All Tomorrow's Wedge Issues

This apparent scientific breakthrough in the use of non-embryonic stem cells puts me in the mind of the Democratic wedge issues of yore. Embryonic stem cells, of course, were supposed to cure America of its affection for the religious right. But do you remember how for several years debates about health care policy in the United States were dominated by the push for a Patients' Bill of Rights? For 2008, all of the Democrats seem determined to go forward with almost frighteningly non-trivial agendas, so we may not see the likes of these issues again for several years, so start savoring stem cells now in case this research pays off and the whole controversy goes away.