A Difficult Decision for Libertarians

I just don’t know how libertarians are going to react to this:

Days after actor Michael J. Fox appeared in a TV ad urging Missouri voters to support stem cell research, opponents will unveil their own commercial during the World Series Wednesday night.

The Cardinals’ starting pitcher for Game 4, Jeff Suppan, is among several celebrities who appear in the minute-long ad. Others include Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, Kansas City Royals player Mike Sweeney and two actors _ Patricia Heaton of TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” and Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.”

“Amendment 2 claims it bans human cloning, but in the 2,000 words you don’t read, it makes cloning a constitutional right,” Suppan says in the commercial. “Don’t be deceived.”

Amendment 2 would provide constitutional protections for embryonic stem cell research in Missouri. The 30-second spot featuring Fox, 45, who sways uncontrollably in the ad due to his Parkinson’s disease, is actually a commercial for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill.

But the Senate race and stem cell issue are intertwined _ McCaskill’s Republican opponent, Sen. Jim Talent, opposes the stem cell measure.

Such a dilemma- what is a libertarian to do when faced with this situation? I mean, on the one hand, you have a guy with Parkinson’s who has dedicated the last decade to raise money for the disease, someone who has studied the disease, and is convinced that embryonic stem cell research has a good deal of potential for a cure.

On the other hand, you have a MLB pitcher, a washed up NFL QB, and an actress, all of whom think that embryonic stem cell research makes the Baby Jesus cry.

I guess you will just have to vote against stem cell research and for the Republican, even if you ostensibly support the research, because of the sexual McCarthyism of the left.

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83 replies
  1. 1
    Bombadil says:

    On the other hand, you have a MLB pitcher, a washed up NFL QB, and an actress, all of whom think that embryonic stem cell research makes the Baby Jesus cry.

    And the grown-up Jesus is in the ad, too (looking none the worse for wear, of course).

    Charlie Pierce had a good take on it:

    So, if you’re keeping score at home, it is now Alex P. Keaton vs: a) the star of Mel Gibson’s Galilean snuff film; b) a guy who was lucky to escape the New England Patriots alive; c) the best player on a worthless baseball franchise; d) Mrs. Raymond, and e) the pitcher who singlehandedly turned the 2004 World Series toward the Boston Red Sox. (Thanks again, Jeff.)

  2. 2
    canuckistani says:

    I know how I’m going to react – by projectile vomiting.

  3. 3
    Andrew says:

    That’s kind of freaky — Jesus-boy speaking in Aramaic?

  4. 4

    There’s also an interest group supporting the stem cell amendment that has been running ads with John Danforth. Danforth says the claims of cloning are lies.

    It’s interesting that the Republicans are so out of ideas that to debate something they have to lie.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Blue Neponset says:

    Baby Jesus is pretty colic-y, maybe Missiouri voters should think about what to do to fix that before they pass any fancy constitutional amendments?

  7. 7

    And the grown-up Jesus is in the ad, too (looking none the worse for wear, of course).

    That fucker got struck by lightning. I think the Lord was trying to tell us all something about Mel Gibson’s film.

  8. 8
    jcricket says:

    Dear Tiny Jesus:

    Thank you for saving the stem cells from the America-hating Democrats and washed-up-actors turned fake-Parkinson-sufferers. And please forgive me for my sins, I think I may have choked my mistress out of rage at the thought of snowflake-baby-killing Democrats winning the election.

    But to John’s point, Libertarians, will make some “noise” about how this is just a terrible over-regulation of free enterprise and then vote Republican because Democrats might raise taxes on the rich or enforce some regulations or something else icky.

    Libertarianism is just a spoonful of “sugar” (social libertarian beliefs) to help you ignore the “medicine” (tax cuts/regulatory elimination) they believe we all need. The sugar’s a distraction. They appear to have some sort of intellectual consistency because they fund think-tanks, wear bow-ties and produce charts & graphs. It’s just an act because “I got mine, now suck it” doesn’t sell well in the Heartland.

  9. 9

    Plus, Michael J. Fox is faking it. I have it on good authority from Rush Limbaugh.

    So that settles it- phony Jesus for President!

  10. 10
    norbizness says:

    They’re lucky Suppan is having a good postseason. Also, wasn’t Jesus reincarnated as Bobby Jones?

  11. 11

    Libertarianism is just a spoonful of “sugar” (social libertarian beliefs) to help you ignore the “medicine” (tax cuts/regulatory elimination) they believe we all need. The sugar’s a distraction. They appear to have some sort of intellectual consistency because they fund think-tanks, wear bow-ties and produce charts & graphs. It’s just an act because “I got mine, now suck it” doesn’t sell well in the Heartland.

