A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 12, 2007

Senate Defies Administration on Stem Cell Research – The Reinvention of the Johnson Congress?

The blood must be in the water as the Senate today passed another bill, which will likely fall to the veto pen of the President. This bill adopts a position to expand federal funding into embryonic stem cells. President Bush has repeatedly said that he would veto such legislation.

By a vote of 63-34, a vote which would not overturn a veto, the Senate voted to lift restrictions to funding for stem cell research. This has happened before, and the President, who has not used the veto too often, did veto that instance. However, today’s vote while certainly in the realm of understandable is another clear sign of the the collision course that the Executive and Legislative branch are running towards.

An interesting move has been made by Minnesota’s Sen. Coleman (R), who has put forward legislation that would allow research upon embryonic stem cells, from embryos which have “died naturally”. The vote passed overwhelmingly 70-28, and President Bush has indicated he would sign this legislation.

Coleman said his bill, supported by the White House, is a “middle-ground solution to move stem cell research in a way that does not harm or destroy human life.”

However, Sen. Coleman doesn’t get the point. The bill sponsored by Sen Tom Harkin (D Iowa) which would not stand to the veto, and in many ways does the same thing, would not create a public spectacle where Congress is taking on the “evil Administration”. As mentioned, the Democrats smell the blood in the water, and it would seem have no intention on giving the President anything to hang his hat on going into the primaries.

This current Congress could be the reinvention of the Johnson (Andrew) Congress, which would send a bill, and the President would veto. Eventually, this lead to impeachment, on charges which were by any fair standare ridiculous, and candidly, the Clinton Impeachment was similarly ridiculous, unless you are the most rabid of partisans, he did not commit a “high crime”. Don’t be surprised if the I word, and I’m not talking about Imus – who was canned from MSNBC earlier today – starts to be sounded out in Congress. Why not, the whole mission of Congress seems to be one of confrontation and not working with Administration towards governance. Johnson’s and in my opinion, Clinton’s Impeachments were not based on high crimes, but on political differences. Maybe the Democrats are reacting to the anger that they weren’t in power for awhile, so maybe they can have their day. As long as they remember, payback, as President Bush is discovering, is quite a pain in the bottom.

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