Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Stem Cell Bill Vetoed

Everyone knows that by now. But you have to see this video of Sen. Sam Brownback, quite possibly the looniest man in the Senate (and with Santorum and Robert Byrd around, that’s saying a lot) and his special chart during the debate on the bill. It has a child’s drawing of embryos with sad faces and happy faces.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    July 20, 2006

    I think he owes royalties to Stephen Colbert for this…

  2. #2 nicole
    July 20, 2006

    The best part is the way he repeatedly refers to Hannah’s drawing as a “chart.”

  3. #3 Daniel Morgan
    July 20, 2006

    Yes, indeed, when an embryo smiles at me, I will choose not to do research on it. When it asks me not to kill it, I won’t.

    BUT…I will flush it down the shitter, since I can’t do research on it.

    Thank Jeebus for logic!

  4. #4 kemibe
    July 20, 2006

    As flagrant as Brownback’s cognitive impairment appears to be, I maintain that in a sea of right-wing idiocy, the crown jewel of insanity was spat from the lips of Tony Snow:

    “The simple answer is he thinks murder’s wrong. The president is not going to get on the slippery slope of taking something living and making it dead for the purposes of scientific research.”

    When I read that, I can hear mammoth bombs go off, see huge cracks appear in the earth, smell roasting human flesh, and hear the unholy screams of the fucked and the damned, all set to the backdrop of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” spinning at 78 RPM. And when I read it a second time…

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2006


    Very nice graphic description. It reminds me a bit of Patton Oswalt’s routine about armageddon, where menstrual blood rained from the sky as Avril Lavigne recited the script from Good Will Hunting.

  6. #6 Matthew
    July 20, 2006

    Isn’t what he says at the first part of that clip a lie? I thought embryotic stem cell research would take the embryos which aren’t going to be adopted; the ones whose next stop is the garbage bin. It wouldn’t affect adoption in any way, right?

    I thought it was pretty funny, if not disgusting, the way Bush brought along children to the annoucement to use as human shields. Even though everyone invited were yes men. It would have been more appropriate if he had brought a few trash cans with him as well.

  7. #7 Julia
    July 20, 2006

    “I thought embryotic stem cell research would take the embryos which aren’t going to be adopted; the ones whose next stop is the garbage bin. It wouldn’t affect adoption in any way, right?”

    This is a good question, and I too would like to know. I’ve been looking, but haven’t been able to find a clear answer yet. Where would the embryos come from for the stem cell research? If the only source would be embryos that are about to be destroyed, that is a very powerful argument and ought to be stressed to the public far more than it is. But is it correct?

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2006

    The law specified that the only embryos that could be used for such research had to be extra embryos from IVF clinics. In fact, I think the bill specifically banned embryo farming.

  9. #9 Jeremy
    July 20, 2006

    Didn’t any senators have the moxie to stand up, even for just one minute, and say that this was a strawman and that these embryos would have been discarded? I mean, shit, the vote passed easily, but Bush vetoed it.

  10. #10 Matthew
    July 20, 2006


    I watch CSPAN from time to time. I didn’t see this debate, but I can tell you from watching others that when an issue falls down partisan lines, and most of them do, both sides have talking points that they go over and don’t respond to anything that the other side has brought up as rebuttal. It’s almost comical to watch, actually. Almost. If it weren’t for the fact that they are wasting our money by even being there when no real debate is taking place.

  11. #11 mark
    July 20, 2006

    I bet that “chart” was produced by some PR firm that did a study to determine what styles produced the most “oohs” and “ahhs.” Has anyone looked into that? Or else the beautiful child had a little help, sort of like what the facilitated communication practitioners provide.
    I still think Barney Frank or (someone with similar qualifications) should have stood up and said, “I’m gay. I used to be an embryo. Why do you hate me, Mr. President?”

  12. #12 Anonymous
    July 20, 2006


    I love that Patton Oswalt bit – I’m glad someone else remembers it. Though I’m pretty sure it was the script from Patch Adams.

  13. #13 Skemono
    July 20, 2006

    Regarding the stem cell bills, Professor Myers posted the text of them a few days ago.

  14. #14 kehrsam
    July 21, 2006

    The obvious compromise has been missed: Declare the embryos to be “Enemy Combatants.” That way, nothing done to them can be classed as torture or murder.

    Of course, if we could actually produce embryos with zygotes harvested from the bodies of suicide bombers, that would be even better. Especially if they had trained on paintball. That way we’d just be eliminating little terrorist “cells.”

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