    So, Mary Poppins is a Republican-voting Libertarian?

  12. 12
    Andrew says:

    Perhaps embryonic stems cells will, one day, allow us to regrow the missing parts of Paul L.’s brain.

    One can imagine Paul L., circa 1944:

    Conventional High Explosives: 19,021,090, So-called “Atomic” Weapons: 0.

  13. 13
    Mike S says:

    I watched the ad last night and couldn’t stop laughing. Jim Caviesal speaking aramahic was just too damned funny.

  14. 14
    jcricket says:

    People who write shit like this have no business involved in scientific decision making:

    Adult Stem Cells: 72, Embryonic Stem Cells: 0

    I happen to work for a research institution (cancer) and this kind of “I read a report that one line of research currently looks better so let’s get rid of the rest” is fundamentally ignorant of how basic science works. I’m not saying we should fund everything, no matter how crazy (the moon is not going to turn out to be a source of fine cheese). But it can take 10-15 years before basic science is commercially viable, and during that time there are lots of twists and turns. Things that look initially promising, can turn into dead ends, and dead-ends can turn into blockbuster breakthroughs.

    An entire area of basic science (which is what all stem cell research is now, including embryonic) should not be curtailed because some people (who are not scientists) are morally uncomfortable (based on misrepresentations of what stem cells are) or because the past few years of embryonic stem cell research hasn’t turned into “InstaCures” for everyone.

    Let’s also remember that past few years of embryonic research have also been significantly curtailed because of the very misguided political/religiously driven policies people are now seeking to further cement.

  15. 15
    jaime says:

    Paul L. ESC reseach is less than a decade old. That whole 72-0 is bullshit.

    You know what? We just mapped the human genome. It hasn’t produced anything beneficial that Merck can sell. I say we give it up. If Jesus wanted us to get into genetics, he would have said so in the bible.

  16. 16
    capelza says:

    OMG! They’ll be cloning them folks in Rocky Comfort! Stop the madness.

    Signed, a concerned resident of Cyclone, MO.

    Sorry, had a flashback to my childhood.

    I call bullshit on anyone calling themsleves a Libertarian voting Republican. If you are a Libertarian, vote Libertarian. If you are freaked out about the Dems taxiong and spending..explain to me how you can justify voting for the GOP who has TRIPLED pork barrell spending???

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    From Paul L.’s link:

    What is it about the Embryo that makes some people so determined to destroy it, to become heated and hateful if you suggest to them that they should not destroy it, that it is a being of identifiably human species and therefore worthy of respect?

    Boy, it’s tough to tell the spoofs from the real thing, isn’t it?

  18. 18

    OMG! They’ll be cloning them folks in Rocky Comfort! Stop the madness

    What if victory in Iraq is only possible with a cloned Army? Now THERE’S a moral conundrum for you, wingnuts!

    (Also, who should we clone for such an Army- George Bush, Jim Caviezel, or John Kerry? We could argue this all day long, couldn’t we?)

  19. 19
    capelza says:

    The orphaned blatocysts…snowflake babies. How many of the anti-stem cell folks have adopted and therefore saved the blatocyst from destruction (or freezer burn) in fertility clinics?

    Paul L???

  20. 20

    Boy, it’s tough to tell the spoofs from the real thing, isn’t it?

    Especially when you clone the spoofers. Just ask scs, she’s the only one who’s caught on to the top secret South Korean DougJ cloning project so far.

  21. 21
    Pb says:

    Regarding Paul L’s link, first consider the source. Is it possible that someone might have an agenda here? Heh.

    Mary L. Davenport:

    She is a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and strictly follows the teachings of the Catholic Church in her practice of medicine.

    The Anchoress:

    In the middle ages an Anchoress was a woman who lived in a small, sealed room inside a church

    Yeah, that pretty much says it all…

  22. 22
    jaime says:

    What is it about the Embryo that makes some people so determined to destroy it,

    You know what it is? I look at my aunt with MS and I think, the blastocyst in the petri dish or my living breathing relative. And I say fuck 30% of this country and what they “believe”. I say fuck the liars and the ignoranmuses who follow them. I say fuck Rush Limbaugh and the fake Jesus and the guy Eli Manning replaced. And I say fuck the embryo. Destroy it and 400,000 more like it if it means she or the thousands of others like her could one day walk up the stairs without exhaustion or feeling agonizing pain.

