Monday, August 01, 2005

A Change of Heart?

I saw the news item last week and just this article about Bill Frist endorsing government funded stem cell research. Perhaps I am being too cynical about this, but I cannot help but feel that this decision is political opportunism. According to the article, Republicans close to Frist said he "came to his decision after consulting with scientists at Stanford University and elsewhere and watching biomedical research advance overseas." Frist's move to endorse the bill shocked and infuriated many Christian conservatives that have long been his supporters. He is opposed to abortion and all federal funding for abortion. So why would someone so opposed to abortion side with the more liberal view in that gray area of stem cell research? These two facts may give some indication: Many stories mention Frist as a potential 2008 presidential candidate. In addition, the article above points out that "recent polls [show] that some two-thirds of Americans support embryonic stem cell research and a majority favor fewer restrictions on taxpayer funding for it."

Perhaps Frist truly does believe in supporting stem cell research. I can't shake the feeling, though, that he is trying to establish a false record as a moderate, similar to Bush's "compassionate conservative."


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