the Unflappable GOP vs. Stem Cells

The GOP is the greatest (self-proclaimed) and the worst political party in the history of the world. It takes testicular fortitude to be a full-blown member of such an organization, and possibly the absense of morals, scruples, or general concern for your fellow man. What is the GOP? The Grand 'Ol Party - or, the Republican Party.
Although I disagree with just about everything the GOP does and has done for the better part of its existence, it is ignorance to deny their brilliance in terms of playing both sides of the political spectrum. Somehow they always find a way to please the religious Conservatives, the economic Conservatives, the fence-sitters, the Liberals, and the Libertarians. And if they don't - they give you the finger and laugh in your face. Regardless, they're good - damn good.

An example of this was a ruling in 2001 or 2002 regarding the much debated use of public funds for researching stem cells. This ruling, in my opinion, was the second greatest political manoeuvre of all time. Whoever came up with it is nothing short of a man of great cunning and unprecedented political rhetoric.
The ruling was quite simple - the 60 some odd stem cell lines that had already been discovered would be continued to be researched on using public funds, but any new exploration was banned. Pretty simple, but lets look at this a bit further in terms of the different players in the United States and who you need to please to get a the vote of 50.0000001% of the people.

Break it down...

Religious Conservatives - Motto: God Rules! Don't mess with God's plan.
Goal: Stem Cell Research is evil and 'playing God'. Ok.
Opinion on ruling: God wins! No public money on future research.

Neo-Conservatives - Motto: Privatize, Money, Kickbacks, Privatize ( oh ya, and MILITARY)
Goal: Privatize the sector, capital gains for all (some), then sell organs? sure
Opinion on ruling: Fuck ya! Privatization = property rights = patents = commodities

Fence-sitters - Motto: Meh.
Goal: Meh.
Opinion: Meh.

Liberals - Motto: Social programs save lives, and only cost billions of dollars!
Goal: Spend, tax, spend, tax, spend, tax, spend, spend, spend, lose election.
Opinion on ruling: You mean we can spend tax dollars on genetic research? Cool!

Libertarians - Motto: Freedom!
Goal: Its do what you want day!
Opinion on ruling: Well thats good, and bad, and not that there's anything wrong with either of those. Whatever floats your boat captain.

The Republicans managed to please every member on the broad (or not so broad), complicated political spectrum of the United States. The alternatives were to continue to fund such research with public funds (but you'd piss of the Right), or to end all funding to such research (but you'd piss off the Left). So what the Bush Administration did was carefully consider their options and find a beautiful middle ground. This single ruling has created implications well beyond what the average American could even conceive.
In public hands and with public funds there will be a limited amount of discovery and research. This research will be owned by the people, and will be able to be used in future endeavours of all sorts. Therapeutic cloning (not reproductive cloning) to help with all sort of genetic tests of pre-susceptibility, corrective surgery, possibly gene alteratoins - basically a whole whack of pre-birth opportunities for quality of life improvement (a good thing I guess).
In private hands will be all the research that falls outside of a continuation of the existing lines of stem cell research. There are FAR more lines than what were discovered in the preliminary research prior to the Bush Administration taking power. Why does this please the Right? The religious conservatives are happy becuase they last thing they want is for public money (tax dollars) to be used to fund any sort of research pertaining to the altering of human beings: its simply unnatural. But more importantly, this pleases the Neo-Conservatives. These are the industrialists, bankers, military executives, lawyers, and all pro-market men of economic clout and fortitude. These are the men and women that profit of war, research, and just about everything they can get their hands on. With private capital being the only available research funding avaiable for continued research on additional stem cell lines and their subsequent possibilities - the property rights of these findings will be held privately. This means one thing - profit. Whatever is found, and obviously no one knows that because it hasn't been found yet, will be owned by a corporation. And that leads to possible commodification of particular genes, lines, traits, who knows what else.

In conclusion: A good politician is hard to find, a great politician is impossible to deny.

"If you aren't turned onto politics, politics will turn on yout." - Ralph Nader. Go Green!


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