  23. 23
    Face says:

    Hey, it’s fucking MISSOURI. If they can’t find a way to outlaw marrying their own cousins (that’s not snark, btw), I’m not so sure we want them allow them the opportunity to make clones.

    Cuz, I’m quite sure this bill does allow cloning. Lots and lots of zombie clones. If Jeff Suppan says so in a commericial, I have to believe it.

  24. 24
    Pb says:

    How many of the anti-stem cell folks have adopted and therefore saved the blatocyst from destruction (or freezer burn) in fertility clinics?

    We definitely need a term for this. It’s like… Chickenhawk Crusade for Christ. Blogging for the Unborn. Keyboard Warriors for Life.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    I call bullshit on anyone calling themsleves a Libertarian voting Republican. If you are a Libertarian, vote Libertarian. If you are freaked out about the Dems taxiong and spending..explain to me how you can justify voting for the GOP who has TRIPLED pork barrell spending???

    Capelza, what you don’t understand is that there is an enemy that wants to kill us. And that enemy doesn’t eat pork. The only way to tell who in Congress is an Islamic Extremist is to hand out all the pork we can afford and see who bites.

    But because pork barrel spending is wrong, the Republicans have also been cutting taxes. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the aggregious spending, after all. So the Republicans are fighting terrorism AND improving the economy.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    The Cardinals’ starting pitcher for Game 4, Jeff Suppan, is among several celebrities who appear in the minute-long ad.

    Reason # 5,901 why I hate the fucking Cardinals. I hope Suppan gets tagged for 8 runs in 2 innings. Sanctimonious asshat.

  27. 27
    Andrew says:

    The only way to tell who in Congress is an Islamic Extremist is to hand out all the pork we can afford and see who bites.

    What does cloning have to do with George Allen?

  28. 28
    Pb says:

    Destroy it and 400,000 more like it if it means she or the thousands of others like her could one day walk up the stairs without exhaustion or feeling agonizing pain.

    Sure, but that’s not even the choice that was offered. The actual choice was between what you said, and “Destroy it and 400,000 more like it”, but don’t do the research that might mean that “she or the thousands of others like her could one day walk up the stairs without exhaustion or feeling agonizing pain”.

    That is to say, either way, 400,000 embryos are going to be destroyed, but in your scenario, at least we have a chance to do something for the rest of us. Bush vetoed that scenario. After no vetoes whatsoever in his first term, he vetoed trying to help her and thousands of other Americans, for no good reason that I’ve yet seen put forth.

  29. 29
    jaime says:

    Reason # 5,901 why I hate the fucking Cardinals

    Between Kenny Rogers pinetar hand and Jeff Suppan’s ignorance, I have no interest in the world series.

  30. 30
    Punchy says:

    Capelza, what you don’t understand is that there is an enemy that wants to kill us. And that enemy doesn’t eat pork. The only way to tell who in Congress is an Islamic Extremist is to hand out all the pork we can afford and see who bites.

    POTD. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. The funniest thing posted all month, perhaps.

  31. 31
    Steve says:

    I’ve read the actual language of the proposed constitutional amendment, and I frankly can’t understand the argument that it would secretly give a green light to cloning. Maybe if someone could supply a link to the right-wing story on this, I could have a look.

  32. 32
    DoubtingThomas says:

    on the one hand, you have a guy with Parkinson’s who has dedicated the last decade to raise money for the disease, someone who has studied the disease, and is convinced that embryonic stem cell research has a good deal of potential for a cure.

    On the other hand, you have a MLB pitcher, a washed up NFL QB, and an actress, all of whom think that embryonic stem cell research makes the Baby Jesus cry.

    I guess you will just have to vote against stem cell research and for the Republican, even if you ostensibly support the research, because of the sexual McCarthyism of the left.

    I just love it when John is disgusted as his writing beomes succinct, satirical, and right on target. The Daily Show would be lucky to have such a writer, although that thought most likely makes Cole shudder as well.

    You’ve been on fire the past couple of weeks, John, as witnessed by these three sentences.

  33. 33
    capelza says:

    Face Says:

    Hey, it’s fucking MISSOURI. If they can’t find a way to outlaw marrying their own cousins (that’s not snark, btw), I’m not so sure we want them allow them the opportunity to make clones.

    Who needs cloning when you got inbreeding!

    Missouri…I have been thinking about this. Lot’s of old folks in the country, especially up north..lots of Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases that show up in the older years… they are religious, but not batshit whack like the Southern Baptists (who have been hijacked by extremists…funny I know, but it is worse than it was a few decades ago). The Southern part of the state is another story..lots of outsiders have moved in over the past 20 years. Not sure where they stand.

