Bill Frist has announced that he is going to back legislation on stem cell research. Oh for joy – the voice of reason from the far right! HA! I mean on the surface that’s what it is – but what does it mean? The question the press is asking is, “what will this do to Bill Frist’s chances on a bid for the White House”? I’m not sure but perhaps he is just trying to make up for this risky manuever in other ways. I would have missed this news (which I just found by doing a news search) had I not gotten a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer the other day describing Frist’s senate floor shenanigans:
Late Tuesday night, Republican Leader Bill Frist interrupted Senate debate on the defense authorization bill, abruptly changing gears to call up a different piece of legislation that apparently demanded our immediate consideration.
Senator Frist assured us that this was a “very important” bill that absolutely required action before the Senate’s August recess. Surely Senator Frist would only postpone consideration of the defense authorization bill until September for a very good reason, right?
So was Senator Frist calling up legislation to fix our broken health care system? No.
Was it a bill to improve education for our kids? Nope
Strengthening Social Security? No, not that either.
No, instead of finishing our work on the defense authorization bill during a time of war, Senator Frist and his buddies over at the National Rifle Association decided it was critically important to consider new legislation shielding gun manufacturers from civil liability lawsuits, and to do it right now.
Can there be a better example of how upside-down the radical right wing’s priorities are, and why we need to return control of Congress to the Democrats?
So it would appear that Frist is just covering his tracks or rebuilding his alliances or schmoozing the slightly less conservative right. Maybe a person sick with cancer got to him (Arlen Specter?) but considering the magnitude of the political gamble he is taking I doubt his vote has anything to do with compassion or reason. His kind just doesn’t work that way. If it did then he wouldn’t be playing 11th hour political games with the NRA. In fact, if he were using reason he wouldn’t have stepped into the Terri Schiavo case with arm chair, video based dianostic pronouncement and he wouldn’t have opposed stem cell research to begin with. No – the guy has a different agenda and it is surely slimey and dark. I’ve come to expect no less from the current band of Federalist Society puppeteers running our country.