Friday, July 29, 2005

Frist's stem-cell flip-flop

Hard to believe, but Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician himself, has abandoned Bush and embraced a bill to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. He was way off on Schiavo, and he's spent much of his recent political career cozying up to the relgious right, but, finally, he's right on this one. It is imperative that there be more federal support for stem-cell research to support and complement efforts in the private sector, and Bush now finds himself alienated from both the overwhelming majority of Americans and his own party's majority leader in the Senate. (Bush may still end up vetoing the bill. It would be his first.)

Frist may yet be setting himself up for a presidential run in 2008, and this may or may not hurt his chances (conventional wisdom says it will, given how his allies on the religious right will respond, but I think it actually broadens his appeal), but he's shown some welcome independence here.

See Joe Gandelman's excellent post -- including an impressive round-up of responses in the blogosphere -- here.

Santorum's one thing. Do I now respect Frist, too?

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