’re scared at what a federalism approach would mean for their agenda, ultimately. Can’t have any laissez-faireness to it, because that could be their end.

In all this controversial stem-cell and cloning research (even though we so rarely use the c word, even when it is appropriate because it is exactly the issue on the table), biotech companies want the government to give them a safety net–because this early-stage research may not pan out. That’s why they’ve been loving the state rivalries that had popped up. What if Massachusetts beats California in the race for the cure to all disease!?! Government’s being used here–and not in the best interest of taxpayers. What business did California have funding a huge stem-cell initiative when Arhuld got elected in large part because the state treasury was a disaster? I thought that was such an obvious argument against the initiative at the time, but common sense was drowned out by emotional panacea promises–ones that people are totally understandably receptive too. (And don’t think even the most ardent opponents of embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning don’t think hard about these things–and don’t have personal experience with some of the kinds of illnesses that are so often mentioned. That would be an incorrect assumption.)

But there still is another issue here, too. The principle folks like Bush want to defend is protecting the dignity of human life. Is there a role for government in ensuring that life is protected? It’s all so complicated by things that are already going on. Still, I’d like to think there is a role for the government, for instance, is saying cloning is wrong, for instance. I don’t know how this is all going to play out politically. It is all so muddled and often disingenuous. But where there’s a fundamental life issue on the table, there is a line the federal government has to draw somewhere, because it does get at who we are as a nation.

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