Sunday, April 09, 2006
Should Dems be the party of the Clones
Jay Bullock, basking in last night's Democrat Love-In, thinks that stem cells should be the issue in this year's gubernatorial campaign.
Is that right? What would the issue be? "Stem cells" or even "stem cell research" does not describe a controversy. There is, of course, no controversy about research and therapy using adult stem cells which are, to date, the only type of stems cells that have proven useful.
Even the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells may go away because it may be possible to "turn" adult cells into embryonic stem cells.
But putting that prospect aside, what has been controversial is the notion of destroying embryos to harvest stem cells and the cloning of human embryos to create additional stem cells or stem cells of a given genetic composition.
The first issue may be about to go away because scientists appear to be on the verge of figuring out how to harvest embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo.
Which leaves us with so-called "therapeutic cloning." Governor Doyle did veto a bill that would have prevented it so he's clearly in the cloning camp. But I am not sure that is a winning issue. Last week, when we discussed this stuff in my law school class, the students who are not a particularly ideological bunch, seemed pretty hinky about creating even cloned embryos. One young woman said that "human cloning gives me the creeps."
Is this the kind of issue that Doyle can ride to victory?
(NB: The picture is not Jay Bullock. Or even Governor Doyle. Its is sports talk guy Jim Rome who, for reasons I have never learned, calls his callers "clones.")