Stem cells is scary issue for GOP, Tea Party | Wis.Community

Stem cells is scary issue for GOP, Tea Party

Tom Barrett has injected stem cell research into the race for governor, saying he would champion it, as Gov. Jim Doyle has done.

"My concern is you have candidates for office . . . who want to inject politics into science," said Barrett. "I think it would be a huge mistake to allow an ideological agenda to stop the work that's being done here."

The candidates for office he referred to were the GOP candidates for governor, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, who both oppose embryonic stem cell research.

Wisconsin has been on the cutting edge of stem cell research, which makes it even more problematic for the Repubs. Research done here boots the state economy, the state university, and creates jobs.

The issue is not as prominent nationally as it was in 2006, when Doyle hung it like an anchor around the neck of his his opponent, Mark Green. But it remains a potent issue, as conservative blogger (and losing Assembly candidate) Jo Engelhoff realizes:

So the Dems are playing the embryonic stem cell card again. And well they would – it worked last time. Really worked. Remember the Michael J. Fox ad? Mark Green was a killer, denying life-saving research for your family member and mine...

It was a useless strategy in 2006 for the Mark Green group to argue the productivity of adult stem cells...

Stem cell scare tactics will be used by the Dems effectively; it’s going to be a problem. I hope the campaign experts are busy preparing brown bags and tough (cute, serious, meaningful, constructive, fanciful, visionary?) ads to counter this stuff.

They're not scare tactics, of course. What Barrett is doing, like Doyle did, is pointing out a fact -- that the Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue that offers hope to many Americans suffering from debilitating diseases.

Good luck with countering that with a brown bag.

We haven't yet heard from the Senate candidates on the issue, but it's a pretty safe bet that a candidate who says he welcomes global warming, like Ron Johnson, isn't going to risk his Right-To=Life endorsement by supporting embryonic stem cell research.

Where does the Tea Party stand on the issue? Does this anti-government, pro-"freedom" movement want the government to interfere in what could be life-saving research? Politics isn't all about taxes and spending. There are many other critical issues, like stem cell research, that affect how people vote. Sooner or later, the Tea Partiers are going to have to recognize that and take some positions on issues that matter to a big chunk of the electorate.


June 23, 2010 - 10:26am