Human Exceptionalism

Obama Not to Rescind Bush ESCR Funding Policy?

I am not sure what to make of this. According to a Politico writer, President Obama many not rescind President Bush’s embryonic stem cell funding executive order. He is going to leave it to the Congress. From the story:

Obama pledged during the campaign to lift the restrictions, and political observers had expected him to move swiftly to reverse President Bush’s 2001 executive order–most likely with his own executive order.

But the president-elect suggested Friday that he would wait for Congress to weigh in on the issue. “Well, if we can do something legislative then I usually prefer a legislative process because those are the people’s representatives,” Obama said in a CNN interview. “And I think that on embryonic stem cell research, the fact that you have a bipartisan support around that issue, the fact that you have Republicans like Orrin Hatch who are fierce opponents of abortion and yet recognize that there is a moral and ethical mechanism to ensure that people with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s can actually find potentially some hope out there, you know, I think that sends a powerful message.

Hmmm. That would be a dramatic reversal of an earlier promise. Moreover, it will take time to accomplish. On the other hand, it would mean that his fingerprints would not be on the deed. Good politics, I think, because he would get credit for signing the bill but not blame for opening the door.

Also, it can lead to a far more radical research license than could be done by the President alone. But legislation is never totally predictable. That uncertainty can also open up opportunities for opponents to educate the President (whose comment about Alzheimer’s shows that he needs it) and the public–such as the incredible breakthroughs happening with adult stem cells and the potential of “alternative methods” to heal the breach that this issue has caused to the body politic.


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