    I don’t know how this will play out. This is also the state that voted for a dead Carnahan over a live Ashcroft.

  34. 34
    jaime says:

    After no vetoes whatsoever in his first term, he vetoed trying to help her and thousands of other Americans, for no good reason that I’ve yet seen put forth.

    The good reason is that the veto threw a bone to the mouth breathing, knuckle draggers. The people that sent their kids to get arrested in front of that hospice. The people who thought that Terri Schiavo would get up and walk and talk if only she had a sandwich and a bottle of Dasani.

  35. 35
    skip says:

    And to think I was stunned by the Willi Horton ads. Old Turd Blossum is just chuck full of surprises—among other things.

  36. 36
    tBone says:

    I’ve read the actual language of the proposed constitutional amendment, and I frankly can’t understand the argument that it would secretly give a green light to cloning. Maybe if someone could supply a link to the right-wing story on this, I could have a look.

    You booknerds just don’t get it, do you? Words lie. Start looking things up in your gut instead of relying on those tricksy “words” and “facts.”

  37. 37
    DoubtingThomas says:

    Libertarianism The Republican Platform is just a spoonful of “sugar” (social libertarian beliefsCompassionate Conservatism) to help you ignore the “medicine” (tax cuts/regulatory elimination) they believe we all need. The sugar’s a distraction. They appear to have some sort of intellectual consistency because they fund think-tanks, wear bow-ties and produce charts & graphs. It’s just an act because “I got mine, now suck it” doesn’t sell well in the Heartland.

    Fixed.

  38. 38
    Dave says:

    What the hell is Amendment 2?

  39. 39
    Zifnab says:

    A number of states are looking to pass Stem Cell funding at the state level. I know California and New Jersy are looking to make a mint off of being free stem cell states.

    This looks like one of those.

  40. 40
    Zifnab says:

    (1) No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.

    (2) “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.

    But you could implant into the filopian tube… and…
    OMG THEY’RE TRYING TO RESURRECT HITLER!

  41. 41
    Pb says:

    The actual amendment — yeah, it bans human cloning. The two relevant lines:

    No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.

    and

    “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.

    So… possible loopholes… implanting in something that isn’t a uterus? Cloning of sperm and eggs prior to fertilization? Implanting for a purpose other than initiating a pregnancy? I’m not seeing much here, really, and certainly nothing that would make “cloning a constitutional right”. And isn’t cloning currently allowed in Missouri? In any case, the cloning provisions here certainly wouldn’t add any rights, so that commercial is just a flat-out lie.

  42. 42
    jaime says:

    But you could implant into the filopian tube… and…
    OMG THEY’RE TRYING TO RESURRECT HITLER!

    But Jesus’ commercial said something about 20,000 words hidden in the amendment that makes cloning legal. Why would Jesus lie to me?

  43. 43
    Pb says:

    Why would Jesus lie to me?

    For fun and prophet.

  44. 44
    Bombadil says:

    But you could implant into the filopian fallopian tube… and…

    But then you get an ectopic pregnancy, which could kill the mother, so she would have to get an abortion, and that’s a whole nother can of worms there. One wingnut crisis per thread, please.

  45. 45
    Bombadil says:

    Why would Jesus lie to me?

    For fun and prophet.

    OK, this thread is complete. There is no sense going any further, as it can only go down hill from here.

    POTD.

  46. 46
    tBone says:

    But then you get an ectopic pregnancy, which could kill the mother, so she would have to get an abortion, and that’s a whole nother can of worms there.

    Wrong. You just let the mother die as punishment for attempting to grow a godless clone in her unholy tubes. Problem solved.

  47. 47
    jcricket says:

    So, Mary Poppins is a Republican-voting Libertarian?

    Of course. First, her name is Mary. And Mary was the name of Christ’s mother, and Christ, as we know, was a Republican. Second, Mary wore clothes that covered everything but her hands and head. She wasn’t wearing low-riders or showing off her belly ring like a dirty-feminazi whore. Third, she knew her place. Women should be mothers or nannies. Never bankers or chimney-sweeps.

    I do have a vague memory of a song about some poor lady and charity, but that was probably just a deleted scene.

    Maybe we should start calling the Libertarians Republican-appeasers?

  48. 48
    Paul L. says:

    Conventional High Explosives: 19,021,090, So-called “Atomic” Weapons: 0.

