STEM CELLS….Steve Benen notes today that last year the House passed legislation to liberalize embryonic stem cell research. In the Senate, Bill Frist said he supported the bill and would bring it up for a vote. It’s a measure that has broad bipartisan support and is extremely popular with the public.

So what happened to it? Well, George Bush claims he’ll veto it. If he does, it will show up the Republican Party as captives of the Christian right, unwilling to support promising scientific research for fear of offending a small band of blastocyst rights extremists. Conversely, if he signs it, it will send James Dobson and Pat Robertson into hysterics and Republicans can kiss the 2006 midterms goodbye.

Thus Bill Frist’s strategy: run and hide. Pretty gutty bunch, these Republicans, aren’t they?