I was really angry when I heard L Bush and her little 'anti-infomercial' on stem cell research. From a technical view, her grasp of the basis of scientific research is appallingly incorrect. It was really an 'anti science paradigm'. I was not suprized, this administration has a pattern of denigrating and corrupting science to put forth their policy agendas.
What did suprize me was her tone. She was dismissive and patronizing. A real WOAC moment, just like Dubya. This is the language and embedded belief system of the entitled. [Insufferably smug, and lacking any authentic empathy]. I didn't think any newspaper folks would react to this insulting posturing.
I was wrong. A number of them let their professional demeanor slip, and with good reason:
Hometown: Newton, MA
...when they rolled her [L Bush] out to talk about stem cells, and she unctuously explained to the country that, maybe, the benefits of stem-cells were being "oversold." I watched her, all creamy certitude, and for the first time since 2000, wondered: "Where in the hell do you get off, lady?"
...shouldn't we be a bit alarmed as well that a back-country librarian from Level Crossing, Texas is out there explaining cutting-edge science to the nation? Where in hell is the President's Council On Bioethics? (Probably either bleeding people with leeches or booking tours to Lourdes.) I mean, would I ask Gregor Mendel where the biography section is?
Look, it is entirely possible that stem-cell research will not be the panacea that its proponents say it will be. Sadly, that may well be the case with Alzheimer's, which is my particularly nasty-ass dog in this fight.
But, what eludes Laura, her husband, and whoever reads "My Friend, The Genome" to him is that's what f***king research is FOR! (I'm shouting now.) You do the research to find out IF the little critters will perform as advertised.
What you don't do is choke off the inquiry because something MIGHT not work out, and might get Jesus pissed in the bargain. And you damned sure don't send your wife, the librarian, out to run the ball on the issue for you. God, it was insufferable. All those devastated families, like mine, having our little heads patted, and being warned not to get our tiny hopes up, all the while being talked down to out of a family of failures, spoiled children, and international sex tourists.
If there's a god in heaven, Laura Bush will get caught in a Green Room one day with Nancy Reagan. [reminds me of Jack Anderson and the head of NIDA..but I digress]
...In a display of her husband's famous compassionate conservatism, Laura Bush scolded that "it really isn't fair to people who are watching a loved one suffer" to overplay the promise of stem cells. She said, helpfully, "We don't know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything."
As someone with a loved one (myself, as it happens) who has the disease (Parkinson's) for which stem cells hold the most promise, please allow me to say: Thank you so much, Mrs. Bush, for trying to make sure that I don't get too hopeful. While your husband and Sen. John Kerry make a major issue out of who is more optimistic, it is inspiring to have a first lady with the courage to say: Let's be pessimistic! Optimism is unfair!
But talk is cheap. While Laura Bush is destroying hope by the traditional method of spreading gloom and pessimism, her husband is bringing the pessimist's art into the 21st century by actually destroying the objective basis for hope. While she battles rhetorically against false hopes, he works to ensure that there is no hope at all.
Full Disclosure: In my past life, I was a neuro biologist. I had a number of research projects wiped out because some of the conclusions were not in line with 'acceptable' thinking at the time. This type of foolishness really steams me.
TAPPED: STEM SELLING