The news that scientists have come up with a new way to generate stem cells that wouldn't destroy human embryos did little to alter the American public's regard for the research. A Newsweek poll conducted this week on the streets of Washington, D.C. shows just as many dumb-asses oppose it now as did in October 2004, and for the same dumb-ass reasons.
Forty-six percent of the opposition has a high school education or less and concede their understanding of the issues surrounding stem cell research "ain't that good." When asked to comment on this percentage mirroring the high-school dropout and illiteracy rates, President Bush said, "Any use of high school drop-outs for research purposes raises serious ethical questions."
Forty-eight percent of those polled said embryonic stem-cell research is a good idea and 40 percent said it sucked. Of those polled, 40 percent were able-bodied and 48 percent were wheelchair-bound or aided with the use of a cane, crutch, or walker.
During polling, 33 percent of the able-bodied made vocal fun of their disabled counterparts, shouting comments such as "Hey Citizen Cane, is that a stem cell in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" and "Why do they call it a walker when you can't walk?" When the Newsweek pollster, himself wheelchair-bound, came out of a local restaurant with a to-go container in his lap, one of the polled men who had come out against stem cell research was heard to say, "Look, meals on wheels!"
Moments later, the restaurant owner called 911 when he saw glints of steel and spurts of blood outside his establishment. Upon arrival, paramedics found 13 people in need of stiff boards who had previously been seen walking unassisted. Three disabled persons were arrested for simple assault, and a man refusing to remove his sunglasses was released after being questioned about the bits of clothing hanging from his unleashed dog's mouth.
When the polling was resumed, 58 percent of the remaining and opposed defended their position, saying God wouldn't like it, or Allah wouldn't like it, or Tom Cruise wouldn't like it. Twelve percent said their name was Tom Cruise. Three percent asked that God also be polled as he was alleged to have been standing right there. Allah could not be reached for comment.
Forty-nine percent objected to stem cell research being funded with public monies. While being polled, 67 percent of those opposed to public funding made and received numerous phone calls wherein they were heard asking, "Where's my money, mother fucker?" Initially thought to be calls with drug dealers, the Newsweek reporter who accompanied the pollster discovered those on the other end of the phone calls were congressional leaders.
Twenty-one percent of those polled said they knew someone with a disease or disability who might benefit from the research. Of these, four percent said they still opposed the research based on Tom Cruise's assessment of the late Christopher Reeve's ventilator dependence as "pseudoscience."
Cruise made the comment last week in a now famous interview with NBC Dateline's John Hockenberry. Cruise was said to have misunderstood John's reference to studio executive Izzy Furee's comment that Cruise "can get all his perks back when he agrees to make Top Gun 2, in a jet, wearing an oxygen mask."
After pointing out that Cruise had confused the name "Izzy Furee" with “Christopher Reeve" and Izzy's reference to oxygen, Cruise became visibly excited and breathlessly insisted, "John, John, John, John, John, John, you don't know the history of oxygen. I do." After Cruise hyperventilated and fell to the floor, Hockenberry rolled over him, the back wheel of his wheelchair snagging the hinge that held what is now known as Cruise' electronic brain in place. Wanna-be widow Katie Holmes has announced his memorial service will be a small affair, to be held upon a privately funded space shuttle scheduled to launch in the coming days from an undisclosed location at Area 51.
The entire stem cell research debate may not be of political concern much longer and isn't much of a voting concern now. America's attention deficit disorder has kicked in with regard to the issue with a whopping fifty-five percent of registered voters saying they care, but only when talking to pollsters. Seventeen percent of voters openly admit they don't care about their candidate's position on stem cell research, and 22 percent show up and vote for whomever has the catchiest name.
President Bush remains rigid on the issue of stem cell research, despite the breakthrough, saying "This technique does not resolve my concerns, and don't ask me what those concerns are, either! God almighty, I can't get a friggin' break from these people. What? Jesus Christ, if you can tell me what to say, you can sure as hell tell me when to stop saying it! Clear your throat, wave a flag, something, anything. When's lunch?”
Newsweek's poll showed 31 percent of Americans think Bush's handling of the issue is just dandy, while 52 percent think he's the reason scientists now know stem cells can be extracted without destroying a potentially big fat crybaby.