    ESC reseach is less than a decade old. That whole 72-0 is bullshit.

    So Adult Stem Cells research has a 200 year lead on Embryonic Stem Cells research?

  49. 49
    RSA says:

    But you could implant into the filopian fallopian Philippian tube. . .

    Fixed. St. Paul clearly speaks to this point in metaphorical language, below:

    For I know that this will turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be disappointed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death.

  50. 50
    tBone says:

    So Adult Stem Cells research has a 200 year lead on Embryonic Stem Cells research?

    Paul L is so cute when he tries to talk to the grownups.

  51. 51
    Punchy says:

    A number of states are looking to pass Stem Cell funding at the state level. I know California and New Jersy are looking to make a mint off of being free stem cell states.

    Wow, Zin is en feugo. I propose a new law–you can only recieve the bennies of ESC research if you live in a state that voted for it. This way, in 20 years, fully half the population of Moe-zurrah will be looking forward to wheelchair purchases and iron lungs while those in Cali are 85 y.o. and shooting hoops.

  52. 52
    jaime says:

    This ad has hit hard. So much so that the right is responding with lies, and meanness. Hell, my ethnicity is being attacked on some blogs.

  53. 53

    I do have a vague memory of a song about some poor lady and charity, but that was probably just a deleted scene.

    Also, didn’t that movie support the banking industry at all costs (except when banking was boring, a situation easily remedied by the use of Carrot Top or other psychotic monster in an ad campaign aimed at children), and didn’t it attack the suffragette movement?

    Or was it the other way around? And what does Dick Van Dyke have to say about all this?

    I want to hear phony Jesus’s position on Mary Poppins before I vote with him on the anti-clone Army proposal.

  54. 54

    Paul L is so cute when he tries to talk to the grownups.

    Can we clone him? Please? Can we?

  55. 55
    jcricket says:

    I propose a new law—you can only recieve the bennies of ESC research if you live in a state that voted for it.

    Let’s also not provide new antibiotics (fruits of evolutionary theory) to Creationists. Let’s go whole hog and say that “no state/county shall receive more back in Federal/State funding than it contributes”. Red Staters love this kind of thing, right, because they believe they’re the self-reliant ones.

    I’m happy that if you had these things together you have a pretty good recipe for the destruction of the economies for most red states/areas in America. You know the blue states will do what it takes to pass sensible healthcare reform, make sure that tax revenues cover the services people want, and move forward with science and innovation.

    The Red Staters have spent 10-20 years trying to dismantle the system of checks and balances provided by the co-equal branches of government (including unprecedented attacks on the judiciary), eliminate habeas corpus, inject religion into public scientific decisions, etc.

    Why should the Reality Based Community subsidize their efforts? Out of the goodness of our hearts? Because we believe that sharing the wealth is important? Red Staters can either come to their senses and vote to change their local governments, move somewhere and join the Reality Based Community, or suffer the consequences of their actions.

  56. 56
    tBone says:

    Can we clone him? Please? Can we?

    Not unless we pass Amendment 2. Now get out there and vote so we can clone Paul L and kill some fetuses strictly for political purposes. (That’s a pretty good spoof site Riehl has going there. I’m impressed.)

  57. 57
    jcricket says:

    I want to hear phony Jesus’s position on Mary Poppins before I vote with him on the anti-clone Army proposal.

    I for one await the rule of our army of cloned tiny Jesuses

  58. 58
    Bombadil says:

    From Riehl’s site (via jaime’s link)

    Yes, one of the Jerky Boyz, Michael J. Fox supports McCaskill.

    and

    Ya never know when something like a Michael J Fox commercial is going to come along and shake things up … or, something like that.

    John, you’ve been to soft on that asshole.

  59. 59
    jaime says:

    For anyone who thinks Michael J Fox is faking it .

  60. 60

    Wrong. You just let the mother die as punishment for attempting to grow a godless clone in her unholy tubes. Problem solved.

    You think you’re joking.

    But that is what Republicans want to do. Let the mother die.

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    Some of the wingnuts are quoting a passage from Fox’s book that suggests, horror of horrors, sometimes he might stay off his meds for political effect!

    Snippets of my testimony were featured on several of the nightly news broadcasts. One line in particular from my prepared statement got a lot of play: “In my forties, I can expect challenges most people wouldn’t face until their seventies and eighties, if ever. But with your help, if we all do everything we can to eradicate this disease, when I’m in my fifties I’ll be dancing at my children’s weddings.” I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling.

