STEM CELLS….Excellent news on the stem cell front: even Republicans want to ditch George Bush’s lame and indefensible restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. In a recent poll of Republicans ? in which 90% approved of Bush’s performance in general ? a solid 57% said they favored embryonic stem cell research.

What will Bush do? Legislation to open up stem cell research is widely supported even by Republicans and it has broad support in both the House and Senate too. So if a bill lands on his desk, does he sign it or veto it?

I hope he signs it. Not only is it the right thing to do, but I’m pretty convinced that embryonic stem cell research is the wedge that will eventually kill the absurdly reductionist “life begins at conception” nonsense that fuels so much rage among the religious right in America. No sensible discussion of abortion will be possible until then, so anything that hastens that day is something to pray for.