The country breathlessly waits to see what new act Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) will drag out next time in the ongoing debate for stem cell research.
This past Monday, Brownback wheeled the whole production into the Senate, topped by an enormous picture apparently drawn by a seven-year old girl who apparently had been a frozen embryo cell in her early youth. Congress hasn't seen a routine like this since Benjamin Franklin blew them away on one knee with "Danny Boy."
Brownback also delivered a monologue which the child apparently had with herself, grateful for not being killed when she was a "snowflake." He pleaded with people to adopt these snowflakes so that they can grow into, apparently, larger snowballs, and then full-fledged snowmen. And snowwomen.
Unfortunately for Mr. Brownback, early reports are that the American public is not leaping out of its seats to adopt the 400,000 frozen embryos cells in existence. While one would think that right-to-life proponents would flock to fertility clinics and line up with their Thermos containers and dry ice to take home their own personal snowflake with its right to life, this just hasn't happened. As a result, these nearly half-a-million frozen embryos cells are slated to be disposed of, rather than saving 100 for medical research that has the potential to cure many of humanity's most heart-breaking and devastating medical ills.
In desperate response, prior to leading the veto override debate, Sen. Brownback came up with an alternative plan: matchmaking. He returned to the Senate floor with a little dish of sperm, a saucer of harvested eggs and a tape recording of some mellow Barry White. The Senator tenderly pushed the two containers next to one another, adjusted the lighting to something more romantic and dumped the two together. Ever the showman, he tapdanced a bit, did some juggling, sang a verse of "Danny Boy," and then addressed his colleagues.
I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine. There's Larry, Tom, Little Billy, Ramon, Chet, M. Night, and, swimming over there, Steve. He just loves to swim. It's the only thing he does all day. His goal is to be in the Olympics, he says.
And over here, in this dish, there's Tiffany, Tiffany, Britney, Mulan, Tiffany, Mary Kate and Tiffany. Just think, one day they all will be mothers with snowflakes of their own.
There are so many of them in here, hundreds and hundreds, I wish you could see how well they're all hitting it off with one another. Look at Little Billy give Tiffany over there a back rub. It's so cute, imitating the President and German Chancellor Merkel. Except that Tiffany seems to like it.
While it's adorable that the Senator from Kansas is bringing in crayon drawings from children to help make laws, the trouble is that when you do that, you end up getting infantile laws.
And while it's touching that the Senator creates warm and tender Hallmark card dialogue (except for the "Please, please don't kill me" part) between the former snowflake and the world, it's not unreasonable to assume that sometime down the line, God forbid, if this child tragically develops juvenile diabetes, leukemia, cancer, Parkinson's Disease or Alzheimer's, she might become a major proponent for doing medical research on those about-to-be-destroyed frozen embryo cells.
By the way, there's a reason there are 400,000 frozen embryos cells, originally intended for in vitro fertilization, but now no longer needed and about to be discarded. It's because no one has adopted them. Making a heart-rending plea for adoption looks great on your campaign video, but the reality is (ah, that ever-pesky reality) that no one wants to adopt them. (Waking up at 3 AM to feed a crying frozen embryo cell gets old after a while.) That's why there are 400,000. It just sort of works out that way.
And while the Senator from Kansas thinks it's great shtick to bring in a flow chart drawn by a former snowflake, imagine another Senator bringing in a roomful of actual children stricken with actual diseases that have left them actually debilitated - muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and more. Each adorable child carrying their own adorable drawing that says, "Don't kill me either, and I can tell that to you face to face, if you'd care to discuss it or at least just look me in the eye. Because I actually have eyes, and a face, and a heart."
While all the Senator from Kansas has is shtick. And hope - that he doesn't get diabetes, leukemia, cancer, Parkinson's Disease or Alzheimer's.