Friday, July 29, 2005

Frist Friday


Is Bill Frist running for something?

Maybe presidential candidate from the Democratic Party?

Or to BEAT the Democratic Party?

To the punch?

In a stunning change of course today, Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) explained in a substantial speech on the Senate floor why he would buck the tide of anti-stem cell research sentiment coming from the White House and the more conservative members of the Republican Party. It seems Frist's medical training and scientific mind finally kicked in and made some amends for his nutty posturing in the Terry Shiavo case. Frist IS an MD AND the majority leader, so his announcement carries substantial weight, and it's exactly the sort of momentum Democrats need to seize on now AND HOW.

Well, Dandy Dems, Frist has struck the match, but it's up to US, as the minority party "out of power" and out of big guns (with Dean marginalized as party chair) to take advantage of this and go all the way with it - fan the flames. Make stem cell research an ultimatum. Make Bush look like a fool to uphold his backward opposition. We lay people may not appreciate the intricacies of stem cell research and what we might gain from it, but believe you me, this is the sort of research from which we should never shy away.

What a ku - that's what we've got to do. Intercept Frist's ball, run with it, and come back on such a wave we can gather enough votes to override a Bush veto. Co-opt Frist and a slew of sensible moderates. That's the kind of knock out punch we need to start to take out Bush at the knees - get a few overrides and throw off his "both sides of the aisle" stranglehold. We need an override, and where better to get it than is something as progressive as this? And next, women's reproductive rights. Speak populism to power!

Human ingenuity and the long term good are what a lot of this is about. Quality of life is a moral issue. Health is a family value, you Republican dim wads. And therein lies a moral defense for such research - the key to a rich avenue of discoveries and cures far and wide. Whether it's stem cells or women's rights or separating church and state, the entrenched Republicans haven't got a moral fig leaf to cover their nether regions.

So let's give Senator Frist credit for seeing the light, and let's make it seem Bush and his pompously and pitifully pious bozos look like they are just flat stuck in the dark. We're going to have to make the "enemy" seem dumb, and it wouldn't hurt to pity them as they've found some success in pitying Liberals - as if the L word were the scarlet letter. Uh, uh! We're going to have to make them seem lke they are just that - stuck in the dark, stuck in the past. To do that, we have to be united as a party and as a progressive movement. And we have to make the benefits of medical and scientific research seem clearly good for all. We've got to promote ourselves, proudly, as the party of goodness and light, not greed and darkness. Let's pin those attributes on the Bush World Disorder.

To rescue and resusitate ourselves as a winning political force, we've just got to seize compelling issues and build on them relentlessly, taking in every Frist from the other side of the aisle we can, as they have taken some of our more weakling sorts.

I encourage you to tell your elected officials that we NON-neocons need to be the future-thinking and future-feeling people - with a party standing proudly for US.

We PROgressives need to be the ones defining Progress. It's OUR root word. We've got to own it - and own up to it.



At 7/30/2005 2:43 PM, Blogger Rhesus Pieces said...

Finally, something for the Dems to rally around. It's too bad it didn't come from their own party. What I expect to happen now is for the Dems to back away, criticize Frist, and go on complaining.

The Dems have to stop hating the Reps, calling them stupid, and get to the business of making the world one they want to live in. Lifting the limits on stem cell research is what they want, it's actually what a large portion of the Rep party wants, so let's go get it.

Put aside the petty political differences and get something done. I just don't think they will.

Prove me wrong! Please.

At 8/01/2005 5:25 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Wow! I'm going to agree with Rhesus pieces. The Dems will probably fumble here.

At 8/01/2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

With Harry Reid and the ghost of Tom Daschle in charge, I wouldn't be surprised. But I hope a Dem will come along, a la Howard Dean, to take this bull by the horns. Reid, lead, or get out of the way!

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