    In fact, the page I linked to gives a much fuller picture – it’s pretty long, but it’s compelling stuff. In other places, he describes what life is like while he’s taking the meds, and it’s hardly a bed of roses:

    I need to explain the “on-off” phenomenon. This Jekyll-and-Hyde melodrama is a constant vexation for the P.D. patient, especially one as determined as I was to remain closeted. “On” refers to the time when the medication is telling my brain everything it wants to hear. I’m relatively loose and fluid, my mind clear and movements under control. Only a trained observer could detect my Parkinson’s. During one of my “off” periods, even the most myopic layperson, while perhaps not able to diagnose P.D. specifically, can recognize that I am in serious trouble.

    When I’m “off,” the disease has complete authority over my physical being. I’m utterly in its possession. Sometimes there are flashes of function, and I can be effective at performing basic physical tasks, certainly feeding and dressing myself (though I’ll lean toward loafers and pullover sweaters), as well as any chore calling for more brute force than manual dexterity. In my very worst “off” times I experience the full panoply of classic Parkinsonian symptoms: rigidity, shuffling, tremors, lack of balance, diminished small motor control, and the insidious cluster of symptoms that makes communication – written as well as spoken – difficult and sometimes impossible.

    He describes his experience filming “Spin City,” at a time when his disease wasn’t public knowledge yet:

    As it was, each week’s show presented a brand-new set of creative and physical challenges. Could I count on my body to respond in performance the same way it had in rehearsal? This gradually became a moot point, as rehearsal became a luxury I could less and less affordóyet another baffling behavior in the eyes of the uninformed, who easily could have interpreted it as arrogance or indifference.

    By now I could see that the strain I put myself (and everybody else) through by trying to be funny without being upstaged by my invisible pet elephant was as absurd as it was exhausting. Whatever I appeared to be doing onstage, I was, in fact, doing something else: hiding symptoms with a repertoire of little tricks and distracting maneuvers – manipulating props, leaning against walls and furniture, and when all else failed, jamming my hands into my pockets. Many days I had to concentrate more on my physical relationship to the scene unfolding around me than to emotional, comedic, or dramatic content. All the while I was doing the math – how long since the last pill?… how long until it wears off? And at what point in the show will I have to take another? “Please … let it be during a scene I’m not in.”

    I mentioned how quickly I must react to the harbingers of an “off” cycle, and the consequences if I don’t. If the warning came when I was in the middle of a four-to-five-minute scene, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stave off the return of my symptoms. I had a name for this crisis of circumstance: “turning into a pumpkin.”

    “Turning into a pumpkin” live onstage would blow the whole thing. If a studio audience were to detect a tremoring of my arm, a slowing of my speech, or a rigidity of my movements, it would undoubtedly betray the fact that something was wrong, and that something, whatever it was, would be decidedly unfunny. This had become my greatest fear, just as making an audience laugh remained one of my greatest pleasures.

    I can vividly remember all those nights when the studio audience, unknowingly, had to wait for my symptoms to subside. I’d be backstage, lying on my dressing room rug, twisting and rolling around, trying to cajole my neuroreceptors into accepting and processing the L-dopa I had so graciously provided. When that approach failed, I’d spruce up the walls with fist-size holes, the graffiti of my frustration. How much longer could this go on?

    Obviously, it’s just a horrible disease, and the medication provides only moderate solace. But I think Republicans should go national with the message that Rush Limbaugh has so bravely put forward – it was wrong for the guy to show people how the disease truly affects him, when if he’d taken his pills and just waited long enough he might have stopped shaking for long enough to make the ad. That’s a really good argument, and since Rush is the idea man of the Republican Party, they really ought to run with this. The conservative majority will respond well to these Republican “ideas.”

  62. 62
    Matt says:

    Not entirely topical, but I can’t fuckin’ stand Patricia Heaton.

  63. 63
    Perry Como says:

    For anyone who thinks Michael J Fox is faking it .

    It looks like he just has to use the bathroom. — Rush Limbaugh

  64. 64
    ET says:

    I was having fun reading all the comments on the Dead Spin post – “Jeff Suppan Will Win For You, But He Will Not Let You Clone Him” – about this. They put it in proper perspective.

    That ad reminded me how much I hate Everybody Loves Raymond.

    Why did they film Kurt Warner in prison? And why did he wink at us?

    Caviezel at the beginning (rough translation):
    I’m Jesus, and I approved this message.

    Jeff Suppan also offers lectues on constitutional law with his pitching instructional video.

