Stewart Punches Hole In Bush's "Pro-Life" Universe, Offers Absurd Advice For Absurd Times
Is there a link between the Iraq War and embryonic stem cell research?
Jon Stewart and the folks at The Daily Show think so. And on last night's episode, Stewart made a pretty convincing argument:
How can a president so ardently proclaim his "pro-life" beliefs -- critics would say its political payback to religious right leaders who helped him get to the White House -- and at the same time act so nonchalant describing the "30,000, more or less," dead Iraqis during the war, presumably including several thousand innocents among them.
Stewart, timing his argument to President Bush's veto -- the first of his presidency -- of popular legislation supporting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, provides a seemingly absurd answer for those upset with the veto. But from Stewart's perspective -- and no doubt Daily Show fans agree -- these are absurd times, and as a result, maybe an absurd response shouldn't be discounted.
Here's an unofficial transcript from last night's show:
STEWART: White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the president's veto showed no moral ambiguity.
SNOW (from Wednesday's press conference): The simple answer is: He thinks murder's wrong.
STEWART: Wow. Uh, well, Tony Snow is right about one thing. That is a pretty simple answer. But is there any way to say that with more condescension or self-righteousness?
SNOW: What the president has said is he doesn't want human life destroyed. Now you may consider that insignificant ...
STEWART: You may consider that insignificant. You may have a baby juicer at home, where newborns are squashed to provide you and your hippie friends fresh baby smoothies. Uh, but as far as we're concenred, flattening babies for their sweet sweet nectar is wrong.
BUSH (from Oct. 13, 2004, presidential debate): I think it's important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a scoiety where every being counts and every person matters.
STEWART: Every being counts. Every person matters.
BUSH (from Dec. 12, 2005, press conference): How many Iraqi citizens have died ... in this war? Um ... I would say 30,000, more or less.
STEWART: Each one, precious. Each one, each one, sacred-ish. As it turns out, there seems to be a bit of a loophole in the "culture of life" promotion thing. When spreading democracy, more absolute gets a little wiggle room.
SNOW: It is one of the horrible side effects that civilians do get injured and killed, and that is one of the lamentable things.
STEWART: It's not murder. It's lamentable side effect. The upset stomach and diarrhea of freedom, if you will. So when it comes to the theory, when it comes to the theory that embyronic stem cells can help the fight against disease ...
BUSH (Aug. 12, 2004, interview with CNN's Larry Knig): This country has to be very careful on destroying life to save life.
STEWART: And when it comes to the theory that military intervention can promote Middle East democracy ...
SNOW: In a situation like this, you don't want to create undue carnage with civilians.
STEWART: Yes, you want to create due carnage with civilians. You know what I'm saying: The carnage they had coming.
So if I may offer just a touch of advice for advociates of stem cell research: stop calling it stem cell research. You, my friends, are now on the front lines in the "War on Terrorble Diseases." Yes my friends, if I may be so bold, we as a nation have been attacked by Osama Bin Parkinson's. (Shows ultraviolet scan of brain diseased by Parkinson's.) It actually makes sense, look at a brain scan of a Parkinson's patient, (Shows ultraviolet image of Osama Bin Laden.) it kind of looks like Osama, a little bit. Osama Bin Parkinson's and his evil cohort: Mahmoud Al-zheimer's. We'll fight them in vitro, so we don't have to fight them here. I'm not saying we're going to deploy these stem cells indefinitely, but when paralyzed patients stand up, we will stand down. Good night. God Bless America. We'll be right back.
BUSH (May 31, 2005, speech): This is the issue before us, and that is whether or not we use taxpayer's money to destroy life.
BUSH (Dec. 12, 2005, press conference): I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis.