Tuesday, July 18: a vomiting-forth of hypocrisy that will live in infamy. As Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum shed crocodile tears for "snowflake children," real ones were dying in Beirut. And Tony Snow got a big chuckle out of your White House press corps as he made a funny instead of talking about the killing. That Tony! What a card.
As families were being slaughtered in Lebanon, "cafeteria Catholic" Rick Santorum was comparing himself to a 100-cell blastocyst. He and Brownback were tag-teaming to prevent the use of those embryonic clusters to cure deadly illnesses. It took Constitution-betrayer Arlen Specter to point out that there are over 400,000 such embryos and yet, despite millions of dollars in taxpayer expenditures, less than 150 have been "adopted."
(Where are those millions and millions of fundamentalist Christians now? Did Jerry Falwell adopt a "snowflake"? Did President Bush? Did Rick Santorum or Sam Brownback? Hmm. Either they don't believe they're "children" either, or they're just as willing to let kids die in a petrie dish as they are in a Lebanon suburb.)
Brownback displayed his now-famous picture, a drawing of these embryos made by an adopted "snowflake child." Then he said, "Are you going to kill me?"
He did not show an actual blastocyst. (They're not so cute.) Nor did he show any pictures of people suffering from Parkinson's disease. Although the religious right claims otherwise, there's every reason to believe that stem cell research will help us treat this disease.
Hey, I deeply respect people who believe that conceived fetuses are people, and whose true "culture of life" demands they protect them. But apparently they're few and far between, as the "adoption" figures prove. And most of 'em don't seem to worry too much about children dying in the Middle East. Funny how that works.
The children that aren't dying over there are being dehumanized by the horror of war. The culture of martyrdom and militancy is now deeply embedded in Palestine. Even children are being indoctrinated into it, creating a would that will take generations to heal, as this fine book documents. Apparently it's happening with Israeli children, too.
And, wait a minute! Wasn't our invasion of Iraq supposed to make this region more peacful? What happened?
(To help you find out, you can win a copy of Paul Reickhoff's book on Iraq - he's been there - by entering my new contest: My Country Went To Iraq And All I Got Was This Lousy Yellow Ribbon.)
Brownback and Santorum are Republicans. Their President's done nothing to avoid this catastrophe in the Middle East. Say what you will about Ralph Nader - and I have - he certainly lays out clearly what the President can and should do about this crisis.
You'd think these Republicans would be gravely concerned about the horror of war. But have you seen the video of Snow and the so-called "journalists" in action?
First Snow pulls the usual neocon trick of dismissing a question with a slur (in this case, that the opinion held by most of the free world is the "Hezbollah view"). Helen Thomas asks why the US vetoed a UN Resolution to stop the violence, but she apparently confuses a vote on Gaza (which we did veto) with a vote about Lebanon (which didn't take place). That gives Snow the chance to dodge her question, although he almost certainly knew which vote she was talking about.
Do her fellow "journalists" jump in to help her by clarifying her important question? Er ... no. Instead, they share a chuckle with Tony as he jokes about the Presiden'ts foul language and stumbles over his own words. There's widespread death in the Middle East? The US refuses to act? Heh, heh. That Tony's such a kidder.
It's odd: when the Republicans aren't on Fox News telling us it's "World War III," they're making a joke out of it. War vs. blastocysts. Guess which one they're talking about?
Here's the actual choice we face. Do we preserve 400,000 of these (which will eventually be destroyed anyway?)
Or do we save her (a Parkinson's sufferer?)
Think of someone you love that has Parkinson's, or another disease that could be cured through stem cell research. I'm thinking of my Uncle Jerry, and my friend Milton D. Who are you thinking of? Picture them, together with the people in these pictures, and then say to yourselves:
"Sen. Brownback, please don't kill me."