Focus Point - Stem Cell ResearchCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 27, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Did George W. Bush make the right decision on federal funding for stem cell research? Or did he make a decision calculated to completely please no one?
Bush, after careful consideration, decided there's enough promise to proceed cautiously -- cautiously being the key word. Federal funds can be used to underwrite research on existing cell samples, but not on new operations that involve the destruction of thus-far uncollected human embryos.
It strikes me as a wise compromise, the work of a thoughtful politician who's willing to upset his hardcore backers and unreconstructed detractors equally. If the research bears fruit down the line, more funds can be made available. If not, Bush hasn't opened the floodgates of government money and approval.
In Stuart Stevens' wonderful new book about the bush campaign, "The Big Enchilada," he observes that Bush, almost alone among presidential candidates, made policies-as-campaign-promises that he expected to govern by. This decision shows he's also capable of weighing new information and making new decisions.
And not one poll result in sight.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, capital gains.