PJ O’Rourke is dealing with cancer, right now, so if he wanted to, he could defend the president’s recent executive order promoting (with his typical strawmen and ungenerously snide references to his predecessor) the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. He could wail and weep “poor me, I might need this research. I might get healed with it, and since the world is all about me, me, me, we should take this big moral jump and try! For me!”
O’ Rourke could ignore the fact that embryonic stem cell research (which did go on during the Bush years, despite the false narrative that is never corrected) has thus far yielded no effective therapies (but plenty of nightmares, despite the false narrative that is never corrected).
He could ignore the fact that if anything good was coming out of Embryonic stem cell research private capital would have been fighting all along (as they were perfectly, legally, able to do these past 8 years) to invest in the game instead of avoiding it like plague, while calling the president “heroic” (as the WH did) for “flicking his wrist” and creating a law.
He could do that, and immediately some “compassionate” sorts would jump on the opportunity to cry for him and bolster their case against lives less obvious.
But to his immense credit, O’ Rourke goes in the other direction and chooses to engage in some intellectual honesty. Brutally.
He doesn’t even mention his illness. He simply, flat-out savages the president’s reason, rhetoric and reliability.
O’ Rourke essentially calls the president a liar.
Of course, for the past 8 years, that’s been a noble and patriotic endeavor, but in the current climate, O’ Rourke is dancing with a charge of “treason,” at least from the Jon Stewart set.
So, come you ladies and gents – if this be treason make the most of it – read every brilliant, scathing word, and then pass it on. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Speak them to your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
The piece is too good, too powerful to excerpt in any measure.
Read it. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Speak them to your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
Truth. Brilliant, light-filled and transfiguring. And it has nothing to do with the usual pro-life cant. His is not a religious argument. It is the stuff that can reach the broken human heart and rouse it with reason, when all the “stale-seeming” religious arguments have merely slammed the chambers shut.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more, and some of the comments are interesting. There are a few suggesting that O’Rourke is “against science.” That’s one of those absurd straw men. O’ Rourke is merely pointing out that in every age, the scientific community claims – by virtue of it BEING the “scientific community” with an assumed corner on reason – that it has the most correct, up-to-the minute understanding of things. And then succeeding generations prove that what science “knew” all those years before was “bunkem.” Just as one does not have to be “against modern Western medicine” to recognise that its “primacy” is only about 130 years old, one does not have to be “anti-science” to suggest that “science” gets plenty of things quite wrong. One need only be honest.
But who wants to be honest when it’s so much easier to smear anyone who disagrees with a succinct “hater” label. It’s not honest or accurate, but it is expedient, after all. And the current zeitgeist seems to be about expediency over honesty or reason.
By the way, religion is not against science, either. Science is against religion, but the feeling is not mutual. Religion just wants science to consider balancing itself with reason and philosophy, while science wants the see-saw all to itself.
Related: Sorry Mom, can we use part of your baby?