Ignoring the current political reality for wishful thinking of bygone days, Politico’s Richard Cohen wrote a nice bluff piece today for Democrat anti-life CO Rep. Diana DeGette, strongly pushing a bill to force taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. Such legislation would render mute the August 23 federal court ruling that federally funded escr violates federal law by killing that law.

Cohen has either not seen or is ignoring (I’d bet the latter) the August 27 Rasmussen poll that showed a stunning reversal of American thought on paying for escr.

While 17 mos. ago a slight majority (52%) supported President Obama’s now-enjoined executive order authorizing public-funded escr, 57% today oppose it. Now, only 1/3 of America (exactly: 33%) support what DeGette is pushing.

I’m sure DeGette knows about the poll but is attempting a bluff, wanting her shaky colleagues and leadership to think public-funded escr is in the bag and that it would be to their political benefit to have a hand in this done deal. From the article:

As Congress prepares to return for a limited pre-election agenda… DeGette… said she has picked up wide support for her bill to permit embryonic stem-cell research and expects it will pass this month. Although it has been strongly opposed by anti-abortion activists, she voiced confidence that the measure will be a political boost for its backers as well as good policy.

Working with her bipartisan allies and with Democratic leaders who want to make sure the bill does not raise objections from pro-life Democrats, DeGette has not resolved all details of the measure. But “the stars are pretty well aligned,” she said. “This is a positive wedge issue. Supporters can use it in an election because there is strong public support and its opponents look extreme.

I refer DeGette’s colleagues back to the Rasmussen poll. Interestingly, the poll indicates Americans don’t have such a moral issue with escr as a fiscal issue with spending their tax dollars on it.

So people are not now arguing about whether embryos are human and even if so whether it would be for the greater good to experiment on them. They’re saying it’s fiscally irresponsible right now to throw money at it, since we have none. (“They” being the critical independent vote.) And so, in fact, public funded escr is a negative wedge issue that enjoys overwhelming public opposition.

As for DeGette’s “bipartisan allies,” way down in Cohen’s piece, in the 2nd-to-last paragraph, we learn those amount to a whopping 2:

DeGette has worked closely with Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) and cites the bipartisan support for her bill. But the 51 cosponsors include only 2 Republicans: Castle and Mark Kirk (R-IL). Coincidentally, both are running for the Senate.

Currently Kirk is losing in the polls to his Democrat counterpart with absolutely zero conservative support. His support of this issue puts him in the negative-zero range, meaning he should begin to anticipate cat calls at rallies.

Meanwhile Castle is much in the news as a Tea Party primary target, with he and DE Republican leaders “scrambling to prevent the possibility” of a “seismic upset.”  Daily Kos reported August 30 that with conservative Christine O’Donnell breathing down Castle’s neck, a debate over public-funded escr “puts Castle in a spot.” I expect Castle is wishing right about now DeGette would shut up and go away.

I equally expect pro-life Democrats – you know, the ones our groups are targeting and beating for supporting Obamacare – are privately telling DeGette the same thing.

To help them along: Call your congressperson today and tell him or her to oppose DeGette’s bill or any measure authorizing taxpayer funding of escr.

[HT: JivinJ, Susie Allen; photo via Politico]

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