The Stem Cell Veto

“Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical,” US President George W. Bush said yesterday “a nation founded on the principle that all human life is sacred.” That, of course, came during his address on the need to ban embryonic stem cell research.

Except that it didn't. Rather, it came during his address on the need to veto a bill permitting the use of federal funds to undertake embryonic stem cell research. The conclusion, however, seems unrelated to Bush's line of reasoning. If the cells are sacred human life, then surely it's not okay to kill them in a privately financed manner. The nonsensical nature of Bush's position on this issue is old news, but continues, in my view, to be under-remarked upon in mainstream coverage of the issue. Years ago, he hit upon a goofy split-the-difference compromise and ever since then he's been wandering the country insisting that he's taking a bold stand of principle.