The most promising treatments have come from ethical research using adult stem cells. Many people are confused by terminology here. Adult stem cells don’t have to come from adult people. They can be found even in umbilical cords of newborn children. Even the mothers’ placentas are rich sources of adult stem cells. We see daily breakthroughs coming from adult stem cell research. Many of the headline grabbers speak of stem cells being used for this or that promising treatment—even as they fail to note that the stem cells used were adult.
The Republican Party has billed itself as the pro-life alternative to a militantly pro-abortion Democratic Party since 1976. Since 1980, every Republican Platform has affirmed that “the unborn child has a right to life that cannot be infringed.” The last two Republican platforms, 2004 and 2008, have explicitly condemned cloning-to-kill, as envisioned by Castle-DeGette.
In the interests of party unity, the pro-life majority in the GOP has gone along with many a “RINO,” hoping that Republicans like Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe could at least be relied upon to stand with us against abortion funding and in favor of originalist judges. But Mike Castle went far beyond even these liberal Republicans.
Conservative Republicans are willing to work with Democrats on Capitol Hill. Think back to the famous Gramm-Latta legislation of 1981. Conservative Democrat Phil Gramm teamed with Ohio GOPer Del Latta to give us the famous Reagan tax cuts (and, not incidentally, three decades of growth and prosperity).
Where we get into trouble is when Republicans in Congress embrace the left-most Democrats. Think of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation. That bill muzzled conservative groups like the NRA, the National Right to Life Committee, and Family Research Council. McCain-Feingold gave free rein to the New York Times, Dan Rather, and Chris Matthews. Not only was that legislation an assault on the First Amendment and largely struck down by conservative judges in the courts, but it also helped to sink John McCain’s own presidential run.
Castle-DeGette is another example of left and lefter legislation. Delaware Republicans signaled to the national GOP establishment that they have had enough. Those voters did not set fire to the Big Tent. But they did say that some things are simply beyond the pale of what can be accepted. To have high profile nominees of the party embracing the left-most positions on human life is simply intolerable. President Kennedy said it well: “Sometimes party unity demands too much of us.”