  65. 65
    Buddy says:

    Actually ESR is NOT illegal. Federal funding for it is. There is a gulf of a difference. If it is such a potential boon, as so many say, why isn’t some rich medical philanthropist flocking to fund it?

    A REAL libertatian would say ‘get the government out of funding this (and all other) research altogether and let the market do it’

  66. 66
    Andrew says:

    What the hell is Amendment 2?

    The right of the people to keep and bear Embryos shall not be infringed?

  67. 67
    Bender says:

    Shorter leftards: Michael J. Fox is allowed to lie. He’s got a disease! (And the lies are about Republicans, anyway! Good for you, Alex!)

  68. 68
    Dustbin Of History says:

    Shorter leftards: Michael J. Fox is allowed to lie. He’s got a disease!

    So what did Fox lie about?

  69. 69
    jaime says:

    This was my response on Riehl’s blog

    You can’t handle looking at what a disease does to a person. It angers you to no end that staring at that living, breathing, human being blows up your whole ideological argument. You seethe as more and more people look at a clump of cells in a petri dish and then they look at the living person and they decide the person is more important.

    So what do you do? If you’re like your racist buddy Larry, you deliberately confuse Fetal and Embryonic stem cells. You deliberately confuse abortion clinics with fertility clinics. You deliberately compare the decades of adult stem cell research with the new science of ESC research. You lie and say Michael J. Fox is off his meds and that’s why he shakes when a simple use of google or call to your friendly neighborhood doctor would prove the opposite. You deliberately ignore the ideological dilemma of being for Invetrofertilization and the dilemma that these embryos will be destroyed. 400,000 precious babies being destroyed and you don’t give a shit. You also don’t mind private funding going towards ESC research. A baby holocaust that you don’t mind being funded by Merck. Why? Because you’re hedging your bets. Your ideology is full of shit, because you will gladly take a potential cure for you or a loved one. You’re no dummy.

  70. 70
    Demdude says:

    Matt Says:

    Not entirely topical, but I can’t fuckin’ stand Patricia Heaton

    .

    I didn’t care either way about her before the Terry Schiavo. Now can’t stand her.

  71. 71
    Ted Barlow says:

    I know how Instapundit feels. The sexual Mccarthyism of the left made me eat a whole cheesecake. Stupid Democrats!

  72. 72
    HyperIon says:

    jaime Says:

    This ad has hit hard.

    i followed the link and saw this:

    The only way this “disease” is going to get cured is when God decides to lift the curse. Otherwise, look out when you engage in sinful behaviour. Fox was a member of the loony left and now look at him.

    And I loved the part about his “shaky” performance! Too funny. Maybe that guy will think next time he mocks God.

    In Christ,

    gimme that old time religion–NOT

  73. 73
    Punchy says:

    Actually ESR is NOT illegal. Federal funding for it is. There is a gulf of a difference. If it is such a potential boon, as so many say, why isn’t some rich medical philanthropist flocking to fund it?

    Cuz it’s people like you who fucking bitch when medications cost hundreds per month and chemo treatments run in the tens of thousands.

    Go ahead, let Merck or Pfizer fund this. Just don’t bitch when, in 8 years, they need to recoup their investment and start charging $200,000 a pop for Alzh and Park patients.

  74. 74
    jcricket says:

    People who think that private companies will fund this type of basic science are displaying their complete ignorance (but hey, what’s new). They need to spend some time working in a research institute to see why basic science requires federal funding. First off, basic science isn’t as directed as clinical trials, and doesn’t have anywhere near the short potential payoff cycle. It can take 15-20 years before it’s even clear what discoveries from basic science will lead to. And that’s for discoveries that “pan out”. Plenty do not, but you can’t determine that from the get go (that’s why they call it research).

    The type of R&D most corporations fund is stuff that’s already made it out of basic sciences. Now, the government and universities have gotten better at making sure they get “paid back” when basic science discoveries eventually become commercial therapies, but this system works for a reason.

    This type of research will always be funded primarily by Federal and (smart) state governments (around the world). The profit potential is not clear enough for any corporation to take a chance. It’s either that or stop doing this kind of work and just tweak what’s already made it out of the basic science labs.

    Libertarians, of course, imagine a world where corporations will sacrifice huge portions of their budget to fund research that has, oh, say a 1% chance of being commercially viable after everyone currently working there has retired. I’m sure the shareholders will happily sacrifice 30 years of profits and dividends for the eventual payoff.

