Obama, Stem Cells, and Pissy Right-Wingers (Updated):
First off, it's just gotta be pointed out, for no other reason than it's just damned funny, that the name of the rider to various bills that's been used to limit or ban federal funding of embryo creation for stem cell research is the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. And, if you're as goddamn tired and filled with scrips as the Rude Pundit's been the last few days, just saying "Dickey-Wicker" out loud will make you giggle like a Japanese schoolgirl. Dickey-Wicker (c'mon, that's hilarious) has been renewed every year since 1995, although interpreted differently by Presidents Clinton and Bush, but with President Obama's announcement that federal funding can be used on existing embryos, Dickey-Wicker might fall.
Predictably, Obama's executive order created a hategasm on the right. The Family Research Council (motto: "Only Jesus can heal the lepers") says, "His decision will allow government agencies to use federal money to encourage experiments on innocent human life." It's sort of like giving orphans typhoid to see what happens. Well, if the orphans were smaller than the head of a pin. In dealing with the fact that stem cells are drawn from the embryos, FRC President Tony Perkins continues, "Supporters of the decision are quick to point out that Americans won't be financing the death of embryos. Although we may not be funding the killing, we are funding the killers." In other words, it's far, far better that frozen embryos are eventually just incinerated. Where's all those wives of God lining up to get some snowflakes implanted? (By the way, Perkins solution? Dickey-Wicker.)
Sure, sure, you might have some moral qualms, but chances are you are not going as bugfuck insane as others. Like, say, Glenn Beck, a man begging for a cockpunch, who, on his radio show, went the full Nazi. Comparing embryonic stem cell research for cures to diseases to eugenics, Beck blabbered, "In case you don’t know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person." It's not unlike saying that making mudpies will lead to an army of golems overrunning the village. On his Fox "news" show, where he has to pretend to be sane, Beck turned it into an economic decision: "It's taking the funding out of the private sector and making taxpayers pay for it. In this economy, this is what we're spending our money on? Where are his priorities?" And thus you see where Beck's morality really rests.
Finally, past the evangelical flat-earthers and the paranoiacs, you get to the fuckwads, like Charles Krauthammer, a man who could stand to benefit from a few stem cells. He was invited to the signing ceremony, but declined for a few reasons, one of which bespeaks a man whose mouth is so firmly planted on the former president's ass cheeks that even remoras tell him to give it a rest. Also on Fox "news," Krauthammer (translation: "German cock") said that Obama "had a memorandum which he signed in which he talks about restoring the scientific integrity in government decisions, which was is an outrageous attack on Bush. I disagreed with where Bush ended up drawing the line on permissible research, but he gave in August of 2001 the single most morally serious presidential speech on medical ethics ever given." Yes, nuance and seriousness were the hallmarks of the Bush administration. Even though he agrees with Obama for the most part, Krauthammer continued, "So I think it was disrespectful. And in pretending, as Obama did, that there's never a conflict between ethics and science, he was wrong."
Strangely, the Rude Pundit agrees with Charlie Kraut on this last point. It's just that the conflict's been between science and backwards ass ethics and morality. It's been an irrational conflict, not a science-based one. That difference now is a huge leap forward, an evolution, if you will, in America's attitude towards what is possible to explore.
Update: From Holy Taco, "How the Religious Right Sees Stem Cell Research: A Comic Book."