President Bush’s declaration that he would veto any legislative effort to expand embryonic stem cell research puts his Republican Party between a rock and a hard place politically, making the GOP appear morally and ethically out of touch with the majority of Americans.
The hard line that Bush and his conservative allies have taken on the stem cell issue could backfire just as the hothouse politicizing of the Terri Schiavo case did. In the latter case the White House and some GOP members of Congress took an unequivocal stand on a volatile life-or-death issue. Surveys found it unpopular with the general public.
In comments May 20, Bush said that while he is a “strong supporter” of research using adult stem cells, he had “made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers’ money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is—I’m against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it.”