Dobson Disappointed Frist Backing Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Per James Dobson, Focus on the Family:

"Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Focus on the Family Action founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson issued the following statement today after learning that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., had come out strongly in favor of increased federal funding for destructive embryonic stem-cell research:

“It is an understatement to say that the pro-life community is disappointed by Sen. Frist's decision to join efforts to void President Bush's policy limiting the funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Most distressing is that, in making his announcement, Sen. Frist calls himself a defender of the sanctity of human life -- even though the research he now advocates results, without exception, in the destruction of human life.

"Sen. Frist argues that under the Bush policy, there are insufficient stem-cell lines to maximize what he calls the 'promise' of embryonic stem-cell research. That statement continues the common misconception that embryonic stem cells hold the greatest potential for human healing and therapy. In reality, recently published studies demonstrate that some adult stem cells can form most, if not all, body tissues, just like embryonic cells may be able to do. Furthermore, there will never be a sufficient number of new stem-cell lines to satisfy the sometimes unquenchable thirst for federal money to fund pet projects of researchers. A morally sound line must be drawn at the beginning of this journey into stem-cell research: that no human life is sacrificed for possible or proven scientific gain – period.

"The media have already begun speculating that Sen. Frist's announcement today is designed to improve his chances of winning the White House in 2008 should he choose to run. If that is the case, he has gravely miscalculated. To push for the expansion of this suspect and unethical science will be rightly seen by America's values voters as the worst kind of betrayal – choosing politics over principle.

"We urge Sen. Frist to reconsider his position in light of the values he has espoused during his career in public service."


According to what I'm see across conservative blogs, Frist is essentially toast. Good thing he can go back to doing surgery, he sure as heck knows how to use a knife - right Mr. President?

However, not all conservative blogs think Frist is a cad. Consider Hugh Hewitt:

"Senator Frist's position on stem cell research hurts him with the evangelical base he was said by the left to be playing to throughout the past year and especially during the Schiavo tragedy. Frist is hardly a frontrunner in need of a Sister Souljah moment. Perhaps he is what is so rare for the left to understand: A man of principle who reasons to positions and then defends them."

A man of principal? Or man who sells his soul for a vote. Right now, I would bet on the latter.

Frist's decision is yet another example of his "instability" as a viable candidate. Eric Cohen & William Kristol note this article from the Weekly Standard, Frist can't be pro-life and pro-stem cell at the same time. It was as if Frist was diplaying 'Mulit-personalities while on the floor:

"The incoherence of Frist's position is staggering. In his Senate speech, he explained that the "embryo is a human life at its earliest stage of development." He said that he believes, as a person of faith and a man of science, that "human life begins at conception." He reminded us that "we were all once embryos." He called on all citizens, including scientists, to treat human embryos with the "utmost dignity and respect." It was a clear and elegant statement on the dignity of early human life, backed up by a doctor's understanding of elementary embryology.

But then, as if giving a different speech, Frist called on the federal government to promote, with taxpayer dollars, the ongoing destruction of human embryos. In a television interview that day, he said that research using and destroying the "spares" can be done ethically so long as there is a "moral framework around informed consent." But if embryos deserve respect as nascent human lives, as Frist says he believes, it should not matter whether researchers have permission from their parents to destroy them. If embryos are "human life at its earliest stage," as Frist says he believes, then none of us possesses the authority to consent to their destruction. To promote embryo destruction and still claim to be "pro-life," as Frist did throughout his speech, is absurd."


You can't be on the fence on this: You can't have it both ways.

Again, that's why I think this had nothing to do with "principles", but with leveraging votes in 2008. His position doesn't make sense because those who "prostitute for votes" rarely do. Frist displayed yesterday that he isn't a man of principle, but a simple garden variety poll-driven politician.

"Which ever way the wind blows, eh Doc?"....

As Augustine at Redstate puts it: "As we all know, embryonic stem cell research is not banned in America; it is legal. The issue at hand is taxpayer funding of said research – and just as the GOP does not believe in taxpayer funding for the destruction of unborn people, we should not embrace taxpayer funding for the destruction of embryonic people."

Frist doesn't seem to want to support not only the President's views, but the views of the GOP. While it could be argued, many feel that George Bush would be on permanent vacation at Crawford Texas if not for the Christian Right. George Bush isn't running again. But George Bush praises loyalty above all else. Don't think President Bush's words about Frist's defection fool you - payback is "hell". Again, Frist is toast - mark my words, he won't even make it out of New Hampshire, IF he gets that far.

I personally think Frist - along with his screwing up of the Bolton nomination process, should resign from the Senate leadership - in fact, in the coming weeks the pressure from the Christian right to do so will be immense.

So for I hope he enjoys the applause he gets from the left and the hugs, because unless he runs on the Democratic Ticket, he hasn't got a chance of even getting through the first of the primaries for 2008.

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