Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich may be resigned to losing today’s Florida’s primary, but that won’t stop the pandering.
Gingrich’s latest attempt to chum the conservative base over the weekend when he told churchgoers in Florida that as president he would ban all stem cell research because it is the “use of science to desensitize society over the killing of babies.”
This is a new low for Gingrich who had previously been a strong advocate of federal funding for scientific research. In 2001 it was his support that helped facilitate extending research on stem cells to those that were derived from human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization efforts. Now candidate Gingrich is questioning whether those embryos should be left over in fertility clinics to begin with.
“If you have in vitro fertilization you are creating life. And therefore we should look seriously at what should the rules be for clinics that do that because they’re creating life,” Gingrich said.
While this is a shameful retreat from reasonableness for Gingrich, his position comes as no surprise in 2012. Republicans have become the flat-earth party, rejecting science as the enemy of faith and refusing to support any policy that might challenge dogma. Any candidate that wants the Republican presidential nomination is going to need the hard right to get that nomination. In a time when technology is drastically changing the way we understand and interact with the world, and when research and investment into the public health sector can be the difference in finding the cure to Alzheimer’s or cancer, the “intellectual” of the Republican field wants to pull the plug in publicly funded research that creates jobs and can save lives all because christian conservatives insist on calling a dish of cells a baby. In 2012. Amazing.
Photo from kaibara87 via flickr.