Friday, November 05, 2004

Democrats: Are We Federalists Yet? 

Like many, I've been looking at the maps of the US election breakdown, and fearing for those islands of sophisticated, athiest city-dwellers on the coasts. Might this finally move Democrats to support federalism? You do your thing, Mississippi, and we'll do our thing. Traditionally this has been a Republican position, but now that they've got a long-term hold on power with their margins in Congress and the Presidency (and thus eventually the courts), let's be realistic...they're not gonna be for that anymore.

Well, the Dems have already been doing that. California wanted to increase automobile emissions standards, and Bush came in and said "no" while the Dems yelled "states rights!" The Reps wanted to define marriage for the whole union while the Dems yelled "states rights!"

But a move toward federalism could be very dangerous for research, particularly politically driven topics like stem cell research. There's no major federal funding for stem cell research, although the area is vital for our future and needs more than just private sector funding. California voted itself to support $3 billion in bonds for stem cell research. It's a nice quick-fix to the problem, but it could set a dangerous precident for researchers to have to worry about the regulatory environment of the state they live in in order to decide what resarch they can perform.
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