Wednesday, October 13, 2004

GOP Hates Superman 

Why am I not surprised about this?

L.A. Weekly has learned that, just a day after the actor’s death, one or more Republican senator put a surprise hold on the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act. The uncontroversial legislation had been expected to sail through committee and then the Senate as easily as it had the House of Representatives where it passed 418 to zero last week. Monday’s action was beyond cruel; it was like opposing Mom and apple pie...

While the rest of the world was mourning Reeve’s tragic death and celebrating his heroic life, on Monday the Republicans cravenly played politics with the actor’s legislation by holding up the bill inside the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — whose GOP members include chairman Judd Gregg (R–New Hampshire), who is running for reelection, and Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), a heart surgeon. Last July, Reeve’s wife, Dana, made a point of traveling to Senator Gregg’s backyard and meeting with the local media in an apparent attempt to keep the pressure on Gregg to move Reeve’s bill through his committee. She told the Portsmouth Herald, "There are no dollars attached to it, and it is just a real ‘feel good’ piece of legislation. How could you not support it?"

But Senate Republicans found a way.

Reeve’s S. 1010 is identical to the already passed HR 1998, aimed at enhancing and furthering research into paralysis and improving rehabilitation and quality of life for those with spinal-cord injuries. But one or more Senate GOPers made it a casualty of George W. Bush’s mission to confine stem-cell research to a paltry few and inadequate lines despite the fact that Reeve’s legislation had nothing to do with that issue. That’s worth repeating: The thespian’s bill had nothing to do with stem-cell research. Not only did the legislation have bipartisan co-sponsorship, Reeve’s foundation cited the support of Bush cabinet member Tommy Thompson, the Health and Human Services secretary.

But one or more Republican senators decided to piss on Reeve’s grave because the dead actor had dared speak out in support of opening up stem-cell research, which Dubya opposes in lockstep with his conservative Christian masters. As someone else with a conscience said to a cruel and reckless U.S. senator half a century ago, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

I'm in no way advocating a Dictatorship or Monarchy, but the problem in our Democracy is that at least 1 out of every 4 years, nothing gets done, specifically because of the upcoming Presidential Election. Everyone (in this case the GOP), has to listen to their polling and is too afraid to piss of their base of support. This Bill has nothing to do with Stem Cells, but the late Christopher Reeve will be punished for his support for it. Who's next on the list to be punished, Michael J. Fox? (However, Alex P. Keaton was a Reaganite)


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