Read this, really quick like. Bush’s policy advisor is celebrating a breakthrough in our understanding of stem-cells and chalking it up to his boss’s stance on the issue all along. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that scientists have figured out how to go from skin cells to stem cells. It’ll probably get a lot of people to shut up about it right quick. Nevertheless, there’s something impressive here.

Zinsmeister has made a causal link between Bush’s line against embryonic stem-cell research and this breakthrough. Sure, the need to develop this technology was present because of the fact that evangelicals who are pro-life tend to also be adamantly against destroying embryos to use in research. On the other hand, it seems to me that progress on stem cell technology would have been faster and more efficient had not our fearless leader stood in the way. And something tells me that this is also a technology that might have been worth pursuing in and of itself.

So would this breakthrough technology have been developed were it not for the Bush line? Yes, I think so. Would our understanding of stem cell technology be more extensive were it not for the Bush line? Yes, I think so.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very invested in the idea that there are no causal relationships. But at a purely practical macro level, we need to deal with stuff in the world as if they are causally linked to one another. I expect as much from people who are around to look out for me: my landlord, my mom, my government, and my doctor are all good examples. I expect to go through my daily life on the assumption that if I do thing x which has yielded thing y in the past, I will continue to get thing y.

Yet the Bush administration has taken causal skepticism and run with it. In an impressive display of skeptical extremism, the Bush administration has finally won my admiration and respect. Nothing that Bush has ever done since assuming office has made me feel this way, but I can finally say that my government has made me proud to be an American. Seriously.

Also, as an afterthought: I think at this point they’re just putting out press releases for teh lulz. With approval ratings that low, I’d be doing it, too.

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