  75. 75
    BARRASSO says:

    Libertarian ideas always sound so good before you think about them. Limbaugh made a mistake with the mocking of Fox, Fox already has more credibility than him, and Fox’s disease has more likability than him. Also I should mention that Ann Coulter is like Rush Limbaugh but with a working penis.

  76. 76
    Mary says:

    Steve quoted this part of Fox’s book:

    I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling.

    And Bender dribbled:

    Shorter leftards: Michael J. Fox is allowed to lie. He’s got a disease!

    Where did Fox lie? When he stated in his book that he was unmedicated when he testified to the Senate subcommittee in 1999? Or when he told the subcommittee that day, as part of his testimony, that, err, he was unmedicated?

    “For many people with Parkinson’s, managing their disease is a full-time job; it is a constant balancing act. Too little medicine causes tremors and stiffness, too much medicine produces uncontrollable movement and slurring, and far too often Parkinson’s patients wait and wait (as I am right now) for their medicines to kick in.” (Transcript)

    Read that again.

    Pure Parkinson’s symptoms without meds: tremors and stiffness.

    ON meds: uncontrollable movement and slurring.

    Now look at the interview videos and the commercial again. The flailing he demonstrates is NOT the result of unmedicated Parkinson’s. It’s the result of years of medication.

    He didn’t lie to the Senate about his symptoms. His behaviour on camera is consistent with being ON medication.

    Nice try, though, Bender.

  77. 77
    jaime says:

    Bender does not care what the truth is. All he knows is Rush squatted and took a dump in his scull and there’s nothing that come out of him but pure shit.

    That’s the reason why Rush, and Bender, and Riehl and their kind haven’t actually quoted or linked to any doctors or scientists.

  78. 78
    HH says:

    Or you could say both sides aren’t right because government funding isn’t exactly something libertarians like:

    Like a lot of Republicans, Talent is opposed to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Aided by the mainstream media, Democrats have been advancing the lie for several years now that if you’re opposed to the federal funding of something…then that means you want to ban it. Not so…in fact, what administration has provided more federal funding for stem cell research than another other? Your answer: the current Bush Administration.

    I admire Michael J. Fox. I admire his courage in facing this horrible disease. I, too, want to see more research in this area. I admit to having a problem with the taxpayers funding that research. Is it a proper function of government? Or of private research institutions? My big problem here is that perhaps these ads are convincing voters that the Bush Administration and the Republicans are somehow working for a total ban. That’s just not so.

    If there is so much promise and so many cures to be had from embryonic stem cell research, then there is absolutely nothing stopping private companies from pursuing it. Embryonic stem cell research is not illegal…never has been. It just the Democrats exploit people like Michael J. Fox to attack candidates opposed to federal funding. But don’t believe the hype….embryonic stem cell research is not now, nor has it ever been, illegal.

    But he’s not a “real” libertarian right? After all, he went to the White House and loves Republicans, right (just like NPR)?

    This may change .. but right now I’m just completely fed up with the Republicans. One advantage that the Republicans used to hold over liberals and Democrats was their strong sense of traditional moral and family values. Can they make that claim today? Did they take the steps necessary to protect young men in their charge from the advances of a seemingly predatory homosexual congressman?

    No …. don’t tell me about Democrats and Gerry Studds. I know that Democrats excused the behavior of Ted Kennedy. I know that Bill Clinton got a pass for his tryst with Monica … and for the rape of Juanita Broaderrick. They’re Democrats. That’s their pattern. Does this mean we have to excuse the same actions in Republicans?

    Something spectacular is going to have to happen in the next four weeks or so to salvage the Republican control of the House. Things change, but right now I expect the Democrats to take control of the house — but not the Senate — in next month’s elections. Republican leadership inaction on Mark Foley set the stage. Stand by for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    Last I checked, libertarianism meant more than “opposes anything social conservatives are for.”

  79. 79
    HH says:

    Er, Cardin voted against stem cells so that ad was beyond misleading.

    Secondly, there is not a scintilla of evidence that any candidate supports “criminalization.”

    Oh I’m sorry I forgot issues were not the point.

    But back to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Foley…

  80. 80
    HH says:

    Libertarian blog points out that libertarians are not really big fans of government funding – but this guy must be a right-wing handicapped-hater deep down, right?

  81. 81
    HH says:

    Latest libertarian blog to join the chorus… But he probably votes Republican right?

  82. 82

    But he probably votes Republican right?

    Yep, probably. What’s your point? That a lot of “libertarians” are really “Republicans who smoke pot”? I agree.

  83. 83
    Eric Dondero says:

    New article on the NFL, Republicans and the Libertarian Solution at http://libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

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