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PERFIDIOUS BILL FRIST

 


By Geoff Metcalf

August 1, 2005

NewsWithViews.com

"Politics is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage." --Ambrose Bierce

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sent shock waves through that 87-square miles surrounded by reality by endorsing a bill to make more embryonic stem-cell research eligible for federal money. It is a significant and ‘expediant’ break with the President who has already indicated he will veto the legislation.

Dwight Eisenhower said, “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.” It is a classic challenge for partisans of every stripe. However, there is no confusion over the perfidious ‘epiphany’ of Frist.

Why would a Senate Majority Leader flip off his party’s president?

The answer is the same ambition and duplicity that has driven Hillary Clinton to reinvent herself for political viability. Neither Frist nor Hillary are expressing the ‘honest dissent’ Ike referred to…this is the ‘disloyal subversion’ variety of do-over. Form over substance/perception versus reality…a ham fisted attempt at a Machiavellian finesse to ‘prepare the battlefield’ for a wannabe presidential contender has synthesized into the sad reality check that Bill Frist is not the principled man sold, but rather a disappointment with feet of clay.

Confusius said, “"To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle." Frist has demonstrated (again) that he lacks both courage AND principle. And this is a guy who reportedly intends to run for president?

This is the same ‘leader’ who repeatedly has revealed the spine of an octopus.

  • Gutless on the democrats judicial filibusters
  • Unable to manage committee chairmen (Dick Luger or Arlen Specter)
  • Unable to control members (Voinovich’s surprise Bolton ‘Borking’)
  • Incapable of controlling ronin Senators (Gang of 14)

Insider sources told me, during the initial Bolton brouhaha, Frist was so focused on preparing for his ’08 Presidential race he couldn’t keep his eye on the ball in the Senate.

To paraphrase Samuel Adams, if you love ambition more than principle…go away. We don’t want or need your counsel. Lick the hand that feeds you (or promises to feed you); “and posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

“Perfidious” is defined as “not true to duty or obligation: disloyal, faithless, false, false-hearted, recreant, traitorous, treacherous, unfaithful, untrue...Sounds like Frist to me!

In his defense, Frist is only doing what politicians do. However, ‘everybody does it’ is a dog that ain’t gonna hunt.

I’m not the Lone Ranger in expressing disappointment, anger and frustration at Frist’s finesse.

  • Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson is torqued. "It is an understatement to say that the pro-life community is disappointed by Sen. Frist's decision …Sen. Frist calls himself a defender of the sanctity of human life -- even though the research he now advocates results, without exception, in the destruction of human life.
  • Cardinal William H. Keeler, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Pro-life Activities, criticized Frist, “Despite the Senator's disclaimers to the contrary, this position is not 'pro-life.'”
  • President of American Life League, Judie Brown, said, "Sen. Bill Frist's announcement that he has reversed his opinion on the expansion of human embryonic stem cell research is beyond repugnant to many in the pro-life community.

Frist knows the president will veto this finesse…because the president has told him so. The only reason to call for expanding federal funding of something that so duplicitous is for political leverage.

The dreamquest promise of embryonic stem-cell research has been mantled in hype and never proven. Government (if they have to get involved…which is arguable) should focus on adult stem-cell research and research into umbilical cord blood, which is already producing treatments.

Reality check:

  • No one has identified any disease that can be treated only with these cells
  • No one even knows whether they will ever provide a safe and reliable treatment for the conditions already being successfully treated using adult stem cells.
  • However, there has already been far more progress in adult stem cell science
  • The promise of embryonic research is being oversold to the public.
  • Even Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal that happens to support embryonic stem cell research, says headlines touting its potential cures are "sensationalist" and "hype."
  • "No safe and effective [embryonic] stem cell therapy will be widely available for at least a decade, and possibly longer," Lancet said.
  • Since 1998, when researchers discovered how to isolate and develop human embryonic stem cells, no human disease or condition has been successfully treated with them.
  • However, adult stem cell research is already being used to safely and effectively treat more than 60 conditions.

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A ‘reasonable’ politician (perhaps an oxymoron) would conclude a superior direction would be to throw money at what is already working…instead of a hyped fantasy that is in fashion.

© 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale


"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail: geoff@geoffmetcalf.com


 

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